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Unwarranted Outrage - The Times blew our cover.
National Review Online ^ | December 19, 2005, 8:59 a.m. | James S. Robbins

Posted on 12/19/2005 1:53:38 PM PST by Cinnamon

Unwarranted Outrage The Times blew our cover.

I have no doubt that revelations in the New York Times that the NSA has been conducting selective and limited surveillance of terrorist communications crossing into or out of the United States will be immensely valuable to our enemies. I also have no doubt that these and similar actions can be legal, even when conducted without warrants.

How could that be? From the sound and fury of the last few days from politicians and pundits, you would think this is a development as scandalous as Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's authorization to wiretap Martin Luther King Jr. But the legality of the acts can be demonstrated with a look through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). For example, check out section 1802, "Electronic Surveillance Authorization Without Court Order." It is most instructive. There you will learn that "Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year" (emphasis mine).

Naturally, there are conditions. For example, the surveillance must be aimed at "the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers." Wait, is a terrorist group considered a foreign power? Yes, as defined in section 1801, subsection (a), "foreign power" can mean "a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefore," though the statue language would explicitly apply to "a faction of a foreign nation or nations."

But isn't international terrorism that which takes place abroad, as opposed to homegrown domestic terrorism? Not exactly: Section 1801 subsection (c) defines international terrorism as, among other things, terrorist actions that "occur totally outside the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum." So if you are hiding, making plans, facilitating, attacking, or intending to spread fear inside the US, and have a link abroad, you are an international terrorist. Quite sensible.

O.K. fine, but what about the condition that there be "no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party?" Doesn't that necessarily cut out any and all communication that is domestic in origin or destination? Well, not quite. Return to section 1801, subsection (i): "United States person," which includes citizens, legal aliens, and businesses, explicitly "does not include a corporation or an association which is a foreign power."

Well sure, but does that mean that even if you are a citizen you cash in your abovementioned rights by collaborating with terrorists? Yes you do. You have then become an "Agent of a foreign power" as defined under subsection (b)(2)(C). Such agents include anyone who "knowingly engages in sabotage or international terrorism, or activities that are in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power," and even includes those who aid and abet or knowingly conspire with those engaged in such behavior.

Wait, that includes anyone, even citizens? Yes — subsection (b)(1) is the part that applies to foreigners; (b)(2) covers everybody. And the whole point of the act is to collect "foreign intelligence information," which is defined under section 1801 subsection (e)(1)(B) as "information that relates to, and if concerning a United States person is necessary to, the ability of the United States to protect against sabotage or international terrorism by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power."

Whoa, you say, that is way too much power for the president to wield without checks and balances! Well, true, and since Congress wrote this law, they included reporting requirements. The attorney general must report to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 30 days prior to the surveillance, except in cases of emergency, when he must report immediately. He must furthermore "fully inform" those committees on a semiannual basis thereafter, per section 1808 subsection (a). He must also send a copy of the surveillance authorization under seal to the so-called FISA Court as established in section 1803; not for a warrant, but to remain under seal unless certification is necessary under future court actions from aggrieved parties under section 1806 (f).

This is significant, because it means that some of the same politicians who have been charging abuse of power may also have been briefed on what was going on long ago. The White House should get ahead of the story by noting which congressmen were informed of these activities, instead of allowing them to grandstand so shamelessly. It would also help if the White House released some information on how the surveillance has helped keep the country safe. What attacks were disrupted, what terrorists were taken down, how many people saved? A few declassified examples would be very useful to ground the discussion in reality rather than rhetoric.

So how do the revelations in the Times help the terrorists? Think it through — if you were a terrorist and you believed (as most people seem to) that the NSA would ignore your communications if they crossed U.S. borders, your best move would be to set up communications relay stations inside the U.S. Terrorists are well known for their ability to find and exploit loopholes in our laws, and this would be a natural. For all we know our intelligence agencies have been exploiting these types of communications for years without the terrorists knowing it. Now they will fall silent, because now the bad guys know better. So New York Times writer James Risen will sell his book, the Times will increase circulation, politicians will beat their breasts and send out fundraising letters, and who will pay in the end?

You can answer that one.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: congress; leak; leakgate; nsa; nyt; patriotleak; phone; tap; terror; treason; war; wire
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To: Arrowhead1952
Well, I'm not so sure he was a troll...more like a stubborn teenager. My young college-aged daughter tries to argue just like this one did: never believing their own assumptions could in any way be flawed from the beginning so completely unwilling to give any ground as their position is slowly eroded away by facts and precedent.

