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Rep. Jane Harman Focus In Yet Another Warrantless Wiretap Scandal

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the irony-makes-head-asplode dept.

Privacy 312

Many different sources are talking about the latest scandal surrounding the warrantless wiretapping program. Incriminating evidence against California rep. Jane Harman was apparently captured some time ago on a legal NSA wiretap. However, Attorney General Gonzales supposedly intervened to drop the case against her because (and this is where the irony meter explodes) Bush officials wanted her to be able to publicly defend the warrantless wiretap program. "Jane Harman, in the wake of the NSA scandal, became probably the most crucial defender of the Bush warrantless eavesdropping program, using her status as 'the ranking Democratic on the House intelligence committee' to repeatedly praise the NSA program as 'essential to US national security' and 'both necessary and legal.'"

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312 comments

Stop communicating (5, Funny)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648345)

We should boycott all forms of communications!

Treason (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648365)

Rep. Harman should be investigated for treason. AIPAC should be investigated for treason.

Re:Treason (4, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648511)

So should those who knowingly let them get away with it.

Re:Treason (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648537)

Yep, a very clear case of "who watches the watchers"?

Re:Treason (5, Funny)

Darundal (891860) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648613)

The Picard.

Parent is NOT trolling..... (0)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648815)

Since when do we mod people troll around here for dropping Star Trek references [memory-alpha.org]? This is a geek site after all.....

Re:Treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649131)

Troll!?

Man somebody has apparently never watched ST:TNG before. Sheesh!

Re:Treason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649251)

The nigger [slashdot.org] beat you to it [slashdot.org]

Re:Treason (5, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648735)

How exactly does this qualify as treason under the US Constitution?
From the US Constitution Article III Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

beat me to it (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648831)

Thank you. I'm getting sick and tired of hearing people drop the 'T' word without any idea of what it actually means. It's this kind of stupidity that makes me think the Framers were correct to define Treason within the Constitution so it couldn't be used for political purposes.....

Re:beat me to it (5, Insightful)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649091)

Thank you. I'm getting sick and tired of hearing people drop the 'T' word without any idea of what it actually means. It's this kind of stupidity that makes me think the Framers were correct to define Treason within the Constitution so it couldn't be used for political purposes.....

Maybe some people consider those that threaten our liberties to be our enemies... Seems reasonable to me.

Re:Treason (5, Insightful)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648875)

You're spot on target. This wasn't treason, it was standard political quid pro quo. Admittedly, it's sometimes hard to tell the two apart....

Dems may call it treason because she turned her back on the party line. But that's personal. IANAL, but to me, this looks like obstruction, maybe tampering with evidence. Not treason.

Re:Treason (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648933)

I admit, this probably gets dangerously close to a treasonous act. There's just one problem though, Isreal is officially our ally, not enemy.

Re:Treason (5, Informative)

rpillala (583965) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649523)

I don't remember very many prominent Democrats opposing the NSA's illegal spying program. In fact many prominent Democrats were in favor. I remember a lengthy and uncompromising campaign against these kind of things by Chris Dodd (D-CT), but I also remember that Harry Reid (D-NV) decided to ignore the hold that Dodd placed on the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Ignoring holds placed by Senators is not generally done. And then a lot of Democrats voted to end debate on the amendments to the act. I think you're giving the Democratic party too much credit for opposing the lawlessness of the Bush administration. They don't oppose lawlessness per se.

Re:Treason (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649293)

Treason Never Prospers What's the reason? Why if it Prospers None Dare Call It Treason! -Sir John Harrington

Is this even remotely suprising? (2, Insightful)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648375)

I mean, they lost a few years of emails. Getting rid of some inconvenient wiretap can't be far harder.

Re:Is this even remotely suprising? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648465)

Getting rid of some inconvenient wiretap can't be far harder.

Might as well get rid of the wiretapper, while they're at it.

And the person who was tapped, too.

Problem solved.

Re:Is this even remotely suprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649177)

Only now you have to get rid of the guy who got rid of the wiretapper.

A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648433)

If nothing else, this Jane Harmon scandal is going to continue to undermine the USA's credibility as an "impartial" mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Regardless of what Jane Harmon may have done, it's rather shocking that AIPAC has enough pull in congress to be able to hold out committee chairmanships as bribes.

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648565)

it's rather shocking that AIPAC has enough pull in congress to be able to hold out committee chairmanships as bribes.

Only to those of you recently clued in on Israel's stranglehold over US politics.

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (3, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648663)

They didn't "hold out" seats as bribes. They just offered to lobby Pelosi to give her the seat. With her experience she might have gotten it anyway - she was probably best qualified.

