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Subpoenas Issued Over NSA Warrantless Wiretapping

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-tell-you-nine-times dept.

Privacy 260

Spamicles writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to subpoena documents from the Bush Administration related to the government's admitted eavesdropping on Americans' overseas emails and phone calls without getting court approval. In a 13-3 vote, the Committee decided to authorize its chairman to issue subpoenas for documents related to the NSA warrantless surveillance program. Nearly any request is going to be met with tough resistance from the White House, and the confrontation over the documents 'could set the stage for a constitutional showdown over the separation of powers.'"

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260 comments

The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616067)

One by one they are taking away the tools that President Bush needs to fight terrorisim at home and abroad. When we are attacked again, we will know who to blame.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (5, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616101)

Yes. The terrorists.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (5, Funny)

folstaff (853243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616233)

Not that I normally want to defend anonymous cowards, but when the next terrorist attack occurs the American public will blame the administration for not doing enough. We will blame the terrorist first, but we will also ask for 2 reactions from our government: do something to keep this from happening again and tell us why the government didn't stop it in the first place.

Moderator: You may completely disagree with Anonymous Coward's point, but labeling his comment as funny is an insult to real debate. He wasn't trying to be funny and what was said should not be taken lightly.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Informative)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616305)

Not that I normally want to defend anonymous cowards, but when the next terrorist attack occurs the American public will blame the administration for not doing enough.
Only if it's a democrat in the White House.

If it's a Republican president, he can purposely ignore all threats and cancel current anti-terror operations [avatara.com] beforehand, and when the attack starts, he can ignore that it's happening in order to continue a PR event [about.com], and people will still consider him a great heroic leader as long as he ... well, does nothing, really.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Insightful)

folstaff (853243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616447)

If it's a Republican president, he can purposely ignore all threats and cancel current anti-terror operations beforehand,
Al Franken is not a credible source for content. You wouldn't accept a quote from Rush Limbaugh. The 911 Commission's Report is a better source and it was critical of both administrations.

when the attack starts, he can ignore that it's happening in order to continue a PR event
Bush has rightly been criticized by people on both sides for his first reaction during the attack. I wish he would have politely excused himself and left.

as long as he ... well, does nothing, really.

You may disagree with a lot that Bush has done in office, but to say he has done nothing is wrong. Iraq has been mishandled at times, but the war in Afghanistan was fairly well done and the right decision. The reality is that radical Islam has been at war with the US at least since the first Trade Center bombing. The US government is finally dealing with it.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616753)

Al Franken is not a credible source for content. You wouldn't accept a quote from Rush Limbaugh. The 911 Commission's Report is a better source and it was critical of both administrations.
Al Franken's book was researched by a team of students at Harvard. He cites his sources. You can trust him inasmuch as you can check his sources. Not so sure about Limbaugh.

Oh wait! I look at what wikipedia has to say about the factual innacuracies in _Lies..._:

Franken wrote that former U.S. Senator Max Cleland (D-GA), while serving in the U.S. Army, "...left three of his limbs in Vietnam. A VC grenade blew them off."

In fact, it was not a Viet Cong grenade; instead the grenade had fallen from a fellow American soldier's flak jacket during a non-combat mission and accidentally detonated.
Woah, that really blow his credibility!</scarcasm>

The inaccuracy was corrected in the book's paperback edition.
Oh, nevermind.

You may disagree with a lot that Bush has done in office, but to say he has done nothing is wrong.
He did nothing, *absolutely* nothing, about Middle East terrorists, Jihadists, or Islamic fundamentalists before 9/11. What was the Bush administration doing during their first several months in office? Trying to build a missile defense shield and back out the anti-ballistic missile treaty with Russia. Clinton pursued and convicted Ramzi Yousef [wikipedia.org], the mastermind behind the first WTC bombing. Yousef is now in a maximum security prison. ( Where is Bin Laden now? Probably hiding out in Pakistan, our military dictatorship friends in the middle east). Clinton launched cruise missile attacks against terrorist training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan [cnn.com] while the Republican congress was investigating things like his Christmas card mailing list and his travel agent's activities. CNN said at the time that

U.S. officials say the six sites attacked in Afghanistan were part of a network of terrorist compounds near the Pakistani border that housed supporters of Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden.

American officials say they have "convincing evidence" that bin Laden, who has been given shelter by Afghanistan's Islamic rulers, was involved in the bombings of the east African embassies.
So he was attacking Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida.

