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White House Derails Attempts to End Illegal Wiretapping

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-privacy's-best-friend dept.

Privacy 647

P. Rivacy writes "If you recall, last month we discussed Congress's attempts to outlaw the already illegal NSA wiretaps authorized by the President. The White House is now using delaying tactics to derail the passage of that bill. Their tactic is to stall on providing documents related to the President's warrantless wiretapping program, despite requests from the Senate Intelligence Committee that is currently reviewing the proposed legislation. '"Another critical priority for congressional oversight is government wiretapping of Americans, conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and, illegally, under the President's warrantless wiretapping program," Senator Russ Feingold said. "When the program was finally placed within the FISA process, an opportunity arose for the Administration and the Congress to move forward, under the law. Unfortunately, the Administration has yet to demonstrate a real interest in doing so."'"

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647 comments

Hmmm (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427253)

If you outlaw illegal wiretaps, only outlaws will use legal wiretaps.

Wiretap all muslims for 2 generations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427935)

That alone would reduce chances of terror in the US by 90%.

Why would they leave their savage countries to come here and continue living like savages (instead of adopting a proper way of life, for instance), if not to commit terrorist acts?

Well, it may not be accurate for all of them, but certainly the taleban look-alikes and the burka wearing women are here only to live off of society and the support from other muslims. Guantanamo for the lot of them.

We can still avoid becoming like the UK.

A universal maxim that applies here: (5, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427255)

The makers of rules are never motivated to personally abide them. Rules are for you to follow.

Ergo, it is up to us to demand that rulemakers comply at least as well as the rest of us.

Re:A universal maxim that applies here: (5, Insightful)

Liberaltarian (1030752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427393)

The makers of rules are never motivated to personally abide them. Rules are for you to follow.
Or, summed up in two words: signing statements [wikipedia.org] .

Re:A universal maxim that applies here: (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427835)

A great many people are motivated only by the threat of force to follow a great many rules, but those rules are often not good rules. I don't refrain from murdering because it is illegal and I might go to jail, I do so because it is wrong. The problem we find ourselves in is that those who are in charge want others to follow more and more rules while they follow fewer. Personally, I choose to ignore unjust laws, to the extent possible, and encourage others to do the same.

If our leaders can't follow just laws, then why should we obey unjust laws?

Re:A universal maxim that applies here: (2, Insightful)

ed333 (684843) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428063)

Sounds like it's time to start a massive campaign to flood congress and the white house with copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights to remind these jerkoffs where their power is derived from.

I predict... (4, Insightful)

code_nerd (37853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427267)

This administration is going to be remembered as the one that tried to undo the separation of powers between the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The tactic of ignoring laws and judgments that do not fit the executive agenda has worked for 6 years now, with no sign of letting up until the next election (at best).

Re:I predict... (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427435)

Well I have been of the opinion for years that history will judge the Bush administration unkindly, there have been too many lies and staggeringly arrogant incompetence for it to be otherwise. What I wonder now is if American political leaders realise the extent of the damage done to the international reputation of the US and show are prepared to show a bit of backbone by charging him and his administration with some of the offences they have committed.

Re:I predict... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427607)

I have to agree. Worse still, it's not likely that unless this president is acted against or otherwise stopped, any incoming president will not likely be interested in reversing the precedent set by the current administration. So the time to get this stuff corrected is now, before the next election. If another president gets elected and uses those same presumed powers, there will be a lot less that could stop him... or her...

Re:I predict... (0, Troll)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427805)

It very well may come to be remembered that way but history is seldom accurate. Many presidents have tried to erase these lines (Nixon, Regan, and Clinton come to mind) to one degree or another. Were GWB's recess appointments any less questionable than Clinton's? (Clinton's probably worse in this case) Was the firing of certain federal prosecutes by bush any less questionable than Clinton firing *all* of them? (Probably yes in this case) I mean this is a 200 yo power struggle between branches and the pendulum always swings, heck we have the speaker of the house trying to make herself the face of American foreign policy! all the branches are alwys bickering and its up to us the voters to wind the clock every now and again.

Re:I predict... (4, Insightful)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428023)

Was the firing of certain federal prosecutes by bush any less questionable than Clinton firing *all* of them?

I'd say it was more questionable on Bush's part. Clinton just fired the USAs en masse when he got into office, Bush seems to have fired specific USAs that would not speed up iffy prosecutions of democratic supporters in time for the election.

As for the recess appointments, I'd say it's a bit pathetic that Bush was forced to do recess appointments while his party held the majority in the legislature. Not to excuse Clinton's actions, but he was dealing with a legislature that was in the process of impeaching him, that doesn't leave much room to agree on appointees.

heck we have the speaker of the house trying to make herself the face of American foreign policy!

Actually we have the press and the republicans trying to convince people that congress people are somehow not alowed to leave the narrow confines of DC and their home district to look into situations. I mean, what was it a week, two weeks before that a republican delegation went and talked to Syria? No one said they were trying to be the face of American foreign policy.

ice attempt at an apologia for the Administration though.

Re:I predict... (4, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427867)

The tactic of ignoring laws and judgments that do not fit the executive agenda has worked for 6 years now

Come, come. 6 years? Ever heard the official term Contempt of Congress [wikipedia.org] ? This administration is yet to have an official to be so condemned (in six years!), but the list [wikipedia.org] is long, and even the previous administration is on it.

This is new how? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427333)

And yet we STILL haven't impeached him? WTF?

Re:This is new how? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427543)

You forget that we don't live in a democracy.

Re:This is new how? (1, Flamebait)

Hodar (105577) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427809)

We don't live in a Democracy, and we never have. If you knew what a 'Democracy' actually was; I think you'd be horrified. Think "Mob Rule". Want to make women sex slaves? Let's vote. Want Men to have zero rights, and work until they die to support females? Let's vote.

