Skip to comments.Leading Conservatives Call for Extensive Hearings on NSA Surveillance; Checks on Invasive Federal Po
Posted on 01/18/2006 8:10:29 AM PST by Perlstein
click here to read article
Of course, back in those days, anyone who said anything about Echelon was a "conspiracy kook". Only now that Bush has done the same thing has it become acceptable to talk about it, and only when using it to defend Bush.
By the time you read it, it will be waaay down on the blog. Scroll down until you find it.
You agree that, in order to tap the phones of US citizens who are NOT making or receiving calls to/from known terrorists and who do NOT have some "serious indicator that you belong to Al Qaeda" (your phrase), the US Government MUST obtain a warrant.
AND you agree that electronically monitoring, without a warrant, the phone calls of US citizens who do NOT fall within this category is ILLEGAL.
Is this correct?
Leading Conservatives? More like fruitcake hasbeens.
As long as there are Islamofascists with enough power and will to do another 9/11.
By the way, there were four other conservatives mentioned in the article: Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation; and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Feel free to impeach their credentials.
Just another way of saying forever. Perpetual peace through perpetual war.
If they want to monitor your calls for other reasons, namely they think you might be a criminal, then a court order is necessary.
Only if it has to do with national security would I condone warrantless taps. And then only when they have a reasonable cause, as determined by the CIC's orders.
That's pretty silly. Do you actually believe these people don't exist, and that we're in a pretend, manufactured war ala 1984? I want a real answer please.
"if it has to do with national security" is pretty broad. As is "reasonable cause as determined by the CIC's orders".
You may not be saying what I think you are saying, so I'm just going to ask:
If the Federal government wants to wiretap a US citizen who has not made phone calls to or from terrorists and does not have any "serious indicator of belonging to Al Qaeda", on the basis that the tap 'has to do with national security' based on reasonable cause determined solely by the President, are they required to seek and obtain a warrant?
I didn't think that was really what you are saying, because this would mean the government can tap anyone it wants to simply on the President's say-so, but I wanted to be sure.
Arianna Barr... nuff said!
2) I believe that the existence of people who want to harm us does not equate to a state of war. Even people with the intent to harm us does not equate to a state of war. War requires an enemy. An enemy must be definable. And, by its very nature, the enemy must not only have the intent to harm us, it must have the capability to do so and make efforts to do so. Them hating us and wanting to kill us does not create a 'war.'
If we define war your way, there is no such thing as war. We have always been at war, and will always be at war.
'Simply on the President's say-so' would not meet the definition of 'national security.'
I've been reading a pretty good essay on the subject here.
Exactly as I said in my first post. Making your argument with me pointless. There is a definable enemy, and we are fighting it. As to how we end it, I wish I knew.....but sticking our heads up our rear ends like we did before 9/10 is no longer an option. It seems you want to go back to 9/10, and simply sweep them under the rug as before.
LOL. I'm not sure we are as far apart on this as it seems.
Yes. To a point. I'll try to be clear. The President has the constitutional duty as commander and chief to protect this country from enemies both domestic and foreign. During wartime, it is not only acceptable, but required, that he make the determinations to fulfill that duty. And therefore, the president does have the authority to act on "reasonable" cause of threat to wiretap, have you followed or any other type of surveillance.
If the President decides that you buying a gun at Walmart or going to a eating at a Lebanese diner constitutes a reasonable "national security" threat, then he would need to be impeached, and fast.
The word Reasonable is not defined in the constitution. Neither are High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Therefore, it is up to the people and their elected representatives to determine if a president oversteps his authority. Some think he has already. I am not one.
If that decision is reviewable by no one, it effectively would.
Bob Barr is an idiot.
The check on Presidential power is always the Congress through the vehicle of impeachment. An abuse of Article II power would definitely be an impeachable offense.
Then please define it. All I've heard is that we are at war with a tactic. I guess that could be interpreted to mean that we are at war with those who most frequently use that tactic. Though I would think it would need to be used against us for us to be 'at war.'
Since I agreed to your request, please follow suit: be specific. 'Islamofascists' won't really cut it. Do you think we are 'at war' with Hamas? That'd be a strange opinion to hold, since we aren't doing anything to conduct that war. Are we 'at war' with Saudi Arabia? Are we 'at war' with Pakistan? Both of those nations are controlled by 'Islamofascists.' Tell me - who is the 'definable enemy'?
A lot of folks around here need to revisit their Madison.
Please go read the case law. The SCOTUS has visited this issue numerous times-- these are Article II powers.
The NSA has a phone number of an American citizen. No calls have been placed to or from terrorists on that number. There is no 'serious indicator' that the owner of that number has anything to do with Al Qaeda. However, the number has come up in some type of electronic surveillance program - whether it be data mining or Echelon or whatever, and it has ended up on a list. Perhaps it was called by someone who called another number that is in a terrorist rolodex. Perhaps there is some other tangential connection that would be, in and of itself, evidence of absolutely nothing untoward on the part of the citizen. The government determines it wants to tap all numbers that have been 'captured' by the program in this way. The President says it 'has to do with national security' and orders it.
Is a warrant required? If they proceed to do so without a warrant, is it a violation of law?
What are 'these'?
I have heard him say last year that we were at war with a small sect of radical Islam, he has said it many times.
