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FBI Files a "Secret Justification" For Gag Order

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the just-trust-us dept.

Privacy 167

An anonymous reader notes a story up at Ars on the FBI's continuing penchant for secrecy. "Clearly, the FBI isn't ready to give up its Bush-era secrecy addition just yet. ...in the case of Doe v. Holder, the FBI is carrying out a secret investigation using secret guidelines on what is and is not constitutional, and as part of that investigation they've compelled the secrecy of a service provider and are using a secret justification to argue that nobody's First Amendment rights are being violated."

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Michael Jackson's Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484561)

It would have been a steaming hot mug yesterday, but he's cold now!

What? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484601)

This story just confuses me. Secret secret, secret secret secret. Secret.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484639)

Their plan is working.

Re:What? (4, Funny)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484749)

It's simple. Secret top secret meetings are being held... secretly.

I can help (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485199)

Just remember, Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo.

Re:I can help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485571)

Malo malo malo malo

Re:What? (-1, Troll)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485857)

And what's with this "Bush Era Secrecy"? You ain't seen NOTHING yet, until you look at the Obama administration.

His reichmarchalls are hard at work at a plausible way to silence talk radio. The first thing a dictator does upon gaining power is to quench dissent. Da!

He used that 747 for a joy ride, at around a 1/4 million dollars, supposedly to get a good photo of Air Force One, then forbids anyone to see the pictures. At any cost.

Ask "Joe the Plumber" who asked, are you trying to tax me out of my ambitions?" (Paraphrasing) and the media scrambled to learn everything about him, ratting him out to the local union house so he can't get a job there, and starting a media wave to make him look like some kind of hick.

THEN WE CAN TALK ABOUT Palin. The only *real* choice in the last election, the Left is so afraid of her freedom-loving ways they want you to think she's a stupid dork with a white trash family. Most of the slashdotters here believe it for that reason.

Oh, no...Bush was never this restrictive, controlled the media, and Bush (being a dork that he was) was at least able to create jobs. The same cannot be said for THIS particular dork.But this dork wants POWER. And he wants it NOW. (See Cap-and-Trade legislation).

Re:What? (0, Troll)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485965)

Unfortunately you'll get modded troll for speaking the truth. Obama makes Bush look like a fucking boy scout.

Re:What? (1, Troll)

Gunnut1124 (961311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486173)

the Left is so afraid of her freedom-loving ways they want you to think she's a stupid dork with a white trash family.

Um, "freedom-loving" must mean something different to you. I personally like the freedom to sleep with whoever i want, to watch whatever movies I want, and to buy liquor on Sundays (aka the "Lord's Day"). I'm sure that both administrations are corrupt, but the idea that Palin was somehow outside of that vile ignorant corruption is absurd.

As for freedom, you may have to look to another party.

Re:What? (1, Informative)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486475)

...but the idea that Palin was somehow outside of that vile ignorant corruption is absurd.

Look, I'm just as cynical as the next guy (read my comment history if you want to verify it), but as a resident of Alaska for 20 years, Palin -- while certainly not perfect -- has in many ways been a breath of fresh air. Under her administration as governor, Alaska has (finally!!!) started cleaning house. The investigations into government corruption in AK have toppled both Dems and Republicans. I would really like to have seen what would have happened had she made it to V.P.

In any case, she couldn't possibly have been worse than the "change" and "hope" that we ended up putting in the White House :(

Re:What? (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486819)

Under her administration as governor, Alaska has (finally!!!) started cleaning house.

What else would you expect from Alaska's first female governor?

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486295)

Ask "Joe the Plumber" who asked, are you trying to tax me out of my ambitions?" (Paraphrasing) and the media scrambled to learn everything about him, ratting him out to the local union house so he can't get a job there, and starting a media wave to make him look like some kind of hick.

The message there is as clear as can be. If you stand up and ask real questions that were not pre-scripted and want a real answer, an attempt will be made to dig up dirt on you and otherwise to make you pay for that. The goal is that you will be intimidated so that others who were inclined to do the same will have a reason to sit down and shut up.

THEN WE CAN TALK ABOUT Palin. The only *real* choice in the last election, the Left is so afraid of her freedom-loving ways they want you to think she's a stupid dork with a white trash family. Most of the slashdotters here believe it for that reason.

I don't see it so much as a Left and Right issue, for both "sides" have gladly lead us down this ugly path while blaming each other the whole way. I think Palin has caught so much flak because she's much more of a genuine person and much less of a representative of a system. This is one of the few qualities that really does scare (and put to shame) the political-media machinery, because so much of what they do depends on demoralization (politics of fear) and dehumanization (treating the citizenry as a resource). This observation has absolutely nothing to do with whether I like her politics, but rather, is about what kind of person she is and why she does what she does.

Oh, no...Bush was never this restrictive, controlled the media, and Bush (being a dork that he was) was at least able to create jobs. The same cannot be said for THIS particular dork.But this dork wants POWER. And he wants it NOW. (See Cap-and-Trade legislation).