We live in a 'Consitutional Republic'; that is what our founding fathers created. This is the underlying reason why Republicans are called Republicans - because they support the Republic form of government, and Democrats support 'democracy'. Bear in mind, Republicans supported freeing the slaves, pushed desegregation, formed the ACLU, allowed women to vote; and were fought on each item by Democrats. Democrats supported slavery, democrats blocked schools to prevent desegregation efforts, and have opposed equal rights - yet now claim to have invented the idea.

Do some research, look, learn. You may be amazed.

Re:This is new how? (5, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427991)

Bear in mind, Republicans supported freeing the slaves, pushed desegregation, formed the ACLU, allowed women to vote; and were fought on each item by Democrats.

Bear in mind that the parties have essentially reversed. In the 1950s/1960s, the Democrats were the party of the South and the Republicans the party of the North. It's backwards now. What happened is complicated, but it includes a number of factors including the decline of unions, the rise of the Religious Right, the general polarization of the parties into a "conservative party" (Republicans) and a "liberal party" (Democrats), the increasing geographical divide between secular and religious values, and a whole host of other issue.

Re:This is new how? (2, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427581)

This would put Cheney in charge.
I don't think you've thought your brilliant plan all the way through.

Re:This is new how? (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428019)

With luck, Cheney would have a heart attack when he found out that his diabolical plan finally worked.

Just impeach his sorry ass (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427339)

His approval ratings are so low that the Democrats could safely bring impeachment charges without any real damage if they stick to what are the more sober charges:

1) Violating the 4th amendment.
2) Failing to protect the border, which is a legal obligation under Article 4, Section IV of the US Constitution.
3) Lying to Congress about the intelligence that lead us into Iraq.
4) Lying to Congress about the true cost of his medicare expansion.

#2 would go over very well with a lot of the public because in most polls, about 70% of the population, cutting across ideology, firmly opposes Bush's amnesty plan.

Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury, and should have been removed. He didn't just lie, he lied while under oath in a court of law, which is a **felony**. Bush did far worse. The case against him should be a lot easier.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (5, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427507)

The real question here is why was he being asked under oath about something that isn't even illegal? He may have broken the law by lying about getting a blowjob, but the inference here shouldn't have been that Clinton lies, it should have been congress was inappropriately overreaching deep into a the personal life of our president.

What bush has done to freedom, to fiscal security, and to the world is deserving of far worse than impeachment.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (1, Troll)

Jhon (241832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427661)

Because it wasn't a CRIMINAL case, it was a CIVIL case. He was being asked about behaviour that was consistent with the claim of sexual harassment. That is SPOT ON a correct question to ask in a CIVIL case.

He wasn't impeached for a BJ, he was impeached because a sitting President willfully lied under oath and derailed the legal system. Had he not been caught, he would have successfully circumvented the rights of the woman who claimed she was sexually harassed.

Why is this so hard for people to understand? It wasn't about the leude behavior -- it was about lying about relevant facts of a CIVIL case.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427789)

Because it wasn't a CRIMINAL case, it was a CIVIL case. He was being asked about behaviour that was consistent with the claim of sexual harassment. That is SPOT ON a correct question to ask in a CIVIL case.

He was being asked about an entirely consensual (by all accounts) sexual act, to try to establish that he was a harasser? Can you really not see the flaw in the logic there?

Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky was utterly irrelevant to the case at hand, as the only allegations of impropriety were related to infidelity, which is not what the lawsuit was supposed to be about.

However, since the lawsuit actually was about the infidelity (as it was not a serious attempt to find him guilty, but only to ruin his reputation) the whole thing was a farce to begin with.

The point remains that nothing Clinton did was as bad as what we've seen from Bush. If you believe that Clinton did wrong, then you can only believe that Bush did more wrong, or you are simply a hypocrite.

I despise lies, but I despise partisan political bullshit even more.

Car analogy! (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427979)

He was being asked about an entirely consensual (by all accounts) sexual act, to try to establish that he was a harasser? Can you really not see the flaw in the logic there?

Imagine that it was about stealing person A's car.

Would it be appropriate to ask if he had ever driven person B's car WITH HER PERMISSION? Yes/No

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (2, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427815)

To add to what Jhon said, it was not even Congress that decided to investigate the perjury, it was Janet Reno and the judges overseeing the independent prosecutor. Someone approached Starr with evidence that Clinton lied under oath, he went to Reno and the judges, and they told him to investigate it.

Note that Clinton DID commit perjury, a crime. He was not prosecuted for it while in office because we do not charge the President with crimes. When he left office, he struck a bargain to avoid prosecution.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427545)

But if we impeach Bush, we get President Cheney. Most of these things were his idea. If we impeach Cheney, we get President Pelosi, and the Republican attack machine would not allow that.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427593)

I'd add:

5) Suspending the writ of habeas corpus (a violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution)

6) Subjecting suspects to torture (a violation of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, and probably many other laws)

I don't understand why people shy away from addressing these things. The Democratic politicians seem to be afraid to mention them. They are, nonetheless, indisputable acts with overwhelming evidence (which Bush has gone so far as to publicly support in his speeches; he doesn't even try to hide it).

I would suggest removing #2 from your list, because it is a vague accusation that I doubt could be argued legally.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427669)

My my, aren't we getting a bit carried away with ourselves here.

1)Violation of 4th Ammendment

It remains judicially unsettled if Bush's wiretaps are unconstitutional.

2) Failing to protect the borders

Section IV states:

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

Would you call increasing the number of border agents, and signing bills to build new fences on the border a failing to protect? Fighting the battle is not the same as losing it.

