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President Bush Blocks NSA Wireless Tapping Probe

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-look-here dept.

Privacy 1063

scubamage writes "By denying security clearance to federal attorneys from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) seeking to gather evidence in the NSA illegal surveillance scandal, President Bush has effectively blocked the Justice Department's investigation into the matter of who exactly authorized the illegal actions to take place. The president is apparently able to strictly control who does and does not have security clearance to examine documents regarding the program, citing that giving more people access would endanger national security. His denial is the first of its kind in American history. To quote the article, 'Since its creation some 31 years ago, OPR has conducted many highly sensitive investigations involving Executive Branch programs and has obtained access to information classified at the highest levels,' chief lawyer H. Marshall Jarrett wrote in a memorandum released Tuesday. 'In all those years, OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation.'"

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1063 comments

There's your answer: (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755497)

> President Bush has effectively blocked the Justice Department's investigation into the matter of
> who exactly authorized the illegal actions to take place

He sure as hell wouldn't have done that had it been an opportunity to point the finger at any of his rivals. Even if he wasn't responsible, he's now responsible for the cover up. If American voters aren't happy with his decision they can always vote him out. I'm sure by the time of the next election there'll be some other bogeyman to deal with - presumably lebenese or syrian terrorists, angry at all the US built/paid for planes and tanks pounding lebenon.

Re:There's your answer: (5, Insightful)

Zediker (885207) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755527)

If there was a vote for impeachment that the public could vote in, I would vote. But the only things I can do, is spread the word, and send a letter to my congressman. Then hope my congressman helps set up the process for impeachment. So, technically, the only way this is going to get started is if my congressman wants to discipline the president. Otherwise, everything I do and say is for naught.

Re:There's your answer: (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755542)

Not being from the US, can't you indict him when its all over?

Re:There's your answer: (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755616)

Well... let me put it this way... that would be another first (I think, does Richard Nixon count?).

Besides that, if another republican is president at the time he will simply pardon GWB... that has happened before.

Re:There's your answer: (2, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755620)

No, only Congress could do that, and they have to do it when they feel it needs to be done, there's no need to wait until later.

Re:There's your answer: (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755638)

Yes, but it's not likely to ever happen... Nixon would have been an obvious target for indictment after he resigned, but the following president gave him a pardon for all crimes that may have been committed during his presidency. That action is likely to be pointed to as a precedent, though in the case of Nixon the following president (Ford) was both unelected and of the same party. The game could change if a vindictive Democrat becomes the next president. I doubt that would be the case, though, as any Democrat who assumes the office would presumably want to push their own agenda and not get muddled down in such a big and ultimately pointless fight.

Re:There's your answer: (5, Informative)

ereshiere (945922) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755545)

If American voters aren't happy with his decision they can always vote him out.

How can you vote out a re-elected president limited to two terms? Congress has to impeach & convict him, which has nothing to do with the voters, judging by the last impeachment.

Re:There's your answer: (0, Troll)

Usagi_yo (648836) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755633)

What illegal activity? And if somebody Authorizes it, is it still illegal? If Foreign terrorists are calling you here in the U.S, I want to know why and I don't give a hoot what you claim is legal or illegal. If the U.S is at war, I give the Commander and Chief great latitude in how it conducts that war. I give him the benefit of any doubt whatsoever that he's conducting this war and listening to those calls for the benefit of the security of the U.S.

Every 4 years we have an election for President. The president is limited to two terms total. I'm not worried that my presidents actions are akin to some Despotic European Fascist trying to hold on to the Presidency, or like some South American Socialist Dictator trying to take over the country, or like some Middle Eastern Islamunist seeking vengeance because of some cultural inferiority complex.

Re:There's your answer: (2, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755701)

I would agree that using this power to track terrorists is something that might have a need to be done, but, my problem is that the yahoo's in power are not that honorable and use the "great latitude" to listen in on non-terror related conversations which might be illegal in nature but were obtained illeagally. Then this information is probably used to get legitimate warrants because all of a sudden some "anonymous person" called in something. If I trusted the powers in charge I would have no problem with secret phone tapping (as if this hasn't happened in the past...), but the current administration here in the US has demonstrated nothing but dishonest behavior and lost my trust.