I think this Freeper is either very young and cocky or he was just flaming the more gullible for fun.

101 posted on 12/19/2005 3:20:59 PM PST by liberty_lvr (Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.)
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To: Holdek
I came into this thread cold and had no intention of responding to anything but you took the cake. Why? Because you do not understand that you do not understand. Or is it because you wish to stir doubt with unfounded facts? I have seen that is an impossible task to try this with FReepers - you will go down losing because they will dig for facts rather than your "what ifs", "at least to our knowledge", "It doesn't really matter", "but that's neither here nor there.", "That is basic knowledge", and on and on.
You have taken on the wrong crowd this time.
102 posted on 12/19/2005 3:21:37 PM PST by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

It's difficult to hold the "party line" when there are Freepers with facts. :)


103 posted on 12/19/2005 3:22:01 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Holdek
Sorry, but the government has gone overboard here and is probably in violation of the law. See we have a Bill of Rights that precludes spying on citizens without a warrant.

Shirley you can't be sirius??

We have been waiting for four years to find a single American Citizen that has had his civil rights violated without due process. If you know of one, please let me know.

INTERNATIONAL CALLS of suspected terrorists! RTFFP! G

104 posted on 12/19/2005 3:23:36 PM PST by GRRRRR (Merry Christmas to all. Pray for our Troops. DemonRats can....)
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To: Holdek
I'm no fan of Clark, but he deserves recognition and respect for stepping to to assist US in getting Saddam Hussein a real trial so we can do this right.

If you believe Ramsey Clark has any interest in "assisting the US" to "do this right", you are sadly mistaken.

Ramsey Clark is a founder of the World Workers Party, a Stalinist front, and International ANSWER. He is as anti-American as they come.

His only interest in representing Saddam is to embarrass the United States (note: not Bush, not Republicans, but the United States).

105 posted on 12/19/2005 3:23:42 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: DJ MacWoW

About 30 minutes since the last reply, and I call DU troll on Holdek.


106 posted on 12/19/2005 3:27:03 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (I never got a job from a person on a government program.)
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To: okie01

I love Ramsey Clark because his mere idiotic, America-hating existence is an ongoing testament to our country's greatness. Most countries would have whacked him out long ago.


107 posted on 12/19/2005 3:27:08 PM PST by karnage
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To: wouldntbprudent

The Author is referring to the MSM's outrage over this matter. this the same crowd that howled over V. Plame being exposed by "insiders"


108 posted on 12/19/2005 3:27:55 PM PST by Cinnamon
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To: MEG33
Meg, I think that the DU troll went running back to mommie for help.
109 posted on 12/19/2005 3:29:09 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (I never got a job from a person on a government program.)
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To: liberty_lvr
My "just turned 20" daughter has more between her ears than this person has, and yes, she is a blond.
110 posted on 12/19/2005 3:31:20 PM PST by Arrowhead1952 (I never got a job from a person on a government program.)
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To: Holdek

Seem to remember that the hero of the left, Bill Clinton had a fine spying operation going during his two terms.

Where was the outrage at the NYSLimes when Clinton's NSA was using ECHELON...see http://www.newsmax.com: "During the 1990s, President Bill Clinton ordered the National Security Agency to use its super-secret Echelon surveillance program to monitor the personal telephone calls and private email of employees who worked for foreign companies in a bid to boost U.S. trade, NewsMax.com has learned."


111 posted on 12/19/2005 3:31:58 PM PST by GRRRRR (Merry Christmas to all. Pray for our Troops. DemonRats can....)
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To: Arrowhead1952; MEG33; darkwing104; Darksheare; Jet Jaguar
About 30 minutes since the last reply, and I call DU troll on Holdek.

I agree. Have you read his other posts? Interesting.

112 posted on 12/19/2005 3:34:23 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: okie01

Not to mention the ever-famous "VoteToImpeach.org" group that is actively trying to get W impeached.

Clark is the BASE of the Democratic Party.

And he supports Saddam Hussein.

It's telling.


113 posted on 12/19/2005 3:34:49 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: DJ MacWoW

"Interesting?"

Heck, I responded to his posts. Interesting like the parallel universe where Kirk is evil.


114 posted on 12/19/2005 3:36:18 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: MNJohnnie
This isn't just partisanship.