3) Lying to congress about Iraqi intelligence

Where is your proof that he lied? The latest evidence I have seen shows that the intelligence was just bad.

4) Lying about Medicare expansion

You believe an estimation of cost is lying if that estimate turns out to be wrong? I hope you don't have to have your car serviced any time soon...

Impeachment is a pipe dream. If you want Bush out of power wait until 2008 because you missed your opportunity in 2004.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (4, Insightful)

griffjon (14945) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427675)

Haven't we ratified the Geneva conventions as well, and ignored that? Not to mention perjury (they did learn something from Clinton - never get caught in being questioned under oath!). I'm sure trying to repeal habeas corpus could get wedged in as well. Impeach these anti-constitutional nutcases ASAP

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (-1, Flamebait)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427701)

Your little list to impeach is stupid on points 2-4. #1 maybe valid...but your point 2~4 are most certainly NOT!!! As for Bush I dont recall him lying under oath....nice try. As for the amnesty plan...you cannot convict someone for a proposed amnesty you dang NAZI!! #3 & #4 is not a crime considering Congress lies as often or more. There are lots of things to complain about but your #2~#4 is just more partisan politics and not actually against the law. Show me where you can prove #3 and that he was under oath and i might give you partial credit for it...but #2 and #4 are complete and utter BS. That would be like locking up all the Democrates for their Social Security FRAUD that they have hoisted on the whole country for several generations.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427791)

Godwin's Law, you lose.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427799)

And yet, when you get older you'll accept those checks with a smile on your face.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (2, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427779)

His approval ratings are so low that the Democrats could safely bring impeachment charges without any real damage if they stick to what are the more sober charges:
There are none.

1) Violating the 4th amendment.
This is a legal dispute, and can be reasonably adjudicated only by the Court. For the Congress to enforce its Constitutional interpretation, which goes against past precedent and even existing opinion from the FISA Court of Review, would be a violation of separation of powers. The public would not look kindly on such a usurpation, especially when the program in question is not even in current operation.

2) Failing to protect the border, which is a legal obligation under Article 4, Section IV of the US Constitution.
The President is charged with enforcing the law as passed by Congress, and in this regard he has done so as well as any President.

Also, that would be "Article IV, Section 4" not the other way around, and it is specific to the federal government, not the Executive. And the language it uses, "invasion," is something most legal experts think does not apply to illegal immigration (and again, even if it did, it would mean the Congress has failed in its duties to pass laws to repel such an invasion, and the Congress can hardly hold the President accountable for that).

3) Lying to Congress about the intelligence that lead us into Iraq.
There is simply no evidence supporting this claim.

4) Lying to Congress about the true cost of his medicare expansion.
Not only is there no evidence supporting this claim, but every Democratic leader is guilty of the same "crime." (And technically, Bush could not have lied to Congress about this anyway, since he did not introduce the bill! Indeed, it is not even POSSIBLE for him to do so.)

Keep trying! The Congress can impeach for any reason, of course, but you've offered only bad ones, that certainly would put the public against the Democrats, forcing them to take sides with Bush, which is the last thing the Democrats want. And besides, almost every Senator wants to be President: none of them would want to remove the President from office for such weak arguments.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (3, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427937)

The grandparent is off in the weeds, but there's a perfectly good basis for impeaching Bush. He has plainly admitted to authorizing 45 wiretaps of domestic telephones without the approval of the FISA court. That is simply illegal. In fact it's a felony and it carries a 5-year jail sentence.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427821)

Technically, Clinton did not commit perjury. Check out this site [huppi.com] for a pretty succinct explanation of why he didn't.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (2, Insightful)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427863)

Major problem: As low as his approval ratings are the house Democrats are just as low. Basically it would be a cripple fight and nobody (or everybody depending on your disposition) wins a cripple fight. Bush could be impeached but he would not be removed and that, in the end, would help him just as it did Clinton.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427961)

Any lie by an official to the public, whether under oath or not, falls under the strict definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" and is therefore impeachable. Technically all of the contradictory statements to the press (especially with many examples by Cheney) are also impeachable.

Re:Just impeach his sorry ass (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428007)

The reason Bush will never be impeached is BECAUSE his ratings are so low.

There is little gain in impeaching a president who is doing so badly, especially when the impeachment process comes with a huge risk of public backlash. The Democrats are already getting what they want: public disdain for the Republicans thanks to Bush. The Democrats have little to gain by doing an impeachment and a lot to lose if something goes wrong.

Hint: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427341)

Hint to those warring on terror:

Stop being such wussbags.

Legalities and such (3, Insightful)

andyring (100627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427365)

Keep in mind, people, that regardless of what some senator says, until these wiretaps have been found illegal in a court of law and upheld on appeal, calling them "illegal" is terribly disingenous. They can be alleged to be illegal but until it is found to be illegal in a court of law, it is flat-out wrong (and overtly politically motivated) to call them illegal.


And, if you actually take the time to look into the entire program, I think you'll find that these alleged wiretaps are NOT occuring on domestic phone calls between American citizens. They are happening between people residing in this country (not necessarily citizens) and another party typically in al Queda-linked countries.

BULLSHIT! (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427461)

And, if you actually take the time to look into the entire program, I think you'll find that these alleged wiretaps are NOT occuring on domestic phone calls between American citizens. They are happening between people residing in this country (not necessarily citizens) and another party typically in al Queda-linked countries.

And since NONE of the facts have been released, exactly HOW is it that YOU know who has and has not been tapped?

IF that was the case, THEN it would be EXACTLY the kind of situation that FISA was supposed to handle.