Again I think you are artificially restricting your thinking, just as you did when you said this is about "Left" (and "Right"). The monied interests who put Bush into power are the same as the monied interests who put Obama into power. They are all cut from the same cloth. Bush expanded executive power and thus, he helped to pave the way for what Obama is now doing. I would not be the least bit surprised if Obama does something similar for whoever comes after him. The people behind all of this are in it for the long haul and have no problem executing plans that take decades or generations to complete. Their motivation is somewhat religious in nature, so to them serving the Cause (of statism) is more important than whether their goals are realized during their own lifetimes.

Much of this is possible because the kind of people who are successful in politics are not regular people who happened to achieve their positions. We don't have that. What we have is a ruling class, and this ruling class has studied statecraft for many decades and has been careful to learn from past mistakes. The citizens, on the other hand, hardly ever learn anything from history and for the most part, just want to live their lives and spend time with their families. This is a situation best described as "no contest," at least until people wake up and realize that the destination of this path that we are on is easily known in advance.

Re:What? (1)

Owlyn (1390895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486555)

Wish I had mod points. Someone mod causality (777677) up.

Meet the new boss; same as the old boss -- The Who

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486525)

Ask "Joe the Plumber" who asked, are you trying to tax me out of my ambitions?" (Paraphrasing) and the media scrambled to learn everything about him, ratting him out to the local union house so he can't get a job there, and starting a media wave to make him look like some kind of hick.

He is some kind of hick, that was his whole shtick!

What's with (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484603)

the "FBI isn't ready to give up its Bush-era secrecy addition" bullshit? Quit blaming institutional behavior - in this case Holder - on Bush! If Obama wanted it to end it would end, right? SSDD!

Re:What's with (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484801)

It wouldn't be a kdawson post if it wasn't chock full of sensationalism and garbage.

Re:What's with (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484945)

the "FBI isn't ready to give up its Bush-era secrecy addition" bullshit? Quit blaming institutional behavior - in this case Holder - on Bush!

Ah, well, this is simply because, up until January 2001, the FBI was so widely renowned among government institutions for the openness and transparency of its counter-intelligence operations.

Bush era? Think again, all you heads in the sand. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485255)

There was unprecedented transparency, unlike the Bama administration, which is why there is plenty of surveillance issues to talk about.

Obama has already demonstrated abuse of his power to silence his opposition. He even abused his position during the campaign to silence opposition.

Speaking of abuses, do you all remember when Sandy Burgler "mishandled" national secrets of the highest security level and it was mysteriously swept aside? If Sandy Burgler had been prosecuted he would have likely been convicted and executed but it never happened because he was in the Clinton "good ol' boys" club.

Democrats are very disturbing to me and they need to be watched closely. If left to their on devices they will ruin this country.

Re:Bush era? Think again, all you heads in the san (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485587)

There wasn't unprecedented transparency, like any administration, which is why there is plenty of surveillance issues to talk about.

Politicians have already demonstrated abuse of his power to silence his opposition. They even abused their position during the campaign to silence opposition.

Speaking of abuses, do you all remember when that person "mishandled" national secrets of the highest security level and it was mysteriously swept aside? If that person had been prosecuted they would have likely been convicted and executed but it never happened because he was in the "good ol' boys" club.

Politicians are very disturbing to me and they need to be watched closely. If left to their on devices they will ruin this country.

Fixed that for you. I don't know why people keep trying to blame Democrats/Republicans. Look at the full political spectrum and you'll realize they are the same party and elections are just there to give us perceived democracy. The only purpose of keeping the 2 parties separate is to keep the people's focus on ridiculous squabbling. If you don't believe that then ask yourself why if "every vote counts," that voting for a third party is considered "wasting your vote."

Re:Bush era? Think again, all you heads in the san (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486433)

The only purpose of keeping the 2 parties separate is to keep the people's focus on ridiculous squabbling.

The term for that is "divide and conquer". It's an age-old device that works as well today as it did thousands of years ago. Unfortunately.

Re:What's with (3, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485513)

While you may have understood it that way, and the story's poster may have meant it that way, the grammar doesn't imply what you think it does.

What the statement implies is that under the Bush-era administration, such secrecy was allowed (a well-recognized fact), and that while we expect that to be changing under the new administration, it appears not to be in all cases.

Re:What's with (2, Informative)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486165)

we expect that to be changing under the new administration,

Based on what? Obama's policies on on domestic security and spying fall somewhat in line with Bush's, and he made no attempt to hide it during his campaign. There's even evidence with Gitmo shutting down. Some of the detainees will still be held indefinitely without trial in the interest of national security that the administration can't elaborate on.

Re:What's with (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486351)

No they don't.

"last month the Obama administration decided not to appeal a federal court ruling that the FBI must justify these gag orders by meeting a relatively high First Amendment standard. "

Based no Bush's history, I am pretty sure Bush would have appealed it.