Your claim that we are at war with a tactic is a bit specious, and you seem to really believe we are in 1984, making up our enemies just to keep us fearful.
I will ask you one more time, do you think these people (Islamic radicals) don't exist and aren't capable hurting us? If you don't reply to this, you aren't worthy of a reply back. It's the second time I've asked it.
*Looking at watch*
Specious to say we are at war on a tactic? 'War on terrorism'? 'War on terror'?
Do Islamic radicals exist who are capable of hurting us? Yes. Are we 'at war' with everyone who fits this description? Most decidedly not. In fact, we are 'allies' with many of them.
I repeat - the fact that someone hates us and is capable of hurting us does not mean we are 'at war' with them. And if you think that we will be 'at war' until there is no one who hates us who is capable of hurting us, then you think we have always been at war, and will always be.
By bypassing the existing oversight protocol, the administration has made it impossible to know whether this limit, or indeed any limit, is in fact observed.
That is why this nation was established with a President instead of a King.
If the existing protocols are circumvented by executive order, how is it to be discovered that he has done so?
So the war with Islamic radicalism is real, with real enemies?
I think you said yes.
Then you changed the subject to something.......
The President has defined our enemy, and it is not Pakistan, it is the Islamic radicals aligned with al Queda, you know, the group that brought down the twin towers, killing about 3000 US citizens.....you know....that group!
And yes, we better do what is necessary to kill and defeat these people, until they can no longer hurt us, we will have to be at war until we win, or they win. This ain't 1984 kid, it's actually a real war, against real, evil people that do very real, evil things.
Actually, Lakeshark, a specification of war is not neccessary to the Article II powers. The President has wide authority to act on matters of national security all the time.
And there's the problem. The idea of giving Congress power to declare war means that Congress defines the enemy, not the President. Otherwise there isn't much point in giving Congress that power, is there?
Thank you, I do understand this, I was just referring to the other poster's question........and apparent 9/10 syndrome.
No one has ever said the President can't define our enemy, is that somewhere I don't know about?
Okay, good. I was just trying to break some of the circular arguing we seem to be getting stuck in here. :-)
I am not for massive monitoring of people's numbers, its not only not "reasonable" but it is also a serious waste of resources that should be narrowly targeted.
So I would say that your scenario should lead those responsible for implementing the program to drop you off the watch list in short order. The reason you got on the list is important though. If it's tangental, as you say, then I would monitor your number to determine if you are continuing to be tangental to known terror #s or if you are only calling your aunt Edna. If you keep showing up in the loop, then you should tapped. If not, then dropped. Are there instances where the feds have monitored totally innocent people. Yes. Should they do everything they can to avoid that mistake, yes. Is it a crime for them to make that mistake. No.
A good example of that would be if we had been monitoring Atta (like we sure as hell should have been) and he had an american girlfriend. The Girlfriend is checked out and is clean as far as her known history goes. But knowing Atta was on a terror watch list, would I condone monitoring the GF's calls? Yes.
Does the occasional mistake make me change my mind and concur that warrants are needed? No
That's what declaring war is. The fact that the power was given to Congress, and not given to the President, is enough of a hint for most people.
I repeat: Congress gave him the power right after 9/11. You do know this don't you?
Does it say in the constitution that the only due process for search and siezure is via court warrant? As far as I'm concerned, the President has the constitutional right to implement this program, which is MUCH milder than what we have done in wars past. Several Supreme Court rulings have UPHELD this power.
Seems to me that the Prez allowed many members of Congress to review the program on a regular basis. There is your check. Are there no gov't programs that deserve to be hidden from public view?
Why do you believe there is a distinction here?
Congress doesn't know it. Apparently, when they were directly asked to give this power and refused, they thought they were refusing to give this power.
No, I didn't say 'yes' to the statement you made, I said 'yes' to the question you previously asked. Why do you know feel the need to morph it?
The protocol was this. President determines who gets monitored based on national security threats. The Intelligence committees in the house and Senate are briefed every 90 days, and more if so requested. Do all 3 branches of gov't need to be involved in the CIC's decisions? Who has more authority during times of war regarding enemies and suspected enemies, the CIC or the courts?
To change the subject to Pakistan would allow you to get away with more generalities about our "perpetual, made up war" you think we're in.
Okay - just so I'm clear, you don't believe a warrant is necessary to monitor such people, right? So warrantless wiretapping is not only okay for 'those who call terrorists or are called by them' or for those with a 'serious indicator of belonging to Al Qaeda'? It is also okay for those US citizens who just happen to get caught up in some kind of data mining or other electronic surveillance activity, whether it be happenstance, or coincidence, or whatever?
If that's the case, fine - go forward from there. But in discussing this I wish folks would stop talking about wiretapping 'terrorists and those who call them,' because that is not ALL that is at issue here.
So...I say let em fight each other till the death.
I'll answer that question just as soon as you tell me who that enemy is. You already concede that we are NOT at war with all 'radical Islamists aligned with Al Qaeda,' which was your previous attempt at a definition.
Are we conducting military action against an enemy? Yes. Are we 'at war'? Not if we don't know who we are at war with, or where, or how we win. If we don't know these things, yet we use the 'at war' justification to adjust our domestic policies, we can consider them permanently adjusted.
And we elected them too........