Re:Legalities and such (5, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427551)

I made another post talking about this at greater length, but the fact is that you're right that without a court ruling we can't say with certainty that this program was illegal. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that Bush has not claimed that he has complied with the law, and rather has argued that he does not need to comply with the law because the Constitution grants him the power to ignore the 4th Ammendment when he wants to, is all I need to know to form an educated layman's opinion that the NSA program was not in compliance with the law, i.e. illegal.

The only real question is whether the court will agree with Bush's interpretation of the Constitution. The question of whether he complied with FISA has already been answered. And somehow I doubt the Judicial branch will agree that the Judicial power of granting warrants is irrelevent to the Executive branch.

Re:Legalities and such (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427561)

"And, if you actually take the time to look into the entire program, I think you'll find that these alleged wiretaps are NOT occuring on domestic phone calls between American citizens. They are happening between people residing in this country (not necessarily citizens) and another party typically in al Queda-linked countries. "
Based on what facts? Where do you get your source of information from? Part of what you say is true....But what about the terrorist making calls to other terrorist within the united states!?

Also bullshit (2, Insightful)

guspasho (941623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427567)

In addition to what the first to claim bullshit on your argument said, of course the wiretapping is illegal. The law (FISA) says they need a court order. They aren't getting them, they haven't been getting them for the entire existence of the program. Your argument is as absurd as murdering a man in broad daylight and claiming to the witnesses that you didn't murder him and didn't break the law because a court hasn't ruled that you did.

Re:Also bullshit (1)

andyring (100627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427731)

Your "absurd" claim is actually 100 percent true. By guarantee of the Constitution, anyone charged with a crime is by default INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty in a court of law. Until then, you could be termed an "alleged murderer" but not a "murderer" or a "convicted murderer."

Re:Also bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427995)

You conveniently dropped "considered." People are /considered/ [that is, by the legal system] innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The legal system does not dictate truth or change reality as a result of a conviction. If you kill someone, you /are/ a murderer whether or not you have been convicted. If the actions of the administration are clear and blatant violations of legal statute and the Constitution, they /are illegal/ whether or not they have been convicted.

Don't think so (1)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427775)

I'm sorry, but it's just wrong to say that "of course the wiretapping is illegal". The legality of the issue is still being debated. In fact, according to the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] , there have even been several circuit court rulings upholding the legality of the surveillance.

Re:Legalities and such (1)

drmerope (771119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427695)

I'm sorry but that sort of attitude is not only wrong, it's dangerous--and for the record I've not been convinced the NSA program was ever illegal. I think you're infusing Marbury v. Madison [wikipedia.org] with a meaning that it doesn't have.

All officers of the United States, all legislators, and all judges have a responsibility to judge for themselves the meaning and bounds of the constitution and the law. It is true that simply calling something a name doesn't make it so. But this rule applies to the courts and judges as well as to congress and congressmen.

This is quite different than the requirement for deprive some of life, liberty, or property. There all branches of government must concur.

Re:Legalities and such (5, Informative)

fuzznutz (789413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427707)

Ahem... It was declared illegal last year by a district court judge.

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/nsaspying/26489prs200 60817.html [aclu.org]

It is flat-out wrong to call them overtly politically motivated and not to call them illegal.

Incidentally, I am a registered Republican and I am incensed that Bush and Gonzales call themselves Republicans.

Re:Legalities and such (1)

mindwar23 (964732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427769)

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Thanks, good save.

Your joking right (1)

stabiesoft (733417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427719)

I s'pose you think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction too

Re:Legalities and such (1)

mindwar23 (964732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427725)

If the alleged wiretaps are so squeaky clean--i.e. only occuring under the limited circumstances that have been made public by the administration--then why did they reject the legal framework [wikipedia.org] that was already in place for such actions? All they had to do was go before a secret court [wikipedia.org] and argue that the person or persons under surveillance were attempting to aid a foreign power. They could even apply for retroactive warrants after the surveillance had already begun. The circumstances they describe easily fall within the court's area of review--and the court almost never rejected the government's requests.

Since the surveillance intentionally circumvented federal laws requiring judicail oversight, I don't think it's at all unreasonable to call them "illegal," though I will grant you they need to be reviewed by the judiciary--and until they are their legality is a matter of opinion. Also, one only has to qualify as a "U.S. person" as opposed to a U.S. citizen in order to fall under the protections of FISA--meaning that any legal resident of the United States is proteted from unwarranted government wiretaps.

Re:Legalities and such (2, Insightful)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427881)

Wiretaps *ARE* illegal unless authorised under "probable cause".
The FISA ('78) was the only one offering some leeway in how wiretapping could be conducted OUTSIDE of "regular" law enforcement prior to 9/11.

And then, there's the "U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act" shortly afterwards.
Quoting wikipedia on that:

"The original Act had a sunset clause to ensure that Congress would need to take active steps to reauthorize it. Like many sweeping reform laws, the people of the United States needed time to test and implement its measures before deciding what provisions to keep and which to modify. One of the challenges to the original Act had been perceived civil liberties intrusions. The reauthorization resolution passed in 2006 contained the following civil liberties protections ("Safeguards"):
[...]
* Requiring Additional Specificity from an Applicant Before Roving Surveillance May be Authorized: The USA PATRIOT Act conference report addresses concerns about vagueness in applications for roving wiretaps in foreign spying and terrorism investigations by requiring additional specificity in these applications in order for a FISA Court judge to consider authorizing a roving wiretap.
* Requiring Court Notification Within 10 Days of Conducting Surveillance on a New Facility Using a Roving Wiretap: The USA PATRIOT Act conference report addresses concerns the roving wiretap authority could be abused by requiring the investigators to inform the FISA Court within 10 days when the roving surveillance authority is used to target a new facility.
* Requiring Ongoing FISA Court Notification of the Total Number of Places or Facilities Under Surveillance Using a Roving Wiretap: The USA PATRIOT Act conference report enhances judicial oversight to address any concerns that the roving wiretap authority could be abused. Specifically, the conference report requires the FISA Court to be informed on an ongoing basis of the total number of places or facilities under surveillance using a roving wiretap authority.
* Requiring Additional Specificity in a FISA Court Judges Order Authorizing a Roving Wiretap: The USA PATRIOT Act conference report addresses concerns about vagueness about the target in a FISA Court judges order authorizing a roving wiretap in foreign spying and terrorism investigations by requiring additional specificity."