While Obama believes that something need to be secrets, not everything should be. Bush thought everything he did should be a secret and he should be held to any scrutiny.

I happen to agree that in some cases secrecy needs to be maintained.

Not in this case, however.

Re:What's with (2, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485525)

Sorry, but I call bullshit right back at you. The whole mess our country finds itself in, with this any number of other threats to our Constitutional protections still ongoing, is a direct result of the over-reaching of neo-con ideologues like Cheney and the hand-picked to team of "reliable" lawyers who drafted the various rationales intended to support the sundering of those protections. The fact that the various agencies are still operating under heretofore unconscionable guidelines is exactly the kind of thing cooler heads tried to warn us about as far back as 2001. Not being able to "put the genie back in the bottle" is a weak metaphor when one considers the damage that has been done.

If you want a real eye-opener, read Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals". It is a very well researched and scholarly summary of the horrible things that have been done to your rights as an American citizen, and it will make it chillingly clear to you, how and why that damage will be a very, very long time in being undone, if it ever is.

Re:What's with (2, Funny)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485637)

Not being able to "put the genie back in the bottle" is a weak metaphor when one considers the damage that has been done.

How about "put the mushroom cloud back in the bomb casing?

Re:What's with (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485995)

Presidents treat presidential power like a ratchet. They'll NEVER give it up willingly. Congress has to actually do something.

God, this makes me remember how much I hated (and still hate) Richard M. Nixon.

Re:What's with (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28486281)

OOoooOOOoOh!

It's a "Scholarly" summary! Where are the "Cooler" heads when you need them? ;)

I tell you what. You get out of the library for a while and conduct a little hands on research on civil disobedience. This isn't Iran, right? We don't roll over and play dead because we're afraid of having something entered into our permanent record; more permanent and more public every day!

I'll "hand-pick" my unconscionable guidelines, let my genie out of the bottle and we'll all open our eyes. ......Someday! But not today.

Just a thought; if you want to compel people to action, at least talk like someone who engages in action. Obama is calling your bluff. I'm calling your bluff. Your scholars are probably calling your bluff. Who's left?

Re:What's with (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486639)

you must be very, very young if you think the transgressions and abuses you describe started in turn of the 21st century. You could at least go back to World War I if you're too lazy to look at events in the 19th century.

Re:What's with (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485529)

A floodgate of hyperbole held by a Hoover Dam of secrecy. It predates Bush by a few generations folks.

Re:What's with (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485649)

There you go with that conservative history claptrap.
You really need to get on board with Teh Holy Narrative, or things will become hard for you.

Re:What's with (2, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486159)

SSHHHH...

Many people here didn't even know about government pre-Bush. Don't shatter their realities. Everything started with Bush and was an idealistic paradise before that.

Now repeat after me, I will not discuss American history on Slashdot again.

Re:What's with (3, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486371)

"I will not discuss American history on Slashdot again, because if I do the government will probably come and inter me for being a member of a dangerous group of seditious people. [wikipedia.org] "

Re:What's with (3, Insightful)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485973)

Thank you. That was the first thing I noticed. Mr. "Change" and "Transparency" is neither. Not that I'm surprised though. There's a reason I've never voted R or D. People say voting third party is a waste, but hell... voting for ANY of these assholes is a waste.

Re:What's with (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486191)

It's never a waste when you are attempting to limit the damage. Picking the least of two evils still gives you an advantage you wouldn't have normally had.

Re:What's with (3, Interesting)

binary paladin (684759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486439)

Except there's NO SUCH THING as the lesser of two evils. That's where the joke is on everyone who thinks that way. How many people voted for Obama because he was the "lesser" of two evils? And what are we getting now? Not only do we have someone who has no intention of any real "change" but his party is also in control of congress which can help expedite tyranny.

And, as I always say, give me the greater of two evils. Democracy is a useless fat asshole who will always follow the path of least resistance and apathy. In order to get that fat ass to rise to action, the situation has to get really, really bad. I was really hoping McCain made it in to office because I think he was losing it anyway and with Palin we'd have had a pair of lunatics that would have caused such an obvious nightmare that maybe, just maybe, the bloated and disgusting Cheeto-eating diabetic soda drinking toothless brainless blob that best represents the American people may have been so scared that it moved.

Or it would have eaten up the rampant nationalism and authoritarianism and imploded on itself. I'm okay with either one really.

Voting for the lesser of two evils is more dangerous than putting a lunatic in office who is bad enough to wake the people from their collective stupor. It slows the erosion of liberty down to a slow enough pace that the Kentucky Fried Majority never even notices they've been robbed of their rights.

You can't mitigate the damage coming down from on high in Washington. They're ALL bought and paid for. Obama is as much of a stooge as Bush... and Clinton... and Reagan... etc. You can be a harbinger of POSITIVE change while working for one of the two political machines that's been sodomizing this nation for the past century plus. Neither of those organizations is designed with anything in mind but consolidation of power and wealth lining its own pockets.