At the time I wondered if this was wag the dog, to distract the American people from his troubles with the congress. Now I understand that the Republicans are more interested in using our terrorist enemies as a political tool, to win elections and gain power, rather than actually protecting us against them.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616975)

I don't think you can accurately say that George W. Bush did absolutely nothing about terrorism. In fact, I think George W. Bush has done more to benefit and encourage terrorism than any other world leader. Osama bin Laden only wishes he could inspire the kind of passion that has been produced by the actions and policies of George Bush.

Of course, there haven't been any significant terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11, and George Bush deserves the same credit for that as he deserves for their having been no major cataclysmic meteor strikes or earthquakes. Of course, he can't take credit for preventing hurricanes, but he sure did his part in making the one big hurricane we did have cause maximum damage to human life.

The real shame of it all is that there may well be a terrorist threat in the world today, but the administration of George Bush has dealt with it so poorly that I find myself questioning the very existence of the threat. To so badly damage the confidence of the American people is a very difficult thing to do, considering how much Americans want to believe in their leaders. We're passing the two year mark during which George Bush has had the confidence and support of less than a third of Americans. Even Richard Nixon wasn't so universally discounted. Even though Nixon did manage to hit a low in the polls of 23 percent (only 3 points lower than Bush's most recent showing in Newsweek), and that was only for about 60 days, 7 months before he resigned in disgrace. Fortunately for Bush, his Vice President is so much less trusted that the Democratic majority dare not impeach him.

Today, the headlines included a story of how Vice President Cheney actually tried to shut down the government agency that is responsible for overseeing his use of classified information. According to the story in that notorious liberal rag the Wall Street Journal, Cheney obeyed the law regarding classified info for the first two years of his first term, but has ignored it ever since. His office went so far as to argue that the Vice President wasn't really part of the Executive Branch of government.

The number of presidential signing statements, which are the executive equivalent of making a promise with your fingers crossed behind your back, is not closing in on one thousand. During the eight years of the Clinton Administration AND the Reagan administration together, the number was about fifty.

As hard as George Bush and company have tried to get the American people to fear terrorism, the people of the USA are learning to fear the President and Vice President (along with a cast of characters worthy of a Columbian dictator, like Abu Gonzales) even more. This is the saddest result of all, because as I said, Americans WANT to believe in their President. I know I do.

NSA wiretapping? Since nobody but the Justice Department is going to know the full story, thanks to a level of secrecy not even known during the darkest days of World War II, we'll never know how far it's gone.

The good news, is that within one term of a President who is a decent human being, Americans will regain their confidence in the basic goodness of their leaders. I'm not sure Barack Obama can win, though.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617075)

Clinton pursued and convicted Ramzi Yousef [wikipedia.org], the mastermind behind the first WTC bombing.
Note that he didn't prevent the attack, he reacted to an attack that had already happened. Personally, that's all I would expect of a government, but people seem to think 9/11 was easily preventable. In that case, the original WTC attack should have been preventable as well.

Clinton launched cruise missile attacks against terrorist training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan
A lot of good that did. Do you think that made us safer? Within one year of those ineffectual attacks, Bin Laden had raised the Bojinka plot from the dead, and recruited enough people to carry it out. What event do you think he used for motivation? Just like the Iraq war is not making us safer, those attacks ultimately put us in more danger, as it just made people angrier. You don't poke a bear with a stick; You either do enough to stop it completely, or you leave it alone. Of course, at the time there was no way of knowing how far they might take it, and congress wouldn't have let Clinton go on a major offensive against Bin Laden anyway. Hindsight is 20/20.

So he was attacking Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaida.
Yes, but the sleeper cells came to the US under his watch, and the only easy time to stop someone like that is when they enter the country. After that, tracking someone's movements becomes quite difficult (and rightfully so, in any free society). If you insist on blaming the government, there's plenty of blame to go around. Or you can be honest, and admit that a government that respects people's privacy is not going to be able to prevent every possible attack. Clinton knew this, and Bush may know this although he doesn't act like it, although he's probably just giving in (or taking advantage of) the impossible task that the public is demanding.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Insightful)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616857)

Al Franken is not a credible source for content.
He is generally quite credible - you can easily find the documentation behind most/all of his claims. If you claimed he were a biased source you would be right, but that alone is not enough to discard his claims off-hand. The only way you could claim he is not credible is if you mistake his jokes for claimed facts.

You wouldn't accept a quote from Rush Limbaugh.
Nor would I accept quotes from O'Rielly, Coulter, or Hannity, unless they were backed up with good documentation. They have been shown repeatedly to lie, alter facts, like, make shit up, and lie. Bring me a credible right wing pundit (they do exist - they just aren't the big names) and I'll be much more likely to accept what they have to say.