Re:There's your answer: (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755702)

If American voters aren't happy with his decision they can always vote him out.



Actually, they cannot. It's not possible.

Comming soon to a theater near you.. (5, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755499)

"Watergate II"..

twice the scandal, twice the criminal activity, twice the obstruction of justice..

*movie rated "R", all viewers must take delivery of dealer stock, offer void in utah, west virginia, and texas*

Re:Comming soon to a theater near you.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755615)

You forgot to add FLORIDA! Home of the dubious chads

This is surprising why? (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755501)

Of course, he is going to block it. Funny thing is, this investigation had no teeth to start off with. It basically said that we are going to do everything in our power to check every little corner if you will allow it.

Re:This is surprising why? (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755630)

Its suprising because it goes against the idea of checks and balances. Not that Bush has any respect for the Constitution at all; he's more included to setup a Christian run state than anything else.

Re:This is surprising why? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755671)

It already IS a Christian-run state, by the simple fact that Christians are the overwhelming majority in the US. What I think you mean to imply is that he would like the Christian ideals further forced upon all in the US, even non-Christians. For instance, he would like to ban stem cell research, abortion, and gay marriage because they conflict with his notion of Christian values.

1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755505)

Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head.

Re:1984 (0, Flamebait)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755513)

Come on, at least pretend you're clever. This isn't Orwellian, it's Nixonian.

Sheesh, the quality of Bush-bashing on Slashdot was never that high to begin with, but it's sinking to the level of calling him 'poopyhead' these days.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755719)

True...but he IS a poopyhead!

too funny...the word is "redhead".

Article title: "Bush blocked surveillance probe" (5, Funny)

Davus (905996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755508)

Just aim the probe out of the garden, for God's sake!

Don't forget, kids... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755509)

We need to revoke your rights in order to protect them. History will look back upon George W. Bush as the undoing of what it means to be American.

Re:Don't forget, kids... (5, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755576)

I'm sorry, but could you explain to me in what way George W. Bush has prevented the American public from remaining fat, ignorant and watching reality shows?

Re:Don't forget, kids... (0)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755685)

in what way George W. Bush has prevented the American public from remaining fat, ignorant and watching reality shows?

Okay, let's see how we can prevent people being:
FAT: Impose exorbitant taxes on high fat, junk and non-wholesome food. Provide discounts to healthy foods.
IGNORANT: Levy 300% taxes on Microsoft software. Like the Firefox initiative, every individual who converts another to Free Software gets $100. You will find ignorance vanishing overnight.
WATCHING REALITY SHOWS: That's a tough one. I think a law should be introduced that permits reality shows only one day in a year... February 30th, for instance.

Re:Don't forget, kids... (-1, Flamebait)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755590)

Geez. And so many of us thought compulsory taxation under Wilson and legally mandated payroll deductions under FDR were the start of that. Still others point to the Whiskey Rebellion and the rise of Federalism.

BTW, what 'rights' are being revoked? Do you think being on an international call during a time of war should somehow be protected from surveillance? I'm tempted to ask, "What are you saying on your calls anyway?" but that will set the slashbots off.

Yeah, I don't want no-knock laws and all that other garbage, but I have NEVER assumed electronic communication was secure and I'm shocked that so many on /. seem to have this assumption that it should be. Doesn't anyone work on corporate email systems?

Re:Don't forget, kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755602)

Just because ignorant asshats like you don't care about their rights being eroded doesn't mean that the rest of us are okay with it.

Living in Florida, by any chance? Those hanging chads are a real nuiscance, aren't they?

Re:Don't forget, kids... (0, Troll)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755709)

Well put. Tough to argue with that logic.
(And folks wonder why liberalism is dead.)

Perhaps we should go back to the Clinton model where Intelligence agencies and Law enforcement didn't share infomration, aka the Gorelick Wall [google.com] , like it was pre-9/11.
I know I would feel safer with my rights protected like that.

Re:Don't forget, kids... (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755700)

History will look back upon George W. Bush as the undoing of what it means to be American.
You mean he won't put the mighty buck at the center of everything anymore.
You may now activate the patriotic fiber and mod me down.