If every asshole out there who voted for the "lesser of two evils" (and make no mistake, Democrats are not the only people who do that) voted their conscience and went third party or independent instead, I don't know who would win but I can tell you, it probably won't be any of the front runners since virtually ALL their "supporters" cast their vote while holding their noses.

Re:What's with (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486989)

Except there's NO SUCH THING as the lesser of two evils.

Cthulhu [cthulhu.org] would beg to differ. :)

I might go so far as to call your premise ridiculous. The rant itself was entertaining and raised a few interesting points (and I hasten to say that I am a third party voter, in general), but there seems to be this idea going around that because neither of two major US parties is ideal, they're both equally bad, and that's a steaming pile of crap (usually offered, as far as I can tell, by apologists for the more evil of the parties and/or the more evil elements of both parties).

Re:What's with (3, Insightful)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486601)

No.

Picking the lesser of two evils is still picking evil. If enough people figure that out and start acting on that knowledge, then perhaps we'll finally have a chance to elect some real change.

Re:What's with (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486963)

The election isn't between two major parties, it's between the established parties and the libertarians/independents/everyone else. "Are you voting Republican or Democrat?" is a yes or no question.

Obama and other Democrats only had a problem with (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486711)

the secrecy and similar government abuse because it was under a Republican Administration.

Look at all the crap Obama's group is pulling with various IG across the country. Shutting down investigations or attempting to intimidate. He has brought Chicago style politics with him.

I was never really afraid of Bush's abuse. We had the press constantly nipping on his heels. They and a adversarial Congress were are best line of defense against that Administration. Now with ABC fighting MSNBC for the rights to sleep in the White House who do we have? Rush? Sean? Oh, please.

I also cannot stand the comparisons some of those right wingers make with Obama to Carter. At least Carter stood up to his own party, damning himself in the process. Yet he did and he really did try to make it work. Fortunately Reagan was able to pull off of a lot of it, yet again we had a diligent press and adversarial Congress to keep him mostly honest. Same worked for Clinton post 94.

This guy is simply dangerous because he is getting a free pass from the expected watch dogs and worse he knows it and is using it.

Re:What's with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28486983)

It's no secret that tyranny prevails until and unless many millions of people, including some who are in positions of authority in government, the military, and industry, are literally willing to put their necks in the noose.

Bush-era? (4, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484617)

Like government secrecy started and ended with Bush?

Re:Bush-era? (5, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484725)

Yes, it's a bit facetious to say "Bush-era" when talking about all government secrecy -- but you have to admit it was taken to all new levels after 9/11, if for no other reason than the fact that no one was willing to stop them for a while at risk of looking "unpatriotic."

Re:Bush-era? (4, Insightful)

Belisarivs (526071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485073)

All new levels? It's a well known fact that the NSA used to collect all international telegraph traffic from the major telecoms for decades after WWII under the argument of national security, and killed all inquiries into the fact using that argument. And let's not forget that the FBI was run by Hoover, who wasn't exactly the most circumspect person when it came to individual liberties. I really don't think that Bush was any more secret than most of the administrations of the 20th century up until the Church committee. The only real difference is the amount of information that's available to the general public.

Re:Bush-era? (2, Interesting)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485669)

Maybe it is time to shut down the FBI for good. Back in the old days when they caught up with Dillinger or Baby Face Nelson we could all see the good that was done. But as they became more and more secretive we lack evidence that they justify the expenses of their existence. It is also next to impossible for the public to know when they are going to far as we are not free to know what they are doing at all.
              As a matter of fact I was recently astounded that they had compiled a 900 page report on someone's mother. I believe it was Bobby Fisher's mom. After all we all know he is just a savage criminal who dared to play a game of chess in Bosnia when the US forbade it. They call that a felony. Our nation needs a doctor.

Re:Bush-era? (5, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484803)

The NSL at the heart of this case was issued while Bush was in office. The Patriot Act (with the NSL provisions) was signed into law by Bush. I don't think it is unfair to mention Bush in this context.

Re:Bush-era? (4, Interesting)

MegaMahr (788652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485627)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act/ [wikipedia.org] The Patriot Act was supported 98-1 in it's senate vote at the time it was passed. The only senator who voted against it was Russ Feingold - D (Wis). It was vastly inferior to what the Bush administration had asked for, and this pissed Bush off. As I keep saying to all the people blasting Obama for making the economy worse (and trust me I did not vote for him)the president signs the bills into law, but the 535 members of congress draft them, ratify them, and present them for signature. If you are so upset with it, I'd suggest that you blame them.

Re:Bush-era? (1)

d'fim (132296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485909)

"Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for USA PATRIOT Act/ in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings."