She can't very well hope to explain the entire conversation away, though. Any time you end a phone call with "this conversation never happened" it's hard to play innocent after the fact.

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648969)

They just offered to lobby Pelosi to give her the seat.

For definitions of "lobby" that include large "campaign contributions".

It would be a substantial understatement to say that an offer from some random guy on the street to "lobby" on Jane Harman's behalf would be enough to convince Jan Harman to intervene in a federal investigation. Clearly, AIPAC (and probably Jane Harman) thought that an offer to "lobby" was a major incentive. That is, either AIPAC was under the delusion that they have major pull in congress or AIPAC actually does have major pull in congress.

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649199)

She can't very well hope to explain the entire conversation away, though. Any time you end a phone call with "this conversation never happened" it's hard to play innocent after the fact.

What? I do that all the time just for fun ... see XKCD reference: http://xkcd.com/525/ [xkcd.com]

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649659)

Stranglehold? You say that as if the US government isn't the primary beneficiary in that relationship. Make no mistake, supporting Israel pulls billions through the business of government. At the top of the power pyramid, it doesn't matter where the money ends up -- what matters it that it passes through your hands.

No need to worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648575)

I don't think anyone would ever think of the US as impartial in that whole mess.

Re:No need to worry... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648785)

especially when the president is muslim.

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (3, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648587)

Well, she didn't get the chairmanship. See http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/04/must_read_5.php [talkingpointsmemo.com] But yes, this doesn't look good at all. It looks from the circumstances like Bush and Gonzales more or less bought her support by promising not to prosecute. It really says something about how appalling Gonzalez was that he not only made Ashcroft look sane but now even out of office he is continuing to make Ashcroft look better just by comparison.

Re:A Setback for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648877)

It looks from the circumstances like Bush and Gonzales more or less bought her support by promising not to prosecute. It really says something about how appalling Gonzalez was that he not only made Ashcroft look sane but now even out of office he is continuing to make Ashcroft look better just by comparison.

For all his quirks (like early-morning prayer sessions and covering up statues), Ashcroft was one of the better AGs we've had in recent years. Gonzo was more on the other side of of the scale. But circumstantial evidence isn't the same thing as phone transcripts - there can be a lot of reasons, legal and otherwise, for the AG to intervene in this kind of case. Bush was, in general, very reluctant to prosecute Democratic politicians because he was afraid people would assume the prosecutions were partisan in nature. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is "Cold Cash" Jefferson from New Orleans. I expect some of the backlog will get cleared out this year as Obama can't be accused of partisanship for prosecuting Democrats.

Couldn't prosecute. (2, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648463)

Of course this sort of thing goes on all the time.

But there's a less sinister explanation for why Gonzalez didn't prosecute - the wiretap capturing Harman's conversation was illegal. Can't prosecute someone with an illegal wiretap.

Irony alert on many levels.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648593)

The point is that this was NOT illegal. Agents were investigating foreign operatives using warrentless wiretapping. They caught the foreign operatives bribing a congresswoman. The Bush administration declined to press charges because said congresswoman supported warrantless wiretapping.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648643)

It was illegal. I don't like their chances of having used that wiretap in court. They can certainly use illegal wiretaps to gather intelligence. Legally actionable material? Doubtful.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648727)

Who says it was illegal? We may WISH it were illegal, we may get it declared illegal, it may in fact be unconstitutional, but the fact is, the agents performed what was at the time a LEGAL warrantless wiretap against foreign agents and happened to catch them bribing a congresswoman. They tapped FOREIGN AGENTS IN ISRAEL. There is no US law against tapping foreign phone lines.

not quite right (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649069)

They tapped FOREIGN AGENTS IN ISRAEL. There is no US law against tapping foreign phone lines.

The article doesn't say very clearly where the wiretapped subjects were, but there's this:

Finally, the CQ story says that Harman's conversation was recorded as part of "a court-approved NSA tap directed at alleged Israel covert action operations in Washington."

From that it sounds like the tapping was entirely domestic, in terms of where the phone lines were located.

Re:not quite right (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649191)

Good point, but wherever the foreign agents were located, wherever they were tapped, our guys got a legal warrant from the FISA court to tap them. I personally think FISA is unconstitutional, but it is, for now, legal.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (2, Insightful)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649215)

Aside from the fact the source says the Harman tap was from the FISA law, and not Bush's non-law.

There have been many reasonable accusations for why the Bush warrantless wiretapping was illegal (for gathering any amount of intelligence against American citizens). You can't make a bare assertion (or implication) that it was legal because a determination of supposed legality was made by a branch of the government. The Executive branch likely wasn't duly authorized to endorse such activities by fiat.