The 911 Commission's Report is a better source and it was critical of both administrations.
...and I have a copy of the book sitting just a few feet away from me. However, a rather boring 567 page book isn't as interesting to link to as a excerpt from a professional comedian/political commentator.
As for being critical of both administrations: Good. But we're not talking about Clinton's failings here, we're talking about GWB's.

[Side note: To further address your obvious claims to my bias, consider the following: I hated Clinton. I think he was one of the worst presidents we've had. In fact, in the last 25 years, only George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were worse.]

as long as he ... well, does nothing, really.
You may disagree with a lot that Bush has done in office, but to say he has done nothing is wrong.
Why? The only actions he did right were the ones anyone with an IQ high enough to tie their shoes would have done in his place - i.e. go after the ones who did this horrible thing, tell the country to stay strong, and reassure the populous that everything will be all right... oh, wait, scratch that last one.
No real decision he has made has been the right one - his entire presidency has been one of either doing the obvious, or fucking up. That is worse than nothing in my opinion.

Besides, I was talking about what he did to be considered heroic. People were saying he was being a great, heroic president standing in the face of opposition just days after 9/11. What had he done so far? Press conferences and photo ops. That is what I was talking about - he was being called a hero simply because he was President when a tragedy occurred.

but the war in Afghanistan was fairly well done and the right decision.
Yeah, too bad Bush decided to pull most of the troops out before the clean-up was done, and more-or-less abandoned the survivors to the whims of rival warlords. Good job!

The reality is that radical Islam has been at war with the US at least since the first Trade Center bombing.
And radical Christians have been "at war" with the US for much longer than that (since about 1492, if memory serves me right). Hell, radical Zoroastrians have probably been at war with the US as well. Radical {insert religious group here} has always hated the idea of not controlling every government in the world.

The US government is finally dealing with it.
No, the US government is using it as a scapegoat -- unless by "dealing with it" you mean "making it 100× worse than before".

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617273)

Afghanistan was fairly well done and the right decision.

The right decision, yes. But fairly well done? Instead of going in full-force with as many military personnel as we could conjure up, we diddled around with the "Northern Alliance" for awhile, and then got sidetracked by a war in Iraq. Bin Laden still hasn't been captured, and Afghanistan's chief export is now opium. In what way has that war been handled well?

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617307)

You may disagree with a lot that Bush has done in office, but to say he has done nothing is wrong. Iraq has been mishandled at times, but the war in Afghanistan was fairly well done and the right decision. The reality is that radical Islam has been at war with the US at least since the first Trade Center bombing. The US government is finally dealing with it.

Yeah, he has done a lot. Before 9/11, al qaeda was not trusted and HATED throughout most of the arab world. the shia's (iran) would have NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda. In addition, 6 years ago, he was a fraction of the size that the is now. After we helped tilt afghanastan's civil war, we pretty much withdrew and turned the bulk of the work over to the UN. So, we went and invaded Iraq over nothing. Now, we have 155K troops in Iraq and are about to surge it even higher. All the while, we are LOSING afghanastan. When we first went in to help the "rebels" against the taliban, we put in 13K troops there. Taliban was destroyed there. They were in pakistan. Now, they OWN southern Afghanastan. Worse, the locals are starting to get mad at US, not the taliban. They simply want this to be over. They are approaching the point where they no longer care who is in charge but foreigners (us) are to blame.

In the mean time, back in Iraq, Al Qaeda now has a great deal more than a toe hold. They have a camp. And they probably have 10x the troops that they had just 3 years ago.

Bush is not dealing with it. He has botched it ALL so bad. In the future, this will make 'nam look positively angelic and well executed. As it is, Bush et. al. are absolutely the best tool that Bin Ladin has ever had. Bush has done more for him in 3 years, than he has done his whole life.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (3, Interesting)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616863)

Hey, that was a good post. I see you're currently modded 3 for 'informative'. That seems fair to me (informative links deserve high mods). There's an odd trend I've noticed that I can't explain, so I'll just state it. I predict that your post will be modded up for a while, and then over a couple of days, it will get modded all the way down to 0. For some reason, after a few days, moderators keep modding down any posts that seem at all anti-Bush, but they don't do it right away. The delay is what bothers me. Why doesn't it happen right away when we're all reading the article and responses? I also predict that this post will be modded down, in similar fashion, but only after a couple of days.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19617211)

I have noticed that trend LONG ago. In particular, I see with anti-bush or anti-MS. But esp. with anti-bush.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616439)

What debate?