Try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bush-era? (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486863)

the 535 members of congress draft them, ratify them, and present them for signature. If you are so upset with it, I'd suggest that you blame them.

Congress has an approval rating that sometimes dips into the single digits, and never gets far above them. Congress as an incumbent return rate of well over 80% and never drops significantly below it.

Any student of economics who was looking at a product with a 10% approval rating and 80+% customer loyalty would immediately suspect some kind of serious market interference. Can you imagine a car that almost everyone hated but that everyone still kept on buying, year after year, model after model?

"Yeah, I bought a 2008 Republican and it totally sucked. Unresponsive handling, fuel hog, huge maintenance costs and the financing just about killed me."

"So, you gonna buy something else this year?"

"Naw, I figure since the 2008 is so bad the 2010 is bound to be even worse, so I'm going to get it and see."

What is wrong with this picture? Political choices are made in a market-like context, and almost everyone hates almost everything on offer in that market, yet no one is able to crack the barriers to entry.

As with many problems in modern democracies, this appears to be a largely American problem. In Canada we generate new political parties every few decades (they start off regional, usually in the West, like the Social Credit, CCF and Reform, and then go national, sometimes forming governments--our current federal government is the Reform Party under a false name.) Britain manages to turn over the established parties once a century of so, having killed the Liberals in favour of Labour in the first half of the 20th century, and now the LibDems are up-and-coming today. In Europe the democracies are so young it's hard to draw comparisons, but the American one-Party, two-wings system is so strongly entrenched that despite almost universal dissatisfaction with the product, everyone keeps buying it.

Gerrymandering is an important feature in this system, by which state parties set electoral boundaries, and incumbents can be substantially protected by the two wings of the Party in this way. That means they don't have to worry much about voters. Likewise, the role of the Party in voter registration is probably a significant barrier to a second party forming and becoming competitive.

The US needs an arms-length electoral body like Elections Canada to take the Party out of the electoral process. Unfortunately, that would require the Party leadership to approve of it, which isn't about to happen.

SETEC Astronomy (1)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484625)

Somebody get that guy that has a face like an old catchers mit.

Re:SETEC Astronomy (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484873)

SETEC Astronomy

Cootys Rat Semen... nahhhh!

Re:SETEC Astronomy (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485397)

Cootys Rat Semen... nahhhh!

Dmmi, now I hve to replce his keyboard. Pepsi spewed ll over i. hnks soooo much.

Re:SETEC Astronomy (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485425)

Somebody get that guy that has a face like an old catchers mit.

Cosmo Kramer?

Re:SETEC Astronomy (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485733)

And a five minute appearance by James Earl Jones (and his voice).

Existential rights (5, Insightful)

goffster (1104287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484691)

If a right is violated, and no one can talk about it,
then it must not have happened.

Re:Existential rights (-1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484825)

Because the FBI are just a gaggle of incompetent Catholic and Mormon scumbags yearning for the good ol' days of the inquisition.

That's what happens when little god-fearing geeks who watched too many cop shows as children grow up to do their god's bidding using any means possible. And the motherfuckers can't even catch any real crooks.

Re:Existential rights (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485019)

....and the motherfuckers can't even catch any real crooks.

.....OH! CROOKS I thought we were looking for the real COOKS ! Thats why we have all of these french guys named Pierre with chef-boy-are-dee hats locked up and ready for water boarding....

Re:Existential rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485353)

What, they redacted the R?

Re:Existential rights (2, Funny)

KC7JHO (919247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486557)

Yep, they did it to protect the recent conversations with the pirates along the Somali coast.

Re:Existential rights (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485375)

Because the FBI are just a gaggle of incompetent Catholic and Mormon scumbags yearning for the good ol' days of the inquisition. That's what happens when little god-fearing geeks who watched too many cop shows as children grow up to do their god's bidding using any means possible. And the motherfuckers can't even catch any real crooks.

This quite rightly deserves the "Flamebait" mod it received. Having said that, I still want to try and add something useful. I think your sentiment is accurate but your target is not.

There is indeed a religious element to this, but it's not the one you have identified. Statism is what you're dealing with here, which is the belief that the State as represented by the government needs to have powers expanded and its interests furthered at all costs. It follows that anytime there is a conflict of interests between the State and the citizenry, the State should prevail at the expense of the citizenry. Otherwise, statism is very much a religion. What's hard to understand and even harder to relate to is the derived concept that anything which increases state power is "morally right" and "good" no matter how much real harm it does. In the religion of statism, the government is "God" and can do no wrong, and neither can "God's" servants.

Both major political parties are faithful members of this religion. That's why neither of them is making any serious efforts to reduce the size and power of the federal government. No deficit is large enough to change this and no resemblance to the methods of various 20th century dictatorships is strong enough to give them pause. The mainstream news media is probably the single biggest part of the problem.

Re:Existential rights (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484895)

And be sure to give your co-conspirators legal immunity. Funny how aiding and abetting the government in violating the constitution can be make legal with a rider.