Basically, it's no question that the wiretaps are legal or illegal, they were obviously and intentionally abusing a PROBABLE legal grey area in between, exploiting weaknesses in the promulgated legislation.
With this, the legislators try to FINALLY DEEM IT ILLEGAL FOR GOOD, to eliminate all probable legal uncertainties regarding them that MIGHT have been exploited to CLAIM they are legal in the first place.

One more thing to add in the "only in America" list of things: "Only in America, you need to pass a new law deeming something already illegal to be actually illegal".

Wanted: sturdy table (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427385)

Sturdy table, capable of holding impeachment, desperately needed.

Please send to Speaker Pelosi on behalf of the people of the United Stated.

What I find astonishing is... No impeachment yet?? (5, Interesting)

SadGeekHermit (1077125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427391)

I mean, think about it, all Nixon did was send some spooks into the Watergate Hotel to snoop on the Democratic Convention. Suddenly he was Satan incarnate, and the whole country was on him like a cheap suit.

Dubya and his cronies spy on EVERYBODY, brag about it, torture people to death, invade other countries for personal gain, "out" CIA agents, fire U.S. attorneys, get cozy with the commies in China, kidnap people (extraordinary rendition)...

And nothing! Not a whimper! And the Red States think he's a Good Ole' Boy!

Seriously, people -- WTF???

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (2, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427513)

There is a difference between spying on your political opponents and spying on your countries' opponents.

One is both illegal espionage on a POPULAR group and ALSO an attempt to disrupt the basic running of your own government.

The other is an is an illegal espionage on a totally unpopular group for the legal purpose of supporting the basic running of our country.

While popularity may not be a reasonable counterargument, the disruption vs. support is a good one.

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (2, Insightful)

SadGeekHermit (1077125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427583)

Except that Dubya is spying on all of US. ALL of us. Not just foreigners, and definitely not just arabs.

The NSA is equipped to filter and process ALL telephone communications. Don't fool yourself; they're listening.

Actually, they have been for a long time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON [wikipedia.org]

So, you know... Your argument is like unto a cup of yummy kool ade!

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (1)

welshwaterloo (740554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427527)

Shh.. I'm trying to watch the latest series of 'America's Got Talent'..

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (1)

gregoryb (306233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427557)

There's a whole mess of congresscritters over on Capitol Hill that need to grow a pair! It's time to start checking and balancing, for cryin' out loud!

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427603)

Look at Nixon. He looked grim and serious.

Look at Bush. He looks like the village idiot. His bumbling over words actually works out to be an endearing quality. (I can't stand what the man has done to this country, and even I fondly quote words such as 'Grecian' and 'strategery'.)

Like everything else in life, politics boils down to personality. Bush has a disarming personality. Nixon didn't. :P

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (1)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427923)

I know, what kind of a moron would use a word like Grecian [wiktionary.org] ?!

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (2, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427679)

"I mean, think about it, all Nixon did was send some spooks into the Watergate Hotel to snoop on the Democratic Convention. Suddenly he was Satan incarnate, and the whole country was on him like a cheap suit."

No, the whole country wasn't on him like a cheap suit until well after wrong-doing had been established. Until that point, most either didn't care or thought Nixon was innocent of the accusations. It did sound more than a wee bit like a tin-foil-hat conspiracy. It didn't help that Nixon's political enemies had been hounding him for years. Remember all the fuss over accepting a frickin dog as a gift? Nixon's downfall started years before his near-impeachment and most of it revolved around enemies he made while he was politically involved with McCarthy.

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (1)

SadGeekHermit (1077125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427921)

Re-read my post. I didn't say anything about WHEN they were "all over him like a cheap suit" I only said it was directly tied to Watergate, and that Bush has done so much worse (without any real consequences).

Your post reinforces mine, actually. It suggests that Nixon didn't even particularly DESERVE to be picked on. It makes the distance between Bush and Nixon even farther.

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (0, Flamebait)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427771)

SadGeekHermit....LEARN SOME GD HISTORY and quit with your politican agenda. President Nixon...took the hit because he as head of the party took responsibility something you Dems have NEVER DONE!!! SOCIAL SECURITY IS YOUR FAULT, MEDICARE YOUR FAULT, FOOD STAMPS and WELFARE ALL YOUR FAULTS!!! yet you will not take the rap for it...or admit its your fault. Nixon does the honorable thing and took the fall....something your boy Clinton couldnt, wouldnt do...just like a dem. Hell Clinton wouldnt even admit that a BJ is sex.

Re:What I find astonishing is... No impeachment ye (1, Insightful)

SadGeekHermit (1077125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427847)

So... What you're really saying is that because:

Social Security is the Democrat's doing;
Medicare is the Democrat's doing;
Food stamps and welfare are the Democrat's doing;

(I.E. all of the most humanistic, compassionate programs our government has ever created were done by Democrats)

The Democratic party is the party that actually cares about people?

Yeah, you know? I think you're right. Thanks for the compliment.