No it isn't. It is blind hatred of anything Bush and a blind obedience to a code of ethics that tells them to do anything at all to regain power.

115 posted on 12/19/2005 3:37:15 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (This is my tagline. There are many like it but this one is mine.)
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To: Arrowhead1952
LOL!

So's mine (blond), but she's also a lot smarter than this knucklehead!

Anyway, agreed - I guess you can call troll on this one after all...

116 posted on 12/19/2005 3:38:03 PM PST by liberty_lvr (Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.)
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To: daybreakcoming

LOL

Taken on the wrong crowd? All I see here is: But it's okay to violate the Constitution and the law, I want to feel safe!

That is not an argument.

The law clearly requires a court warrant for wiretapping U.S. citizens.


117 posted on 12/19/2005 3:39:01 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: MeanWestTexan
Heck, I responded to his posts. Interesting like the parallel universe where Kirk is evil.

His responses on another thread were trollish too. ;)

Holdek Posts

118 posted on 12/19/2005 3:40:08 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Holdek
OK, now I know you're just a moron flaming people to get a reaction.

P!ss off, junior, the adults are having a conversation.

119 posted on 12/19/2005 3:41:08 PM PST by liberty_lvr (Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.)
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To: Holdek
There are no "exceptions" to the Bill of Rights just because the President says so. That's the whole purpose of a warrant, to provide a check on the executive by requiring some type of evidence that the "citizen is functioning as an enemy agent."

None of the Constitutional amendments provides blanket protection, no ifs, ands, or buts. Please see the Kelo case, or CFR, as two obvious examples.

Welcome to FR, btw.

120 posted on 12/19/2005 3:41:30 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: DJ MacWoW

Not trollish.

See I support reason over emotion, knowledge over belief.

Sometimes that conflicts with what people want to believe.


121 posted on 12/19/2005 3:41:47 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: liberty_lvr

Your rudeness aside...

I have yet to see anyone support the notion that you can wiretap U.S. citizens without a court order and not be in violation of both the law and the constitution.


122 posted on 12/19/2005 3:43:07 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: Holdek; Minnesoootan
How does one prove a negative?

Proving a negative is impossible when it comes to conduct, but when it comes to arguing that there is "no written Iraqi law," all you have to do is ... drum roll please .... read the Iraqi law books.

123 posted on 12/19/2005 3:43:19 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: Holdek; All

124 posted on 12/19/2005 3:44:28 PM PST by the anti-liberal (Hey, Al Qaeda: Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent)
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To: Holdek
See I support reason over emotion, knowledge over belief.

Then may I suggest a remedial reading course. Because you lack reading comprehension. You've been given cites and continue to hold on to YOUR mistaken BELIEF.

125 posted on 12/19/2005 3:45:25 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: DJ MacWoW; Arrowhead1952; MEG33; darkwing104; Darksheare; Jet Jaguar

I guess I came late to the party. :) Sounds like an interesting afternoon.


126 posted on 12/19/2005 3:45:57 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: proud American in Canada

You're going to be drum-rolliing for a long time. You want me to post the entire Iraqi civil code here?


127 posted on 12/19/2005 3:46:58 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: Holdek

Since 2005-12-03


128 posted on 12/19/2005 3:48:06 PM PST by Lady Heron
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To: Holdek

"I have yet to see anyone support the notion that you can wiretap U.S. citizens without a court order and not be in violation of both the law and the constitution."

You prove that there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Go read FISA. The links are provided.

FISA has been upheld as constiutional, as have other, earlier, acts that gave much less protection.


129 posted on 12/19/2005 3:48:22 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: DJ MacWoW

Yes I know the horror, that I would hold on to my belief...which is anchored in the law and the Constitution, not in "Well I think the President ought to be able to do it, so he should!"


130 posted on 12/19/2005 3:49:37 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: proud American in Canada; Arrowhead1952; MEG33; darkwing104; Darksheare; Jet Jaguar

Yes. We have an illiterate troll. Poor thing can't read.


131 posted on 12/19/2005 3:50:17 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Holdek

You have been cited law and fact in several posts and continue to blithely ignore it.
You are continuing along in mistaken belief rather than basing off FACT.

Got zot?


132 posted on 12/19/2005 3:50:38 PM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: Cinnamon

Thanks for posting... good stuff...


133 posted on 12/19/2005 3:51:02 PM PST by tje
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To: Holdek
You're going to be drum-rolliing for a long time. You want me to post the entire Iraqi civil code here?