Re:Existential rights (4, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484963)

If a right is violated, and no one can talk about it, then it must not have happened.

Indeed, and it's scary how that seems to be the point. Also from the fine summary:

and as part of that investigation they've compelled the secrecy of a service provider

If that provider had any sort of decency or respect for this country, they would hold a press conference or equivalent and make sure everybody knew all about this shady deal. That kind of courage and good priorities are unfortunately quite rare. There's a lot of cheap talk about "patriotism" but that is what a real patriot would do. Of course I use that definition (that I wish I could attribute right now) which goes "a patriot supports his country all of the time, and his government only when it deserves it." These days, that would mean refusing to support the government most (or all) of the time.

Makes me wonder how many cases the FBI handles that have nothing to do with an activitiy which crosses state lines or otherwise could not be handled on the local and state level ...

Re:Existential rights (3, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485567)

Up here in Canada, many ISPs stood up to RIAA style tactics requesting subscriber data at one time. It ended up going to court, the recording industry demanding information on subscribers from the ISPs and the ISPs refusing to cooperate. The courts ruled that the ISPs were in fact right, thus ending the whole mess once and for all (or at least a while).

All it takes is one ISP to ignore such an order and actually take it to court. Unfortunately, that may also turn out to be a secret trial with secret evidence.

This is the democracy you fought and your ancestors died for, now are you going to use it or not?

Schrodinger Rights (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485301)

Until someone we talk about it, everyone's rights have been violated, and not violated, at the same time.

If I might quote the lord... (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484755)

Lord Hewit: "... it is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done."

Nothing much has happened to change that, apart from government organisations wanting more power, and the governed giving it to them. RIP Justice, it was kinda cool while you were around...

Simon.

Re:If I might quote the lord... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485183)

"RIP Justice, it was kinda cool while you were around..."

Must have been before my time, and I was born in 1958.

What is this "justice" of which you speak?

Re:If I might quote the lord... (1)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485781)

Truth, Justice. Or the American way.

Power once given... (5, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484821)

This only goes to show what everyone else already knows. If you give the government powers, it will continue to use them no matter what party is in power at the time.

This isn't a partisan issue, except in that those who suggest that giving government more power through secret wiretaps, or special prison camps, or government bailouts or nationalized health care are making the problem worse. It doesn't matter that this is a "Bush-era" innovation as much as it was an innovation to begin with. We don't call Social Security a "Roosevelt-era" initiative (at least not anymore), it's just accepted that it is there. The same thing will happen with most powers granted to the government when it tries to "help us" by taking care of things for us. Eventually, unless this is overturned, it will go the same way, but wouldn't you think that the Obama Administration, as the Anti-Bush, wouldn't have been the best chance we had to get rid of these? Yet we are disappointed, but I think we shouldn't be surprised.

I don't consider the government to be "the enemy" like some people do, but I think that any entity which develops too much power and gains responsibility in too many areas is bound to become grossly inefficient at best, and quite possibly dangerous to liberty. We are abdicating our responsibilities and rights in order to have security, be it from terrorists or from being uninsured. And we all know what people get when they trade liberty for security: neither.

Re:Power once given... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485133)

That's why when all the "conservatives" were backing Bush for his power grab, I and many pointed out that the next President and the Presidents after would have those same powers. So, in other words, those "evil" Democrats" would have the same powers as Bush. It can be said the other way around. And so far, our Presidents are basically decent folks - sure I disagreed with MANY of the Bush Administration's Constitutional, let's say, interpretations - but all in all, we DID get a new President and there wasn't any of this martial law BS that was going around the web last Fall - but one day, we may get someone who's not so respectful of the Constitution and the Powers afforded the President and the Government..

Anyway, that point went over the heads of most and some, I believe wanted that to happen.

Re:Power once given... (2, Insightful)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486119)

but one day, we may get someone who's not so respectful of the Constitution and the Powers afforded the President and the Government.

One day? It could be any day, regardless of who is in power.

I guess it is a human condition for people to hold on to their illusions until they finally can't reconcile reality anymore. Maybe I am missing one or two but I can't think of a single government on the globe that has moved toward less repression of the public in the last ten years.

Looking at Iran, the only thing that has happened in the last couple of weeks is that a lot of people who thought they were being ruled by theocratic thugs realized they were just thugs. Our epiphony hasn't come yet.

There are a lot of reasons to condemn Iran but anyone who thinks things would unfold much differently here is smoking a still illegal weed. There is no dissent in this country without government permits or being put in a pen where no one can see you. Our government would not even tolerate 10 thousand protesters at last year's conventions. Preemptive arrests and bogus charges were the norm. If a million showed up showed up somewhere the streets would be flowing red before you could say "martial law". Who the hell do we think we are fooling? Only ourselves.

Anyone who can't feel the collar around their neck already isn't conscious.