From a Red Stater (GA).... (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427861)

And nothing! Not a whimper! And the Red States think he's a Good Ole' Boy! Seriously, people -- WTF???

Yes, I actually know folks who still think Bush is doing a "heck evah job"! You can't miss them. They drive the biggest SUVs or luxury cars with pristine "W '04" bumper stickers on them.

Are they your stereotypical Bible Thumper? No. At least the Bible Thumpers have some sort of peaceful philosophy behind them - really, they do! No, these folks are your business-executive-law-and-order type that needs America to assert her power. These folks want America to stay the Super Power for ever and ever. These folks equate greatness with military power.

Then there are the Security Moms. They also drive the biggest SUVs because "they're safer"! (Yeah, try to explain to them that driving it like a sports car while talking on their cell phones means death - which they all do.) They want their kids o be safe from the big bad turbaned boogy man. Bush is the guy to save them and their children! You have to think of the children!

The Bible thumpers got all the blame for Bush - which is true for his first term, but second, no way! It was the folks who I mentioned.

That's just my political analysis. But as always, my user name is my disclaimer.

Re:From a Red Stater (GA).... (1)

SadGeekHermit (1077125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428069)

Oh, I agree with you 100%. I know people in the red states who are completely sensible and normal. And it really is small business types and security moms who are the real problem... It's like they've tied their egos to the U.S. being a colonial empire. Shame that there's so many of them.

But, whether most "bible thumpers" are peaceful Christians or not, their LEADERS are crazier than two cats in a footlocker. Remember that 700 club guy who advocated the assassination of a world leader not so long ago? Some'a them guys are NUTS.

Ah, well... We'll have to see how things turn out.

Enough with the damned calls for impeachment! (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427907)

And what good will an impeachment do? You people need to start getting your facts straight. All that an impeachment does is specify the charges in the House of Representatives. That's it. It does nothing except put into the history books that George W. Bush was impeached. Big flipping deal.

At that point it goes onto the Senate for the actual "trial". News flash - indictment requires a two thrids majority. Right now, the Dems have a one seat (by party) majority totalling far short of the necessary 2/3 vote necessary. On top of that the Chief Justice of the USSC has to preside over the case. You know, the same Chief Justice who was nominated by the guy you people want to impeach?

What the hell good do you really think is going to happen by an impeachment? Cheney moves in, who as far as I can tell is hated even more. What then? Another impeachment? More time wasted? So, is this really to get Bush out or to get Pelosi in, the same Pelosi who wasted how much time at the start of this Congressional session with useless, symbolic resolutions that stated nothing more than what we already knew - Democrats hate Bush. Well, duh!

Bush and Cheney are out of here in 19 months anyway! What good is an impeachment going to do except to give the Bush haters a reason to say, "Yay! We got the lame duck!" Or are Slashdot and Digg really so blinded by Bush hatred that they are really willing to waste so much time on the fallacy that anyone has to be better than who we have now for someone who is out of here in less than two years?

For the record, I'm not a Bush lover by any chance. He betrayed the Republican party and I will never forgive him for that. But even I knew that the Clinton impeachment was a crock of sh*t. I knew it should never have happened; I knew it would go nowhere; I knew that it would do more harm than good; I knew that it was just a waste of time in order to make a useless, symbolic attack. It's a shame that some of you apparently haven't learned from history.

Re:Enough with the damned calls for impeachment! (1)

SadGeekHermit (1077125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427977)

Ah, but impeaching THIS fellow will put all of the information in one place, making it that much easier on the Hague later on when they catch up with him.

But perhaps you don't think that's going to happen. We'll see.

Okay (4, Insightful)

VariableGHz (1099185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427409)

It's mind-boggling how difficult this seems to stop. It's already illegal for chrissakes, how do you put a ban on something that's already illegal?

Blatant and ongoing violations of the law (5, Insightful)

guspasho (941623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427417)

Here's an idea. How about suing them and forcing them to stop? They've already demonstrated don't care about the law. They've broken FISA blatantly and repeatedly. And when they were caught they proved shameless enough to openly continue breaking the law. There is no reason to believe they will stop if we write more laws. Impeach them and sue them. Throw them out of office and in jail. It's the only way to restore the rule of law.

What about me? (3, Insightful)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427427)

I am an Arab looking Indian dude who seldom ever calls home with my phone connection. I've installed Skype on my phone and call abroad with that because it's WAAAY cheaper... Now I wonder if they can/do tap into Skype... Fundamentally, this is akin to the DRM issue. Those that want to make calls and talk about anthrax will use modes of communication that aren't monitored and those who pay the penalty are Arab looking Indian dudes... *sigh*... Cheers!

Re:What about me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427517)

I am an Arab looking Indian dude...

GET HIM!!!!

Re:What about me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19428053)

how about all the tens of thousands of innocent arabs?

Need a court ruling on this (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427431)

Too bad until somebody figures out that they've been spied upon and sues the government we can't get a court ruling either way. But I do look to the Judiciary for help here, because even in todays climate they have handed Bush several major wakeup calls regarding his conception of how the law works.

The most telling thing to answer the question though of "were these wiretaps illegal without any new law needing to be passed making them so?" is the Bush team's defense of the program. They have never argued that they are operating in compliance with FISA, that the program was operating within the written law. They have only argued that Bush, being the President, has the inherent authority to conduct such searches as he deems fit in the interest of national security.

Obviously Bush's administration has been pushing very hard to increase the power of the Executive, and this is part of that. But if there was an actual legal explanation for the program that made it clear that Bush was complying with the law, wouldn't it be better to avoid the scandal and ongoing conflict? He wouldn't have to abandon the stance that he can do whatever he wants. So when his best reply is "yes I ignored the law but I can do that because I'm president", that's pretty much all I need to hear.