Why not post a link. I'm quite sure there will be several people who will actually take the time to read through it.

134 posted on 12/19/2005 3:51:07 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: MeanWestTexan

You seem to just be unable to get it.

NO WHERE in FISA does it allow the President to allow a warantless wiretap on a citizen of the United States. No where. No one has posted any information to the contrary.


135 posted on 12/19/2005 3:51:16 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: Holdek

"that I would hold on to my belief"

Contrary to law..

"which is anchored in the law and the Constitution, "

A lack of understanding of the laws cited to you, willful twisting and ignoring of said laws..

"not in "Well I think the President ought to be able to do it, so he should!""

And ignoring HISTORY and fact.


136 posted on 12/19/2005 3:51:49 PM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: Holdek

No, YOU are unable to get it.
YOU claimed that no prior politician wiretapped anyone.
Fact and history don't back you up.
And yes, you ARE a troll.


137 posted on 12/19/2005 3:52:33 PM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
Yes. We have an illiterate troll. Poor thing can't read

*shakes head* Such a shame. ;)

138 posted on 12/19/2005 3:53:01 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: Holdek
which is anchored in the law and the Constitution,

Your problem is that you haven't READ the law. It was given to you. I read just recently that literacy IS a problem for some. Go back to DU or wherever you crawled out of because your feints won't work here.

139 posted on 12/19/2005 3:53:44 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Holdek

zot....dolt!


140 posted on 12/19/2005 3:54:52 PM PST by xone
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To: MNJohnnie
This isn't just partisanship. The Democrats have actively gone over to giving aid to the enemy.

Its all about the 2006 elections for the Dems

Listen very carefully ... they all have the same talking points

141 posted on 12/19/2005 3:55:16 PM PST by Mo1 (Republicans protect Americans from Terrorists. Democrats protect Terrorists from Americans)
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To: Holdek

"NO WHERE in FISA does it allow the President to allow a warantless wiretap on a citizen of the United States. No where. No one has posted any information to the contrary."

I shall spoon feed the idiot child:

Lesson 1:

Laws are all about definitions.

Lesson 2:

Here are the definitions.

(a) ''Foreign power'' means. . . (3) an entity that is openly acknowledged by a foreign government or governments to be directed and controlled by such

(This could include US Citizens easily.)

(4) a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor.

(This could include US Citizens who are working with Al Quada.)

(6) an entity that is directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.

(This would be shell companies used as above.)

(b) 'Agent of a foreign power'' means -

(2) any person [note Part (1) exempted U.S. Citizens, so this implicitly includes US citizen) who -
(A) knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, whichactivities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
(B) pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United
States;


Etc.

US Cits are covered in about 4 more sections.

Go away now, little troll.


142 posted on 12/19/2005 4:00:40 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: DJ MacWoW

I have read FISA. It clearly states that:

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


143 posted on 12/19/2005 4:01:35 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: Holdek
The NY/DNC Slimes is your source???

ROTFLOL...LOL...ROTF!!!

144 posted on 12/19/2005 4:03:56 PM PST by Just A Nobody (I - LOVE - my attitude problem! WBB lives on. Beware the Enemedia.)
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To: Holdek; MeanWestTexan

Read 142. ALL of it.


145 posted on 12/19/2005 4:04:02 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: Holdek

HEY HOLDEK, WHO DID YOU VOTE FOR?


146 posted on 12/19/2005 4:05:57 PM PST by scottdeus12 (Liberals are like festering cysts. They must be lanced, drained, and removed.)
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To: Holdek
Oh and.........99.
147 posted on 12/19/2005 4:06:17 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (If you think you know what's coming next....You don't know Jack.)
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To: MeanWestTexan

Your rudeness aside... (apparently your mother never taught you manners)

It clearly states that warentless searches are only allowed if:

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


148 posted on 12/19/2005 4:06:33 PM PST by Holdek (Real conservatives support the Bill of Rights)
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To: Holdek

You haven't read a single law quoted, have you.
You voted for defeat and retreat, didn't you.


149 posted on 12/19/2005 4:06:41 PM PST by Darksheare ("Keep it just between us..." she said, and then she faded into the mist.)
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To: DJ MacWoW

Holdek
Since Dec 3, 2005

Slimy Troll for sure......


150 posted on 12/19/2005 4:07:27 PM PST by scottdeus12 (Liberals are like festering cysts. They must be lanced, drained, and removed.)
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