Re:Power once given... (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485575)

As you have stated, when you give most people power, they will never relinquish it. What do you think will happen with the bailout mentality now? This only goes to show why George Washington was the greatest President, far-and-wide. He didn't want power. He gave it up at a time when relinquishing power was unheard of.

Re:Power once given... (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485623)

What you say about power once granted is true, but thing that is missing from this debate is that the executive branch has a duty to defend the constitutionality of laws in court. If it doesn't, it gets a de facto retroactive veto on past legislation. They get somebody to challenge a law they don't like in court, then roll over and play dead.

This doesn't mean that they are necessarily obliged to use powers they see as unconstitutional during an investigation, but once a dispute gets to court they've got to make a good faith effort to defend the law that Congress has passed, even if they don't like it. There's nobody else to do this. It's probably a flaw in our Constitution, but there you have it.

So we can't make many deductions about the administration's own position on this until a year or two has passed and we're wrangling over the administration's own policies. The Doe v. Holder case, IIRC, is part of a series of legal challenges to the Patriot Act that have been going on fr several years. I hope the Obama administration loses on this one.

blorf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484875)

This is a secret message if it is not for you then you must not read it:

I repeat, DO NOT READ THIS unlisss this message is for secret operative "A" and you are said secret operative:

"BLORF"

{end of secret super-super-secret message}

So let me get this straight... (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484883)

... this post has something to do with secrecy?

Who gets to wear J Edgar Hoover's tutu? (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484931)

....and the pink tights and boa? Its no fun to be freaky jiggy with the hoes and bros in the light of day, ya know! Can't a G-man enjoy a G-string without diluting the oppressive regime's value system with blatant hypocrisy? Whats the fun in that? Its like Halloween in the light with pants on - no tricks or treats...

Re:Who gets to wear J Edgar Hoover's tutu? (2, Interesting)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485259)

....and the pink tights and boa? Its no fun to be freaky jiggy with the hoes and bros in the light of day, ya know! Can't a G-man enjoy a G-string without diluting the oppressive regime's value system with blatant hypocrisy? Whats the fun in that? Its like Halloween in the light with pants on - no tricks or treats...

Yawn. Is the "crossdressing Hoover" nonsense dead yet? There is zero factual basis for this. One guy's sensational book and since then everyone takes it as gospel...

Re:Who gets to wear J Edgar Hoover's tutu? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485599)

But it was written on paper! If it had been posted on the internet first, then nobody would have believed it.

Steve Jobs' liver....in ARGENTINA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28486893)

But shhhhh, it's a s33kr1t!

Court approved, yet not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28484955)

We heard all about how law enforcement need only conform to FISA and obtain warrants from courts. The delays and possible compromises of security involved were pointed out they were handwaved. No compromise to security if they just conformed to the legal bureaucracy....

This investigation has the blessing of a court. Surprise! That's not good enough. No, no. The FBI must be stopped regardless.

And BTW the FBI reports to Obama now.

The FBI? (-1, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28484957)

The FBI is institutionally one of the least efficient and bureaucratic law enforcement agencies in the country. They're pumping billions into "modernization" efforts, but they still file their cases largely in paper format, use fax machines instead of e-mail, and "IT" is what they say happens in the men's room after 5pm.

They have every reason to be secretive--Not because they're malicious, but because they're just so damned bad at what they do it'd be embarrassing to the country to realize how much money we put towards largely futile efforts. In the 60s, the FBI was busy snapping pictures of protesters... and at the same time devoting forensic resources to finding out who (or rather, what) crapped on J. Edgar Hoover's front porch. You might have heard of him--he had a real temper, hated communists, and had a garter belt and fishnet fetish.

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

Re:The FBI? (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485143)

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.

Bad rule these days. Tons of what the Bush administration did could have been attributed to stupidity (bad WMD information, exposing Valerie Plame, etc.) But in retrospect much of it seems to have been malice.

Re:The FBI? (4, Interesting)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485373)

The FBI is institutionally one of the least efficient and bureaucratic law enforcement agencies in the country.

While simultaneously being one of the best law enforcement agencies in the world. Seriously - who would you compare to them?

They're pumping billions into "modernization" efforts, but they still file their cases largely in paper format, use fax machines instead of e-mail, and "IT" is what they say happens in the men's room after 5pm.

No doubt you thought that was a cute quote and copy-pasted it. But alas, it's completely wrong. The recent Sentinel problems were an upgrade/modernization of the existing electronic case files. The Bureau is computerized. Not as sleekly or as efficiently as they'd like (which is why there's a big government contract working on it), but you make it sound like they're still thumbing through index cards. And yes, they use email.

In the 60s, the FBI was busy snapping pictures of protesters... and at the same time devoting forensic resources to finding out who (or rather, what) crapped on J. Edgar Hoover's front porch. You might have heard of him--he had a real temper, hated communists, and had a garter belt and fishnet fetish.