If a law isn't from a primal document like the Constitution or Declaration, since the Federal government as constituted has absolute restrictions on its legal activities (even if we frequently ignore those restrictions), laws can be, and frequently are found to be illegal. Nothing stops law makers from cooking up ridiculous, incoherent, inconsistent, poorly thought out laws. It may seem mutually exclusive, but nothing makes a law "legal" on its own.

The wiretap was COURT APPROVED (4, Informative)

sampson7 (536545) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648859)

There is nothing wrong with wiretapping so long as the wiretap is approved by the judicial branch of government. In this case, the NSA sought and received a warrant from the US Foreign Intelligence Survailence Court ("FISA"). Once the executive branch (the NSA in this case) has a warrant, they are legally entitled to record the conversations.

In this case, the underlying article reports that: "What is new is that Harman is said to have been picked up on a court-approved NSA tap directed at alleged Israel covert action operations in Washington." Key words are "court-approved."

The Fourth Amendment states that:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Once the executive branch has convinced a judge that probably cause exists, and the judge has issued the warrant, there is nothing preventing the executive branch from using that information in court.

Now there is a real question as to whether wire tapping a member of congress (who herself was not under investigation) is a good idea, but that's not really the issue. I'm actually somewhat sad to hear about this as Jane Harmon is/was a very competent and thoughtful member of congress -- particularly on port security issues.

retroactive FISA (4, Informative)

kmahan (80459) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648737)

As I understand it they went to FISA to get a retroactive warrant. A nice little provision of the law.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648799)

The Bush administration declined to press charges because said congresswoman supported warrantless wiretapping.

Or because the administration was crawling with people that had duel Israeli-US citizenship and were AIPAC cheerleaders.

Uhm, what? (1)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649205)

How does your argument prove that warrantless wiretapping is not illegal?

More importantly, why are conservatives so eager to have the government spy on us all? What was the point of defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War if we're just going to turn ourselves into a bad copy of their government?

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (3, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649451)

Basically it is potentially a government sanctioned blackmail scenario. A kind of quid-pro-quo, "you support our legislation and we will not release what we know about you"...please explain how it is not illegal?

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (1)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648687)

I re-read TFM fairly carefully and although it is stated that the wiretap capturing Harman's conversation was legal, they don't offer anything but the assertion.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (2, Informative)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648839)

The article mentions attaining a FISA application

Then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss reviewed the Harman transcript and signed off on the Justice Departmentâ(TM)s FISA application ...

I believe that makes this a legal wiretap under the 1978 FISA law.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649269)

Only if then approved by a judge. If application and acceptance are the same, why didn't I go to MIT?

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (3, Informative)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648723)

RTFS ...

evidence against California rep Jane Harman was apparently captured some time ago on a legal NSA wiretap

LEGAL, as in, they used the existing FISA law passed by Congress in 1978. Not the Bush administration's made-up law.

Re:Couldn't prosecute. (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648899)

the wiretap capturing Harman's conversation was illegal.

But Roberto and Yoo said it was legal. Bush maintained it was legal. Either it's legal or not. So instead of admitting they're wiretapping Americans, so much better to just blackmail the ones you need something from.

American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

So now we know the Israelis are lobbying for favors, that's nothing new. What's news to me is how effective they are. They're able to influence who gets committee positions. Does that frighten anyone else? Who else has a committee chair because some lobbying group wanted them in there? A foreign lobbying group at that.

Well, there it is. Selective enforcement to advance a political agenda. The funny thing is the right wing can't really say much because a right wing administration was wiretapping Americans and doling out favors to garner support. It's a mess, the whole sorry affair.

So what's the crime here? (1, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648469)

Is it that Bush blackmailed a Congressman to do his political bidding? As much as I find it detestable, district attorneys do this all the time.

Re:So what's the crime here? (5, Informative)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648619)

no, in fact TFA says that's not the implication at all. Harman has been a long-time supporter of the warrantless wiretapping program.

The (newly revealed) crime is Antonio Gonzalez using his authority to halt a criminal investigation into a key political ally of the Bush administration.

The original crime is Harman offering a quid-pro-quo with a foreign agent. Which, by the way, was captured on a legally requested wiretap.

Translation: (1, Funny)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648491)

We got that bitch over a barrel, yo! She gonna do *everything* we tell her ass to do!

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649149)

Please elaborate on "everything we tell her ass to do".

Thanks.

THIS is the problem (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648493)

This is why the warrantless wiretap program should be done away with. When you operate in secret the things found will be used to blackmail. Instead of being used to further the goals of justice it's used to further the goals of those in power.