I highly doubt that should it come to it that SCOTUS would agree with the President's views.

P.S. I'm sure someone will bring up the "other presidents did warantless taps!" talking point, but if you actually read what all these other presidents did from Carter on it was in compliance with the terms of FISA that allow warrantless tapping. Bush isn't even pretending that he is doing the same thing, which is why it's only conservative talk show hosts and not the White House PR who bring this up.

Bah. (0)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427443)

The people most concerned are those who have something to hide. AKA Corrupt Politicians and those associated with them.

If laws weren't as shitty as they are now with tapping, cell triangulation would be a bit more efficient and quick when trying to find missing people.... Like the chick in Kansas they found by her cell phone a few days too late because of the gay-ass "warrant" process taking 2 days.

Re:Bah. (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427667)

Given that FISA warrants can be filed up to 72 hours after the wiretapping, I don't see how the current law was the failure in this situation.

Re:Bah. (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427917)

From what I was reading (I may just be misunderstanding), the reason it took them so long to triangulate the girl's location was because it took days for them to even get permission through the warrant system to be able to trace her phone. By then, it was way too late.

I know there are other bad things about tapping as well as all the other pros and cons... but, you'd think that after issues with national security, abductions and drug issues, they would have found some "special case" laws to circumvent all the bullshit with a bit less of a paper trail.

If someone was able to find out the president was doing it without warrant,(mainly media) then who else has access to that information?

Re:Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427817)

The people most concerned are those who have something to hide. AKA Corrupt Politicians and those associated with them.

Yo Mocky! What's up? I so miss getting stoned with you before history class?

Are you still working for Joe's Lawn Service?

Sticktuitiveness (5, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427477)

The White House is nothing, if not consistent. It will not give ground on issues it deems important. They are convinced that the only way to catch terrorists on American soil is to tap everyone's phones and read everyone's email. While it may be a laudable idea in theory, the practice is far from certain to net anything useful. This is the information age. The terrorists no doubt know what is being tapped or watched. They haven't exactly proven themselves to be stupid or they would never have been able to pull off 9-11. So while the White House is sure that they'll catch them red-handed, the terrorists are no doubt finding other avenues of communication that the government can't tap into.

Al Qaeda took advantage of our false sense of security, and this is just more of that, only with bells, whistles, and the cry of "See?!? There hasn't been a terrorist attack here lately!". We're no more secure now than we were then, just more aware. What we do with that awareness will count for more than all the tapped phone calls the NSA listens to.

Re:Sticktuitiveness (2, Insightful)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427885)

Insightful ?!!????? My aren't we naive. The last thing this administration wants to do is "catch the terrorists". Think for a minute. It will come to you, just take off your rose coloured glasses and forget about the monster under your bed for a moment and think like a grown up.

The liberal hand wringing in this thread is: (-1, Troll)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427509)

Priceless.

It's a shame all you can - nay all you will - ever do about it is whine on Slashdot.

Re:The liberal hand wringing in this thread is: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427681)

WRONG! I post on Kuro5hin too...

Re:The liberal hand wringing in this thread is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427793)

Say that to me in person and you'll be trying to pick up your teeth.

Re:The liberal hand wringing in this thread is: (1)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427955)

Say that to me in person and you'll be trying to pick up your teeth.

You know how to get someone to stop complaining about Bush? You ask them:

A. Did you vote? (2 out of 3 will answer no - usually followed by a hilarious excuse such as my car was broken or I live in a blue/red state so my vote doesn't matter - so you can stop there, that is enough.)

For the other 1 out of 3, ask them what they, personally, have done rather than complain amongst themselves.

Invariably, the answer boils down to 'Nothing'.

And if you want to make threats, post logged in. I'd be happy to arrange a meeting with you, but I suspect your threat is about as empty as the posts on Slashdot are.

Re:The liberal hand wringing in this thread is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427873)

Also, we may return the Congress to Democratic control. Err wait. We already did that. Ok, then we'll make sure that the next President is a Democrat.

Hopefully if enough people see how ignorant, deceitful, and bloodthirsty the batch of Republican candidates are this should be a pretty easy Presidential election, and one from which our nation will benefit greatly.

Just say no to fascism.

Rules (1)

DigitalDwarf (902246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427511)

Just remember the Unbreakable Rule can always be bent to ones needs.

I'm astonished (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427559)

The White House is blocking attempts from Congress to change their current path? I'm completely surprised. I mean, what's next, the idea that next-gen consoles could go down in price at some future point?

Series of impeachments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427563)

A series of impeachments could speed up the process.

It could be started with the Attorney General who is supposed to be the first line of defence of the constitution against power hungry Vice-Presidents and Presidents.

And before anything else, the institution of Presidential veto should be temporarily revoked to any related cases.
Presidents under impeachment process should not have the right to excercise this extraordinary personal power.

G8 (3, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427571)

"In doing so, the Administration violated the National Security Act, which allows restricted notification to the "Gang of Eight" only in certain limited cases involving covert action." At least they used the right terms in the article:

gang1 (gng) pronunciation n.

A group of criminals or hoodlums who band together for mutual protection and profit.
A group of adolescents who band together, especially a group of delinquents.
A pack of wolves or wild dogs.