Re:Don't forget, kids... (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755726)

"Yeah. You know that whole Watergate hotel thing you guys are investigating? I'm going to have to ask you to stop. New policy, you know. You got that memo, right? Great. So if you could just not look into that, that'd be great." - Nixon

There goes Democracy... (2, Insightful)

Betabug (58015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755511)

And with it the separation of the powers of legislative, executive, judiciary functions. Americans should say "thanks for the good times, farewell". With a bit of goodwill, you will still see these things in history books for a few years.

Re:There goes Democracy... (4, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755609)

And with it the separation of the powers of legislative, executive, judiciary functions. Americans should say "thanks for the good times, farewell". With a bit of goodwill, you will still see these things in history books for a few years.

While I would agree that this administration seems bent on creating an all-powerful executive branch and removing the independent judiciary, that really isn't what is going on in this case.

The OPR is part of the DOJ. The DOJ is a huge part of the executive branch. That's why Bush has so much power over the DOJ. The executive telling the executive what to do has nothing to do with separation of powers.

Re:There goes Democracy... (3, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755716)

Am I the only one who finds it funny that the Department of Justice is not part of the Judiciary branch? Historically it makes sense since it is a cabinet department of the executive. But considering it is often responsible for investigating misconduct of the legislative and executive branches, it is very odd. It sounds like the Judiciary branch needs an investigative arm.

Re:There goes Democracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755661)

Democracy? This is simply the result of government growing bigger and bigger, expanding in power and revenue over time. The type of government -- democracy, monarchy, local warlord -- is rather irrelevent. The bottom line is that as government increases, freedom decreases, and that happens regardless of the type of government.

Given the choice, I would choose to live under the rule of the smallest government possible -- that is the only way to minimize the oppression of your god-given right to freedom. The type of government doesn't have much bearing on this; in fact, the latest century shows that democracy lends itself to faster government growth than most of us thought.

Juvenal delinquency (5, Insightful)

CurtMonash (986884) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755514)

Juvenal is the ancient Roman who asked "Who will watch the watchmen?" [dbms2.com] For George Bush, the answer is evidently "Preferably, nobody."

Re:Juvenal delinquency (2, Insightful)

Da_Weasel (458921) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755665)

I'm sure "Who will watch the watchmen?" was a clever question during the time of the Roman Empire, but the answer is simple. A circle of watching needs to be established. Something like the concepts behind the US government that are currently falling apart....Judicial, Executive and Legislative are all suppose to keep each other in check. Currently the Executive is doing as it damn well pleases....

Government watches the people, the people watch the watchmen, and the watchmen watch the government.

No problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755517)

I'm sure some ridiculous FUD about the chinese gverment will make you all feel warm and fuzzy again :-)

Disclaimer: I'm from europe and, yes, I think it's incredibly funny!

Democracy in action (3, Funny)

mikeswi (658619) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755519)

I am so proud today to be an American, where the rule of law.... errr..... I mean.... What I mean is ......

errrmmm.........

Nevermind :/

Re:Democracy in action (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755584)

I am so proud today to be an American, where the rule of law.... errr..... I mean.... What I mean is ......

Yeah, and just think, maybe the Iraqis will someday live in a free and democratic state just like the USA, where they too will have the right to be spied on by the NSA.

Arabs & Muslims ALWAYYS get their ASS KICKKED (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755522)

Arabs & Muslims ALWAYYS get their ASS KICKKED - wonder where Alah is in all this? At a movie maybe?

Biased much? (3, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755529)

First of all, that headline... While it may be technically true, it's misleading. Then the write-up that convicts the entire program even before an investigation (which is apparently now stalled) has been started by calling it "illegal actions". That might be putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

Let's try re-writing the headline and summary:

Senator Kerry Blocks NSA Wireless Tapping Probe
By failing to win the presidency, Senator Kerry has effectively blocked the Justice Department's investigation into the matter of who exactly authorized the illegal actions to take place.

There you go - this entire thing is really Kerry's doing. And though misleading, it's technically correct.

