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Bye-Bye to Secret Spy Program?
U.S. News ^ | 11/19/06 | Liz Halloran

Posted on 11/20/2006 9:04:33 PM PST by Starman417

Republicans who limped back to Washington for a lame duck congressional session last week found a host of marching orders from President Bush, but perhaps none more urgent than this: Before Democrats take control of Congress in January, they must pass legislation authorizing the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program.

His plea for a legislative stamp of approval on the controversial spy effort is an "important priority in the war on terror," Bush said. The response: deafening silence. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist quickly dispatched aides to put out the word on Bush's request: Not gonna happen.

Outgoing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter introduced yet another bill last week that he says would ease the concerns of privacy advocates while allowing the spying program to continue, but the odds of getting any last-ditch legislation through his committee, the House, and a Senate vote before Republicans cede control are formidable.

So after nearly a year of high-stakes wrangling on the Hill, heated debates over privacy and presidential authority, and a flurry of lawsuits against the administration and telecom companies for allegedly aiding the surveillance program, Congress appears to be back to square one. And with Democrats promising oversight hearings next year on how the program was hatched and whom it targets, it appears likely that the issue will be decided in court and, ultimately, the Supreme Court.

"No kings." The eavesdropping program, launched in secret after the 9/11 attacks, was revealed last December by the New York Times. The newspaper also reported that the government failed to get surveillance warrants from a secret court that monitors domestic spying. During the ensuing uproar, the president defended the program as targeting only domestic communications that originate overseas. His lawyers have argued that the president's executive wartime authority precludes his having to seek surveillance warrants. Says Todd Gaziano, director of the conservative Heritage Foundation's Center for Legal and Judicial Studies: "Every president has engaged in the equivalent of warrantless wiretapping and surveillance-the only difference is that this administration is being far more sensitive to civil liberties."

Nonetheless, some three dozen legal challenges have been filed questioning the program's legality and Bush's wartime powers claim. A slew of the cases also take aim at telecom companies for providing confidential customer data to the NSA. Under federal communications law, customer call records are protected from disclosure, though there is an effort by Bush and other conservatives to grant the companies retroactive legal immunity.

The most-watched court case is in Detroit, where U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that the program violates U.S. citizens' privacy and free-speech rights and illegally skirts review by the special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. "There are no hereditary kings in America, and no powers not created by the Constitution," Taylor wrote. Administration lawyers won a stay to keep the program running and are appealing Taylor's ruling.

Oral arguments could be heard as soon as early next year. And Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which has sued to obtain information about the spy program, said the case will set a benchmark for how other cases may proceed.

Another closely watched case is being heard in San Francisco, where AT&T has been sued for allegedly providing customer call records to the NSA. A federal judge there rejected the government's request that the case be dismissed because it might reveal state secrets. That decision has also been appealed.

On Capitol Hill, some conservatives say they'd be happy if the eavesdropping bills remain dormant-that the issue can be left to the courts to resolve. They're also content, they say, to let the Democrats take the political risk of pursuing the president on a contentious national security issue while the 2008 presidential election gathers steam. But Caroline Fredrickson, the chief lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, says that may be a miscalculation. "Members of Congress are probably paying pretty close attention to what the voters said last week," she said, "and I don't think voters said they want the president's illegal program authorized." What the courts say could be another thing entirely.


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: frist; nsa; terror; wiretap

1 posted on 11/20/2006 9:04:34 PM PST by Starman417
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To: Starman417

maybe once he shakes off his post-election praise for Pelosi and the Dems, the president can hold a press conference where he bluntly tells it like it is - "if Congress does not authorize the program, any terrorist attacks that occur in the US as a result of loss of this monitoring program - the blame belongs to them".


2 posted on 11/20/2006 9:09:07 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Bahbah; Mo1; STARWISE; MNJohnnie; Peach

Boy, that one line at the last is scary...about some conservatives wanting to just have the COURST to decide!!


3 posted on 11/20/2006 9:11:17 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Txsleuth

Ugh....COURST = COURTS


4 posted on 11/20/2006 9:12:02 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: bitt

You might want to hit your ping list for this also.


5 posted on 11/20/2006 9:12:57 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Txsleuth

Specter is no conservative.


6 posted on 11/20/2006 9:13:37 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Txsleuth
His plea for a legislative stamp of approval on the controversial spy effort is an "important priority in the war on terror," Bush said. The response: deafening silence. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist quickly dispatched aides to put out the word on Bush's request: Not gonna happen.

If this is true .. then there will be no remake of 1995 for the pubbies

7 posted on 11/20/2006 9:19:27 PM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: oceanview

You are so right...and is drifting more to the left as we type...it seems.