"Irony" is so overused (3, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648523)

The "irony-makes-head-asplode dept." is funny, but inaccurate.

Irony is when something is the opposite of what you would expect.

Hypocrisy, lies, and hardball intimidation tactics are *exactly* what we would expect from proponents of warrantless wiretapping.

This situation contains no irony. Just corruption. We might say, though, that "Ironically, the new administration was elected in hopes of restoring honor to the Justice Department."

Re:"Irony" is so overused (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648591)

Irony: A US representative was captured on an illegal wiretap doing illegal things. She then added her support to illegal wiretapping. She couldn't have been prosecuted anyway because the wiretap on her was probably illegal.

If you don't see Irony here, you're not trying hard enough.

Re:"Irony" is so overused (2, Informative)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648645)

actually she was caught on a legal wiretap and should have been prosecuted but was instead blackmailed into supporting illegal wiretapping. If this wiretap had been illegal we'd most likely never have heard about it.

Re:"Irony" is so overused (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648699)

I'm not sure either way. Since it was performed by the NSA, I assumed it was done without a court order. Has any government collected wiretapping data been used in a US court which was not collected via a court order?

Re:"Irony" is so overused (1)

berbo (671598) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649455)

The Greenwald piece suggests that Harman was *not* blackmailed.

The Bush DOJ declined to prosecute because she was supporting their position (on illegal wiretaps) - not that they threatened to prosecute if she didn't support their postion.

Re:"Irony" is so overused (4, Insightful)

berbo (671598) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649635)

Actually, according to the Greenwald column, the Harman/AIPAC wiretap wasn't illegal - it was a court-approved wiretap on a foreigner.

This makes it even more ironic - the Bush administration declined to prosecute what was likely a serious crime, based on a legal wiretap - so that they could more effectively pursue illegal wiretaps.

"Irony is so overused" is so overused (0, Redundant)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648759)

I find it's becoming much more common for people to incorrectly claim someone else is using "irony" wrong.

How ironic.

Re:"Irony" is so overused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648971)

The "irony-makes-head-asplode dept." is funny, but inaccurate.

It works as sarcasm.

Which is also a traditional and modern use of irony. How ironic.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ironic [wikipedia.org]

Long, Proud Tradition (4, Funny)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648527)

Using illegally gathered information to effectively blackmail politicians? Ah, that takes me back to the good 'ol days -- J Edgar would be proud.

I wonder how well Robert Mueller pulls off a sun dress...

Rep Jane Harman... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648553)

She must be a member of the Democrat Party because they aren't yelling from the roof tops "ITS A REPUBLICAN, ITS A REPUBLICAN!!!".

Re:Rep Jane Harman... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648671)

I think this adds proof to my theory that there is really only one party in Washington. The money party.

Re:Rep Jane Harman... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649155)

She must be a member of the Democrat Party because they aren't yelling from the roof tops "ITS A REPUBLICAN, ITS A REPUBLICAN!!!".

The key question is whether other democrats will rabidly defend her. The reason that it was significant that Bush was a Republican was that the entire Republican party rabidly defended Bush on everything he did.

Conflict of Interest (1)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648577)

I firmly believe that a public official regardless of office should be held to a higher standard. I'm not a fan of the Patriot Act however I am surprised this isn't viewed as a shocking invasion of privacy.

So the Bush was spying on Democratic house members (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648659)

While it's definitely 'chilling' to hear that allegedly a U.S. House member seems to be conspiring with a lobbyist who's primary interest is a foreign power. What's even more of a concern is 'why were they listening in the first place'. Was she under investigation? Was her support from blackmail? Who else might have the NSA spied on, you?

Can I ask any more leading question? :)

Not warrantless. (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648681)

DoJ had a warrant, apparently it was part of the AIPAC investigation.

No, the fishy part is that the Bush admin apparently blackmailed her into supporting the warrantless program.

Also, you have the Executive branch doing that ot a member of the Legislative.

This could get really interesting...

Re:Not warrantless. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648823)

This is going to bring down the Obama administration and HARD. I simply cannot wait until they cart away Mr Hussein to jail and throw away the keys.

And the surrounding context is great (3, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648733)

The TPM piece on this http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/04/must_read_5.php [talkingpointsmemo.com] mentions incidentally that the position in question had almost gone to Alcee Hastings but didn't because Hastings had earlier been removed "from a federal judgeship over bribery allegations." So Harman only had a chance at the position because the other major contender was corrupt. You've got to love the politicians.

This is where the irony meter explodes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648767)

Why?