Please provide some proof that Hoover was a cross-dresser other than Anthony Summers' discredited book. That's the only source for this accusation.

As to hating communists - God bless the man.

Re:The FBI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485503)

I always take 'discredited' from a conservative with a grain of salt.

They say after all that accusations that McCarthy was on a witch hunt were 'discredited' and that Factcheck.org is 'discredited.'

And then fail to mention how virtually all Heritage Foundation connected sources (FOX, Malkin, Coulter, Drudge, Limbaugh) are 'discredited' even more.

Re:The FBI? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486409)

"As to hating communists - God bless the man."

Wow, you really bought the commie crap hook line and sinker
Seriously, if someone believes communism is a valid form of government, you think they should be hunted, lied about and jailed?

Re:The FBI? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486473)

and "IT" is what they say happens in the men's room after 5pm.

Well damn, if that's not a justification for better funding for the techies, I don't know what is.

It's sensationalism and garbage posts (2, Insightful)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485089)

like this are starting to turn me off /. If the current administration wanted change it would change.

Re:It's sensationalism and garbage posts (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487005)

If the current administration wanted change it would change.

Easy to say from the armchair - in reality the "most powerful man in the world" is anything but. Every move gains or loses political capital, make too many losing moves and you essentially become powerless. It's a little early in the term for this administration to sink itself on principles.

Chicken Chicken Chicken... Chicken? (1)

cutecub (136606) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485119)

...the FBI is carrying out a Chicken investigation using Chicken guidelines on what is and is not constitutional, and as part of that investigation they've compelled the Chicken of a service provider and are using a Chicken justification to argue that nobody's First Amendment rights are being violated.

Chicken, chicken chicken chicken chicken. Chicken. Chicken. CHICKEN!!!

-Chicken

Bush era? (3, Interesting)

endianx (1006895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485249)

the FBI isn't ready to give up its Bush-era secrecy addition just yet

"Bush-era secrecy" is what you will get if you vote for most any Democrat or Republican. Obama isn't any different.

Re:Bush era? (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486365)

Or vote for another party for that matter, the end result likely being a Democrat or Republican still being elected.

Re:Bush era? (4, Insightful)

endianx (1006895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486521)

It's funny. Everybody uses that same excuse. It has become self-fulfilling. Most people I know don't really like the Republican or Democrat platforms, but they vote for them because they think those are the only credible options. The end result being that those are indeed the only credible options. If people would vote for who they really wanted, it wouldn't be a problem.

I voted 3rd party in 2008. Was my vote wasted? Well, if I had voted for Obama or McCain...we'd still have ended up with Obama or McCain - so also a wasted vote.

Stop voting for the lesser of two evils and vote for someone who isn't evil.

Re:Bush era? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486425)

evidence says otherwise:
"last month the Obama administration decided not to appeal a federal court ruling that the FBI must justify these gag orders by meeting a relatively high First Amendment standard. "

Re:Bush era? (2, Insightful)

endianx (1006895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487223)

Take a look at his position on warrant-less wiretapping, whitehouse emails, prison abuse photos, his "openness" on fiscal spending, etc.

But hey, tell yourself whatever you need to to justify your vote.

Oh no! (3, Funny)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485321)

Oh no! Not the dreaded double secret probation!

What were we talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28485717)

There's nothing to see here. Move along.

Never forget Ruby Ridge or Waco. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28486053)

FBI agents called before Congress took the fifth.

Lon Horiuchi, who shot Vicky Weaver through the head as she held her baby, is still working for the FBI. Nobody at the FBI was ever charged with any crime; there was never any investigation of Waco, either.

And that all happened on the Hypocrat's watch. Janet Reno said "we're doing this for the children" - the day before the FBI massacred all of them.

Gestapo and KGB is exactly right.

This hust in: Constitution now considered secret (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486319)

You can no longer quote it. If you have a copy you must turn it in. The FBI will notify you of your rights when they think it is appropriate

Republican?? (2, Insightful)

jsalbre (663115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28486979)

I'm totally non-partisan (anti-partisan actually, political parties are half of the problem in our country) and a centrist in my views, but I can't help being annoyed that this post has been tagged "Republican." What does any of this have to do with Republicans?

Re:Republican?? (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487027)

I'm not anything, but I believe the Republican tag is because all of the secretiveness was implemented by the Bush Administration which was indeed Republican. As well, the Republican party has always been more inclined to take national security over the rights of the citizens. Such things like entering the Iraq War and the Patriot Act had much larger support from the Republican Party.

What's up with this compelling crap? (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487003)

From the summary:

they've compelled the secrecy of a service provider

How exactly would they accomplish this? I can understand them demanding information, hopefully with warrant in hand. But if I'm a service provider, I'm not an agent, employee or contractor of the police. I've not taken any secrecy oaths. I'm a member of the public and if I come to know something, it is already by definition in the public domain. If they want to hire me as a spook, I'm available, but the price is high. Very high.

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