Re:Biased much? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755548)

a subtle piece of humor..

they were illegal actions. youre not allowed to wiretap without a warrant, or en masse. the question now is who authorized it.. who is the scapegoat..err i mean perp..

Re:Biased much? (0, Flamebait)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755552)

Wow, this is some of the most convoluted apologetics I've ever seen. The denial of the security clearance to the investigation team was directly authorized by the president, with the knowledge that it would, indeed, block the investigation of the problem. The AG said as much - I'm astounded by your analogy's inappropriateness.

Re:Biased much? (2, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755649)

Calling the wiretaps illegal is just fact. Here's a quick lesson; the government, in investigating ANY crime, may not perform a search (which is what a wiretap is) without a warrant. The NSA doesn't have a warrant, therefore the wiretaps are in violation of the law. An investigation will just tell us how widespread these illegal actions have become, since I believe the President already admitted that he was doing warrantless wiretaps on American citizens.

Re:Biased much? (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755711)

Here's a quick lesson; the government, in investigating ANY crime, may not perform a search (which is what a wiretap is) without a warrant.
Just as a point of pedantry -- in certain cases they can, but only if they get a retroactive warrant at the earliest opportunity.

Re:Biased much? (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755667)

Then the write-up that convicts the entire program even before an investigation (which is apparently now stalled) has been started by calling it "illegal actions"

The program does indeed break the law. Only two points remain in-the-air - Who authorized it, and will Congress make similar future programs legal.

But breaking the law breaks the law - If you get convicted of "murder"ing your (literally) braindead spouse the day before congress passes an exception for assisted suicide, you still go to prison for murder.


Bush (or someone VERY high up, which the proposed investigation would determine) broke the law (again). I want to see Bush or Cheney do the perp walk. So do the majority of Americans at this point - It might have taken most of the sheep six years to catch on, but they've finally noticed that every time the wolf appears, some of them vanish.

Truth (3, Interesting)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755530)

I was searching for a suitable dubya quote to make a witty reply - in particular I was searching for a quote containing a reference to both the words "freedom" and "truth". Imaginge my surprise to find most pages of dubya quotes I found, such as this one [quotationspage.com] , contain numerous references to "freedom" but few or in this case no references to "truth". Not one. Does this tell us something about the man?

Re:Truth (1)

Zediker (885207) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755557)

Mr. Bush can't handle the truth... it scares him...

Re:Truth (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755664)

Indeed, which is why he clings to his belief about some entity in the clouds that loves us and gave us free will, but will burn us for eternity if we don't do everything he tells us.

Re:Truth (5, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755624)

Then too he has an odd definition of freedom. He seems to think freedom and democracy are exactly the same thing.

Don't get me wrong... Democracy and voting play substantial roles in assuring freedom. But they're not the only things.

Take for example the cohabitation law struck down in North Carolina recently. A democraticly elected majority said: an unrelated man and woman can't live with each other under the same roof unless they get married. Its fornication and society won't stand for it.

That's not freedom. Freedom says you can run your personal life pretty much any way you want to and its nobody else's business.

I don't think Dubya gets that.

Apperantly... (4, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755535)

...this is how one "restores honor and dignity to the White House."

Re:Apperantly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755556)

Apparently this is how you show your ineptitude with the English language. Apparently...

Surprised? (2, Insightful)

Soupy69 (988115) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755536)

This was inevitable. The only thing that amazes me is that people genuinely thought this would go somewhere

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755559)

Why Slashdot is so behind with new... This news has been everywhere during the last couple of days and now is when appears in /. And the same with the rest of the news. I think that I'm swiching to news.google.com, getting better than /.

Re:Surprised? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755577)

They thought they were up against someone small time, like Nixon.

Only now are they equiped to propperly assess their foe.

sigh (4, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755539)

Lie, Whitewash, Stonewall.

Rinse, Repeat.

These are dark days. And we still have two and a half years to go.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755644)

Not if 1) you stage a revolution and oust the president and military coo, isnt that why YOU HAVE GUNS RIGHTS (you losers amaze me:) or 2) he is impeached :)

Bad moderation in parent. (1)

kkiller (945601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755705)

Parent doesn't deserve to be marked as a troll, IMO. If that was true, then the whole page is a huge anti-conservative troll festival.