Many of us see the downslope of American freedom as a bi-partisan circle jerk that has been going on for years and years and under multiple administrations.

As best, I feel the modern Dems could be described as jellyfish opposition. At worst, willing coconspirators.

In either, case, I don't feel the people who fairly won all branches of government did anything brave to stand against this maddness to deserve their positions of power and the ability to implement a new set of very bad ideas.

If Harman was a republican (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648775)

You can bet it would have been pointed out in the title of the summary and 10 more times in the summary.

Jane Harman (D - CA) (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27648797)

How hard is it to put the D after her name? We're not all from California, you know. I had to spend 40 seconds googling it, and another couple minutes typing this. That's time I'll never get back. I might see my potential future children for a few less minutes now (or even worse, they might never be born!). Won't someone PLEASE think of the children and add party affiliation tags after politician names so I'll know ahead of time whether I should hate them or love them!?!

There, somebody posted the usual rant, now the serious ones can be legitimately modded redundant without making the mods feel guilty.

Re:Jane Harman (D - CA) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648891)

What, 40 seconds? Are you a fucking, pig-ignorant, illiterate moran? It's right in the summary:

"the ranking Democratic on the House intelligence committee"

Re:Jane Harman (D - CA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649103)

From the summary alone:

...using her status as "the ranking Democratic...

Re:Jane Harman (D - CA) (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649117)

How hard is it to put the D after her name?

Why would you want to do that? You'll just perpetuate the myth that it actually matters.

Re:Jane Harman (D - CA) (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649597)

Actually, the Parent has a point. Whenever a (R) does something, the press makes it VERY clear, often repeating party affiliation several times within the article. And when it is a (D), they may never actually mention it.

Pay attention to how politicians are labeled in news articles and you'll see this trend. Good (D), Bad (R). No bad (D), no good (R).

And I'm not even an (R), and I can see the bias.

Re:Jane Harman (D - CA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649367)

You know, it does say "ranking Democrat" in the summary. Sorry you couldn't be bothered to read the whole thing before ranting about missing party affiliation.

Re:Jane Harman (D - CA) (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649559)

As others point out, you should learn how to read the summary if you want to complain.

Mods, do your job correctly.

Ranking Democratic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648863)

I understand the desire to rewrite all instances of "Democrat" as "Democratic" (ostensibly, as one Slashdotter wrote about a year ago, because it's more aesthetic, rings better, and it gives you free positive connotations), but how is 'the ranking Democratic' grammatically correct?

Re:Ranking Democratic? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649123)

It ain't. "Democrat" is the noun. "Democratic" is the adjective. Uppercase 'D' in print, or implied in speech.

When the phrase "Democrat party" comes out of somebody's mouth, it's a sure sign that stupid's going to follow rapidly.

Re:Ranking Democratic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27649627)

You mean, stupidity coming from the mouth of the member of the Democrat Party? Damn right!

...or did you mean to make it sound like we should be calling them members of the Democratic Party? Oh, well, if we follow that theme, why aren't we calling them members of the Republicanic Party?

I mean, hell, if you are going to grammatically mangle the "D" word, why not do it to both sides?

yawn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648873)

You people do realize that Bush is no longer president, right? You just keep ripping on him, but your new god, Obama, is in control now.

For those in LA (South Bay) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27648901)

Her office is in an office building Rosecrans and Douglas. You should see a good lineup of protesters out there later today if it is anything like last year! Join in the fun! I just might during lunch.

corruption and blackmail, not irony (3, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649179)

The reason we don't want to have warrantless wiretapping is not for people like you and me; it's for this: if the government can listen in on the opposition, it can blackmail them to fall in line politically. So, this case isn't "ironic", it's what you expect to happen when warrantless wiretaps are tolerated, and it's a really bad sign.

Re:corruption and blackmail, not irony (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649425)

What you've framed as a negative consiquence, I see a positive result. If enough blackmailing goes back and forth between the parties when the reigns of power shift every couple of years, sooner or later one of two things are going to happen. In an ideal world, people would realize that they are going to be held accountable eventually and that would result in fewer corrupt, blackmailable people in positions of power. We all know that won't happen. The second effect that could happen is that those in power will scrap the program because they are tired of getting bitten in the ass by it.

Blackmail (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649407)

Never mind the blackmail. If they are doing something that opens themselves up to blackmail, do we really want them in office anyway?

Sounds like politics as usual (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649437)

One person blackmails another, who blackmails another, who blackmails another, and so on and so forth...

was it warrantless? (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#27649713)

I was under the impression that it was AIPAC that was being tapped and that the tap was the result of a federal investigation, in which case there was a warrant.
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