8 posted on 11/20/2006 9:19:35 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Howlin; Miss Marple; BigSkyFreeper

What's your take on this one


9 posted on 11/20/2006 9:21:37 PM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: Mo1

This goes back to my rant from earlier today...about how President Bush asked that the Congress, while still a GOP majority get some important things done.

He might as well have beent talking to the Taliban.


10 posted on 11/20/2006 9:21:41 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Txsleuth

I need to verify if this is true or not before I start banging my head on the desk

I don't trust the media .. they have a history


11 posted on 11/20/2006 9:23:49 PM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: Mo1

True...I always forget that "the media is not our friend".

I have got to go to bed...

Maybe there will be more tomorrow.


12 posted on 11/20/2006 9:29:27 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Mo1

I just checked C-span's schedule for tomorrow...no Senate or House scheduled again.


13 posted on 11/20/2006 9:30:55 PM PST by Txsleuth (Bolton/Cheney (that would be Lynne) 08)
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To: Starman417
Dems are walking a very dangerous line here... The US hasn't been struck by a terrorist act in 5 years, with a republican president, house, and senate... Once the dems get control of the senate and house, if they start destroying the safeguards that have been set, and the US is struck by another major terrorist attack, the dems will lose big - Very Big - in 2008, and the damage may completely destroy the party. I honestly wonder, knowing that the terrorists can be very patient, if they might wait until President Bush is out of office to mount another attack on the US.

Mark

14 posted on 11/20/2006 9:38:04 PM PST by MarkL (When Kaylee says "No power in the `verse can stop me," it's cute. When River says it, it's scary!)
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To: Mo1

verify if what is true - whether this lame duck congress will change the FISA laws - they won't.


15 posted on 11/20/2006 9:41:52 PM PST by oceanview
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To: MarkL

what you say is true - BUT ONLY IF THE PRESIDENT CALLS THEM ON IT. if he says nothing, if the "new tone" prevents him from telling it like it is, then the sheeple won't even know about this, and if a terror incident does occur after the program is axed - it will be too late to go back and make the case.

making the case against the Dems - has to begin now, it should have begun the day after they won the elections.


16 posted on 11/20/2006 9:44:15 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Starman417
"they must pass legislation authorizing the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program."

Is this the same "domestic" spy program wherein those being spied on are overseas Al Qaeda members? The same folks who, if their calls were with people in the US, were monitored for that reason only? I mean, after all, it's just about uncovering plots to bomb and massacacre Americans. What's a little mischaracterization among friends, anyway?

17 posted on 11/20/2006 9:47:30 PM PST by the anti-liberal (OUR schools are damaging OUR children)
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To: oceanview

get off my case .. All I am trying to do is verify the information and whether it's true or not

If you haven't noticed .. the DBM likes to play games with us


18 posted on 11/20/2006 9:49:50 PM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: Mo1

there were no moves to authorize this program - when we had control, outside this lame duck session. its highly unlikely anything is going to happen now, DBM or otherwise. I doubt we could get 60 votes for it to clear.


19 posted on 11/20/2006 10:00:10 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Starman417

RINO pussies lead the charge straight to hell.


20 posted on 11/20/2006 10:13:55 PM PST by Stallone (Is There A Conservative Leader ANYWHERE In America?)
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To: Starman417

We need a secret spy program to spy on Congress..


21 posted on 11/20/2006 10:26:51 PM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole)
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To: oceanview

Exactly. I spent 10 minutes talking to a lib the other day telling him how I could go out and buy $1000 worth of $20 dollar Trac Phones and how I could use them to conspire to kill Hillary and how with the Democrats in charge, they would be powerless to track me. He finally got the picture.


22 posted on 11/20/2006 10:33:45 PM PST by MarkeyD (The tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.)
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To: oceanview
Specter is no conservative.

Maybe he can find precedent in Scottish Law??

23 posted on 11/20/2006 11:15:03 PM PST by Drammach (Freedom... Not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: Starman417; All

Isn't domestic spying really the job for the FBI?


24 posted on 11/21/2006 12:35:50 AM PST by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: taxed2death
Isn't domestic spying really the job for the FBI?

I'd answer that one but I'm in too big a hurry--I gotta catch a domestic flight to London.

25 posted on 11/21/2006 1:53:48 AM PST by Tinian
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To: Mo1
Mo1, sorry that I am late answering you. I have no idea. It could be media misinformation, it could be misdirection by the Republicans, or it could be wishy-washy behavior by the Republican leadership.

I guess we will have to wait and see. I just don't have a clue.

26 posted on 11/21/2006 3:23:16 AM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, thank you for Mozart Lover's son's safe return, and look after Jemian's son, please!)
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To: Txsleuth; potlatch; ntnychik; Smartass; Boazo; Alamo-Girl; PhilDragoo; The Spirit Of Allegiance; ...