Has your outrage meter pegged, yet? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755541)

If not, check out Daily Kos [dailykos.com] .


This criminal administration is totally out of control.

Re:Has your outrage meter pegged, yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755596)

Had the liberals gotten their way we would be a territory of Iran by by now...

American Civil War 2? (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755560)

Anyone else find this situation eerily similar to the one John Titor [wikipedia.org] predicted?

Re:American Civil War 2? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755717)

No, since a war implies people killing each other on a massive scale, which hasn't happened in the US (nor is it likely to, I don't know of many people wanting to start shooting yet).

althought it wouldn't suprise me if Bush lead America to destruction..

Good move George (2, Interesting)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755562)

National security must be protected at all costs now that WWIII [guardian.co.uk] has kicked off and apparently everybody except the US leadership and those with real WMD are the enemy.
Christ on a stick how much more hysterical bullshit, civilian deaths and money grubbing do we have to put up with from these maniacs.

Re:Good move George (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755696)

i think invoking the words 'free world' should be the modern eqivalent of Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] .

Free to choose between 2 rich dicks with the same vested interests as the previous 2 rich dicks? Without truth there is no freedom. Just choice. And we're all consumers right and we love choice.

Freedom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755564)

Is that 'Freedom' stuff, that the US govt lectures the world about?

America (irony) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755571)

My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

Illegal Actions? (4, Insightful)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755574)

... into the matter of who exactly authorized the illegal actions to take place.

Ahem, sorry to get "technical", but the actions haven't been proven to be illegal yet. They are "allegedly" illegal, since no one has been convicted of a crime (if that will ever happen).

But this is typical spin... the fact is that part of the power of the President, of all Presidents, is to decide on the classification of information within the executive branch of government. When something is classified as "top secret", it requires the President to say, "hey this can now be released to the public" before it is legal to actually do so. This is why we've been having these leak probes (although they haven't gone anywhere). It's called access control... it's there for a reason... and it's not to hinder an investigative probe into misconduct, but to prevent the hindering of investigations into terrorist activities.

Re:Illegal Actions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755663)

you give those in that concentration camp in cuba a trial and we'll start using the word allegedly. Fair deal?

(captcha was supreme...)

Re:Illegal Actions? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755683)

don't you mean.. "to prevent investigations into terrorist activities" carried out by mr bush against the american people?

This idea that the judicial branch is not allowed to oversee and check the powers of the legislative and executive branch is at best insane, at worst treasonous.

Someone who gets it (5, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755714)

It's called access control... it's there for a reason... and it's not to hinder an investigative probe into misconduct, but to prevent the hindering of investigations into terrorist activities.

Precisely!

So why is the President using it to block an investigative probe into misconduct? If he has nothing to hide, he has nothing to fear.

Get real. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755575)

It amazes me how soon that people forget about reality.

The fact is that there have been thousands of terrorist attacks that have been halted due to these government activities. Just because Bush and the government is aggressively protecting us doesn't give anyone the right to complain! Sadly, it's hard for the government say "look what we stopped", because if we give the terrorists any information, we put ourselves at massive risk. I for one don't want to lose my way of life.

Would you rather have you and your children dead, or safe? That's really the question on the table. It seems like many here would choose dead. Supporting our president's right to spy on criminal terrorists is saving us from certain destruction. To risk a little bit of theoretical "personal privacy of innocent Americans" seems like an extremely reasonable price to pay.

This is war. Old laws can no longer apply if innocent American lives are on the line. It is the only morally just course of action.

Re:Get real. (5, Funny)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755623)

To risk a little bit of theoretical "personal privacy of innocent Americans" seems like an extremely reasonable price to pay.

Posted by an Anonymous Coward. Now that's irony, Alanis.

Re:Get real. (5, Interesting)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755641)

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin (maybe [wikiquote.org] )

I decided to reply to this one because I think it's important for those of us who actually care about our country and the Constitution to realize that there are a lot of people who believe the parent's logic. It's basically a "think of the children" argument balanced against a "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear" mindset. It's a very, very scary argument for our country but I think a lot of Fox viewers believe this and no amount of parroting the Franklin quote or modding down anonymous postings will get them to change their mind.