One with a logical mind has to clearly wonder what this administration is really up to at this point. They've subverted laws across all boundaries (national and international) yet nothing is done. The second a prior idiot played with a cigar, they tried impeaching him. I don't know about you but a cigar is nothing in comparison to privacy invasion, AT&T wiretaps, warrantless searches and phone taps... Did this man never read the federalist papers let alone any paper outside of Hustler magazine.

how much longer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19427587)

how much longer can the united states continue like this? (and by 'this', i mean our level of comfortability.)
i think our comfortability will be our downfall. our way of life has and is definitely being eroded, but people don't see this for what it is, they consider it 'evolution' or change in regards to our way of life. sure. things change. but they are changing with a rapidity surpassing anything in documented history, and to shrug at this and say it will work out in the end is pure ignorance as there is no accurate method of predicting drastic changes like the ones we are currently undergoing.
to me, it is infinitely depressing that the biggest issues in america are being ignored and smokescreened. children are being brainwashed into the propaganda of the state. it, to me, is so disgustingly depressing that children are taught things about jackson, jefferson, and lincoln-- and yet, none of them know the biggest issue these men contended with. the international bankers. when you bring up the subject of the federal reserve and the fact that it isn't federal at all, and has no reserves, the ignorant masses look at you with that 'tinfoil hat' glare, but the facts are the facts. ben bernanke, when he was only a federal reserve rep gave a speech at milton freidman's 90th birthday(a nobel prize winning economist, and huge opponent of the FED), he said "regarding the great depression, you're right, we did it, we're very sorry.", yet, if you say to people 'the federal reserve caused the depression' they look at you like you are a fucking nutjob. jackson's tombstone says "i killed the bank", and he fucking did. it took them ~70 years to undo what he did and regain their controlling monopoly over printing our nations money and collecting interest on it (which is really where our deficit comes from. all this talk about balancing the budget is a fucking smokescreen, it wont change shit until we stop using THEIR 'federal reserve notes', because the federal reserve notes are what is causing our deficit.)
i am fully convinced things will not get better until people finally realize that they have been backed into a corner. thats when instinct kicks in. so, congratulations america, for anything to get better, 4/5ths of us have to die. the last 1/5th will then realize 'holy shit, i should probably do something besides read my new copies of maxim/fhm/stuff.'

Have you ever thought about who is a terrorist? (2, Insightful)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427633)

It seems in the fervor of anti-terrorism, the Republicans and Bush are misusing their power in the name of justice. They are unable to see that it is they who are the actual terrorists. Only terrorists and tyrants will spy on the innocent, searching for a crime. It seems that Bush is determined to override what was set down 200 years ago, and revert us back to a dictatorship. I for one, do not welcome this change. I say that congress should go ahead and impeach Bush, and then the Senate should remove him in disgrace for attempting to disturb the peace by spying on the inncoent, and inaverdently acting like a terrorist.

Solution (1, Interesting)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427641)

As the Cypherpunk Tim May used to say, these people need killing . While I don't advocate such extreme measures myself, all these people do need to be replaced on November 10, 2008. If the ballot box is not effective (if the election is stolen again) there's always the ammo box.

For now, let's put the soap box to good use.

Did you hear about this one? (4, Informative)

Wubby (56755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427745)

Check out http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/16/115444 /263 [dailykos.com]
This is the testimony of James Comey, who was the acting AG while John Ashcroft was in the ICU after surgury. Al Gonzoles and Andrew Card sought to push a sick, bed ridden old man to agree to their illegal program (according to the AG, they guy who's job it was to determine that). It took the FBI (guys with guns) to ensure that the acting AG would NOT get pushed out of the way. Essentially, FBI direct Meuller ordered his men to protect the AG from the White House's representitives.

This is sh!t that's supposed to happen only in 3rd world dictatorships, not the US of A!

The White House went ahead with the illegal program anyway. And yes, according to the TOP guy hired to enforce the LAW of the USA, it was illegal!

"attempts to outlaw the already illegal NSA wireta (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427747)

Does anyone read these summaries before posting them?

If the wiretaps are already illegal, then there's no need for further legislation. As for the White House tactics, well, that's life in the big city.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I get it. It's a story about Chimpy Bushitler Mc Halliburton. In that case, pitchforks, tumbrils, and guillotines. Immediately.

The problem with impeachment... (2, Insightful)

lordvalrole (886029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427765)

The problem with impeachment is a lot of things. First and foremost we would have Mr. Dick Cheney as our president which is just as bad if not worse than curious george. It would take too long to impeach his dumbass. Impeachment is far too late at this point. Although, I would like to see the entire government just be wiped clean. All the members of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branch just be wiped clean and start from a whole new batch of people. Stop voting in these clowns. I would love to see Bush, Cheney, and his entire cabinent tried as War criminals for starting an unjust war. Either throw their ass in gitmo or hang them like they did Sadam. I love our constitution means jack shit now. Americans apparently have just settled for being trampled on and freedoms taken away. Nice to know our grandparents fought for nothing in World War 2. I have disowned America at this point until we go back on the right path (which may take 30+ years at the rate of which this president has fucked us)

Re:The problem with impeachment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19428001)

Do yourself (and all of us) a favor. Move to France. Please.

So, where's the dramatic test case? (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19427877)

All the recent, hyped 'terrorist captures' have involved standard, traditional law-enforcement work and informants and so forth. Why haven't we had any high-profile captures due to the illegal wiretaps? I don't believe that this administration would refrain from leaking such things to improve their profile. So I have to conclude that they haven't actually produced any significant results at all...

What's new? (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19428049)

Ignoring the content of the bill, the constitution allows the President 10 days excluding Sundays to sign or veto the bill or else it becomes law by default... EXCEPT if Congress adjourns, in which case there wouldn't even be a discussion about overturning the veto since they're away.

So what's the big deal? Bush's got the constitutional authority (for real for a change) to drag his feet for that long. Is it that within these days they're still wiretapping? Let's choose our battles, here... they've been doing it for YEARS and another 10 days is just a drop in the bucket.
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