'On Capitol Hill, some conservatives say they'd be happy if the eavesdropping bills remain dormant-that the issue can be left to the courts to resolve. They're also content, they say, to let the Democrats take the political risk of pursuing the president on a contentious national security issue while the 2008 presidential election gathers steam.'


Unngh.


27 posted on 11/21/2006 4:48:06 AM PST by bitt ("And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.")
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To: Starman417

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1741896/posts

Federal Judge rules classified info is not subject to the FOIA so who will have standing to bring this to court now?


28 posted on 11/21/2006 5:30:36 AM PST by tobyhill (The War on Terrorism is not for the weak.)
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To: Starman417

The Program DOESN'T NEED SENATE APPROVAL!

IT'S LEGAL NOW!

The only reason for a positive ruling is to prevent a negative one!


29 posted on 11/21/2006 5:31:55 AM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: Miss Marple

thank you for replying


30 posted on 11/21/2006 6:05:33 AM PST by Mo1 (Thank You Mr & Mrs "I'm gonna teach you a lesson" Voter ... you just screwed us on so many levels)
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To: bitt
"They're also content, they say, to let the Democrats take the political risk of pursuing the president on a contentious national security issue while the 2008 presidential election gathers steam."

Hey Republicans - the Islamocrats have already been doing this. YOUR job - should you decide to try for a profiles in courage award - is to continue to vigorously support and defend the President while he tries to keep this country safe. After all, you KNOW the Democrats WON'T!

31 posted on 11/21/2006 6:22:34 AM PST by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: bitt

Unnngh indeed. I thought the Pubbies understood that national survival trumps party politics. Apparently it's only Dubya.


32 posted on 11/21/2006 8:08:36 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (Natalie Maines fears me...)
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To: bitt; devolve

Triple UGHS!!


33 posted on 11/21/2006 12:07:37 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: potlatch
Quadruple UGHS!!!


34 posted on 11/21/2006 6:07:12 PM PST by devolve ( _classic_moments_in_Kohn_jobs_)
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To: devolve

Nice post.


35 posted on 11/21/2006 6:44:50 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: Miss Marple
or it could be wishy-washy behavior by the Republican leadership.

Given what we've seen out of Frist and Specter, this is probably the case....damn them both to hell.

36 posted on 11/21/2006 6:53:15 PM PST by ErnBatavia (recent nightmare: Googled up "Helen Thomas nude"....)
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To: Mo1

Looks like the Republican's are marching out of the proverbial woodshed, after getting their hoo-hah's handed to them by the voters and the President.


37 posted on 11/21/2006 7:19:05 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity)
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To: potlatch


Thanks - to you it is


38 posted on 11/21/2006 7:21:02 PM PST by devolve ( _classic_moments_in_Kohn_jobs_)
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To: oceanview
making the case against the Dems

The Democrats are already doing that on their own, and failing. Pelosi just has to lead them over the edge.

39 posted on 11/21/2006 7:21:24 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity)
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To: Miss Marple; Mo1
It could be media misinformation, it could be misdirection by the Republicans, or it could be wishy-washy behavior by the Republican leadership.

I'm thinking it is all of the above. IOW, more of the same. The Republican's don't seem interested, fazed, or bothered, and we know the Democrats are just itching to ditch the whole NSA spy program.

I pray for this nation every day that through God's Divine Intervention, another 9/11 or far worse never ever happens.

40 posted on 11/21/2006 7:29:33 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

we were saying the same thing - on 11/6.


41 posted on 11/21/2006 7:31:07 PM PST by oceanview
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To: oceanview

Right. Today is 11/21 and I still believe it's true.


42 posted on 11/21/2006 7:35:08 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

you're in denial. that's not to say we cannot win on this issue, but not if we aren't taking the offensive and going after the Dems. if we leave it to the media and their spin, day after day, we'll lose on it.


43 posted on 11/21/2006 7:41:33 PM PST by oceanview
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To: oceanview

I'm not in denial. Whatever drove you to that conclusion? I believe at this point, neither party has our best interests at stake. The third party clowns drove our best people out of town.


44 posted on 11/21/2006 7:43:24 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity)
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To: oceanview
The fault lies with "Chief Jorge Big Spender". He's worried about national security regarding surveillance but jeopardizes national security by leaving the borders wide open for any enemy to walk right in and then spends taxpayer money like he hates the stuff threatening our financial future.

Well now he has no support...big friggin surprise.
45 posted on 11/21/2006 7:49:56 PM PST by Blackirish
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To: devolve

And your good posting!!


46 posted on 11/21/2006 8:09:51 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: Blackirish
The fault lies with "Chief Jorge Big Spender".

Well now he has no support...big friggin surprise.

One has nothing to do with the other. Congress is the one holding the purse strings, not "Chief Jorge Big Spender" or whatever cute little nickname you've given the President.

47 posted on 11/21/2006 8:20:55 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity)
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