So the question on the table to the people who belive in the Constitution is this: how do we convince the people who are this afraid of terrorists that a totalitarian state is not the solution to terrorism?

He is admitting he has no responsibility? (1)

ChadL (880878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755588)

The name is the Office of Professional Responsibility... and he told them to go away... That would indicate to me that he is admitting he is not responsible. But, we all knew that when he first go into office.

I'd like to be the first (2, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755589)

I'd like to be the first to welcome our new presidential overlord.

I know where quite a few of your enemies are, I believe I can help you round them up ....

Endanger National Security (1)

lcba (175394) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755599)

"giving more people access would endanger national security"????

Sure it will endanger national security!!!!, everybody will be able to see what kind of things this administration has really done, and everyone will be so mad, it will cause serious political damage to the current government (at least)... ooh!! and by "national security" they meant "our administration staying in power"

Re:Endanger National Security (1)

Chris Cata (979844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755613)

My question is, come time for new administration, does the current power have the ability to keep secret what they say now is a national security threat...?

Bush asserting same powers as Adolf? (1, Troll)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755603)

URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/81616- crisis-0 [pravda.ru]

In effect, Bush is asserting the same powers seized by Adolf Hitler in 1933. His Federalist Society apologists and Department of Justice appointees claim that President Bush has the same power to interpret the Constitution as the Supreme Court. An Alito Court is likely to agree with this false claim.

Bush Justice Department official and Berkeley law professor John Yoo argues that no law can restrict the President in his role as Commander In Chief. Thus, once the president is at war - even a vague, open-ended "war on terror" - Bush's Justice Department says the president is free to undertake any action in pursuit of war, including the torture of children and the indefinite detention of American citizens.

In a further bid this week to tighten their grip upon the United States, military leaders have announced that their nation's judges no longer have oversight over their actions, and as we can read as reported by the Reuters News Service in their article titled "US Says Gov't, Not Courts, Should Judge Spy Secrets," and which says:

"The United States government, not any court, is the best judge of whether to keep programs such as its controversial effort to eavesdrop on citizens a secret, an assistant attorney general said on Wednesday. Peter Keisler, an assistant attorney general, and other U. S. officials made the claim in the latest filing to a lawsuit alleging that telecommunications firm AT&T illegally allowed the government to monitor phone conversations and e-mail communications.

"In cases such as this one, where the national security of the United States is implicated, it is well established that the executive branch is best positioned to judge the potential effects of disclosure of sensitive information on the nation's security, they wrote in a filing on Wednesday evening."

Pravda.ru isn't. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755690)

Pravda has the same 'journalistic' mandate as the Weekly World News. This is the same site that recently claimed that centaurs were real, and the result of humans fucking horses.

As a foreigner... (0, Troll)

kinocho (978177) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755606)

I think you americans do not understand the rage, the hate and the loathing that (almost) everyone out of your country feels right now against that pitiful "president" you have.

Worst thing is, that the feeling is moving towards the american people as well for elected him... TWICE!!

What are you gonna do about it? When the fuck are you gonna wake up??

Now you can troll me, I am just another peasant from the third world anyway...

Re:As a foreigner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755654)

The same goes for his baby sidekick Blair who licks his texan cowboy boots at every opportunity.
The pair of them will go down in history as the people who made the world a more deadly place. Exactly the opposite that they and their puppet spokesmen/women say they are doing. IMHO, they are nothing more than a pair of power mad meglamaniacs.
There is a nice little island in the Atlantic Ocean that is suitable for them and their ilk. IT had one resident many years ago. Another power crazy guy called Napoleon!

Re:As an American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755679)

I don't fucking care what you "foreigners" think, feel, cry about, love, hate, blah blah blah. Get over it.

Re:As an American (1)

kinocho (978177) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755722)

Well, in my opinion as a foreigner, all of you can just go and die.

My problem comes from the moment YOU decided that U.S.A. have the monopoly on the law, freedom, international politics, commerce and then just started declaring wars to promote your own country against another ones...

Have you ever considered the possibility that we don't want you to tell us what is good and what is not?

I am pretty happy cleaning my house, why can not you stay in yours and do the same??

Re:As a foreigner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755699)

Actually, you can't blame the Americans. Bush and Kerry's popularity in 2004 was nearly equal:
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/17/poll.sun day/index.html [cnn.com]

I wasn't too happy about Bush's reelection. Most people I knew didn't like him either and were surprised when he won the reelection. The conservative folks I knew working in the government didn't like Bush as well, but they hated Kerry even more because he didn't stand for any position. They'd prefer a President who they could predict how he voted.

Finally, as to your comment about waking up, I think most Americans are awake. Bush's popularity is 38% and going lower. People hate him here. Unfortunately, the American media covers up much of the criticism going towards Bush. It looks like they're influenced by the President as well, after what happened to CBS.

Re:As a foreigner... (2, Interesting)

Edax Rarem (187218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755706)

As a native...
I am pretty sure we (the majority) didn't vote for him.
Through a series of tricks and covert maneuvers this administration effectively stole both the 2000 and 2004 elections. (see Robert Kennedy Jr's article in Rolling Stone).
Now, since these same people now control all 3 branches of our government there isn't much we CAN do, short of rebellion.

I believe we (again, the majority) are angry at what is being done, but the only tool available to change the situation is in the hands of those in charge.
What would you suggest we do?

What illegal actions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755625)

Umm, just exactly _what_ illegal actions occured?

That's it exactly (3, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755676)

Umm, just exactly _what_ illegal actions occured?

That's the question we'd like answered. It appears the President used his position to order wiretaps without bothering to get judicial authorisation, which is illegal. Or, at least, was at the time. That's the point of the investigation, to learn exactly what was done, when, by whom, and for what purpose.

If the President illegally ordered wiretaps, it's a Very Big Deal.

Fascism (2, Interesting)

Edax Rarem (187218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755652)

From Wikipedia:
Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.

Re:Fascism (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755708)

Wikipedia:
An encyclopedia that anyone can edit and often has wrong info.

liberalism? huh? you need to figure out what liberal means (notice the small L). Liberal= leftist. liberal= free. BIG difference.

Assumptions (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755673)

Kind of telling how not once but twice in the article the author assumes the program was illegal. Witness my daily happy dance that judges rather than partisan hack columnists decide what is illegal.

YRO? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755674)

Unless "NSA illegal surveillance scandal" referrs to some covert blog, I don't see how this impacts my rights online.

Incorrect Assumption (0, Troll)

jackalope (99754) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755678)

The submitter started with an incorrect statement. He stated that the foreign surveillance program was illegal. It is not. The only people that still claim it is illegal are those that cling to the mistaken notion that the wiretaps were for domestic calls, they were not. So, I guess the slashdot editors continue either in blind ignorance or willful ignorance of the facts of the situation.

So, it seems very justified that the President would block a useless investigation of a legal program especially since it seems that nobody in DC can keep their mouth shut about anti-terror programs.

Jack

Bush Makes His Own Rules - I Do What I Want! (3, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755691)

It's funny how Bush loves to pontificate about the spreading of 'Freedom' and 'Democracy' around the world, yet he is so good at suppressing it at home.
Apparently, he can do whatever he wants and not even the US Justice Department can overrule him.
Now I have to ask, do we really live in a 'Democracy?'

For futher reading, see: '1984' and 'V for Vendetta'

well, almost (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#15755693)

"By denying [...], President Bush has effectively blocked the [...] investigation into the matter of who exactly authorized the illegal actions to take place."

Technically, yes. Pragmatically, he has made it very, very obvious that it was either he himself or someone very close to him.

Never been a executive cover-up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15755718)

I have to wonder if this falls under the definition of obstruction of justice.

Other than that, I thing this story is bull. I have a really really hard time believing it isn't common practice to use the executive authority to define classified information and what level certain people have to that information. And it is likely used in exactly this way. I *might* buy that this is the first time this particular section of the DOJ has had it happen to them.

I'll say what has been said many times, "Anyone capable of becoming President of the United States of America, probably shouldn't be." I don't know who's quote that is, and I'm too lazy to google it.

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