Funny is the best the AC could have hoped for. Accusing the Democrats of being allied with the terrorists is clearly flamebait.

Not meant to be funny? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616777)

It looked like parody to me.

If it was supposed to be "real debate" and you interpret it as such then that's a rather damning indication on the level of debate in American politics.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Insightful)

Rasgueado (1027760) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617167)

The problem is that the government always had the legal power to wiretap suspected terrorists. The Bush administration is simply trying to do this without oversight. This is strange because from what I gather, when the government is concerned, warrants are little more then a rubber stamp system, and are rarely, if ever denied. This seems terribly similar to the administration's battle to remove paper receipts from electronic voting machines. The only reasonable explanations that I can see for either of these actions are that they are trying to get away with something. But thats just my two cents...

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (1)

steveaustin1971 (1094329) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617281)

Sorry, but it IS funny, because as you will see soon enough, they weren't trying to catch terrorists, they were using their newfound powers to further their own ends, politically and financially. I cannot believe there are still people around that can't see through this garbage, I mean if they are so gung ho on stopping terrorism, why are they such great friends with Saudi Arabia, but Iran is evil for funding Shia terrorists in Iraq? I mean S.A. spends 10 times the money funding Sunni terrorists, and we are such great friends with them? Honestly wake the fuck up.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616457)

> Yes. The terrorists.

...who hated us for our freedoms. When we took our freedoms away from our citizens, the terrorists stopped attacking us. Now that we're meddling in the terrorists' vision for America by restoring a few of those freedoms, we'll have only ourselves to blame. *rimshot*

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616133)

that's what the dumbocraps want.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Funny)

VTMarik (880085) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616139)

Yes, we can blame The Spanish Inquisition.

I mean, I certainly did not expect this vote...

Did you?

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616195)

Maybe so (although some of us prefer to think of it as "restoring civil liberties stripped from us in the name of fighting terrorism") but they sure had a lot of tools at their disposal last time around, and that didn't stop 9/11. Didn't even come close to stopping 9/11. You can have all the tools you want: hell, you can have a bloody totalitarian state if it makes you happy. The thing is, that won't matter in the end, no matter how much you spend, if you don't use your capabilities efficiently and well. The problem with the pre-9/11 era was that law enforcement should have been able to do the job, but suffered from severe systemic and organizational failures. By all accounts, they still are. So, it wasn't because they were lacking sufficient authority: they just didn't know what the hell they were doing. The terrorists, on the other hand, knew exactly what they were doing.

Time will tell just how well our government officials use the expanded powers they've arrogated to themselves since the original attack. My feeling is that they'll be just about as successful in preventing future acts of terrorism as they have been at stemming the tide of illicit drugs entering this country. In other words ... don't hold your breath. Something else is going to blow up sooner or later, no matter how many telephone calls the NSA monitors. In the meantime, a lot of honest Americans are going to get shafted, one way or another, and a bunch of innocent foreigners are going to get ground up as well. We must accept that we are paying a price for Bush's "War on Terror". The only question is whether or not you believe that it has been worth the cost, that it will continue to be worth it.

Fears of terrorism aside, I don't much like the direction this country has taken. Mind you, I'm not just talking about the Bush Administration: we've been off the beam for decades.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Insightful)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616247)

Since the late 1700's more people have been killed by a lightning than died due to a terrorist attack. Where is the War on Weather I ask you!

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (2, Informative)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616949)

You know, Russia said the exact same thing about their soldiers who died in Afghanistan. That war broke the USSR's back. The government lost all credibility, their military became exhausted, and the USSR lost any international credibility it had before (ok, it wasn't much before). Anyone else see any parallels?

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617005)

While I liked your post, and consider it informative, 'megaditto' can't possibly refer to Rush Limbaugh? We generally like to hear new opinions, good, bad or ugly, on slashdot.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (4, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616719)

It's so simple: How do you stop disgruntled morons from hating your country? Invade their country of course! The logic is flawless.

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616967)

I smiled. Heck, I almost woke up the kids with laughter. Consider this post a +1 funny, which it would be if I had any mod points. There's another thing about mod points that bothers me... I get something like 5 points per week modding up my posts, yet I only get allocated perhaps 1 point every two months for moderation. Doesn't that violate a basic law of conservation of mod points?

Re:The defeatocrats are the terrorists best ally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19617215)

Some get more points than others depending on how much they participate, karma, metamods, etc. About five or ten points a week is about the best you can get.

Of course, the slashdot crew has unlimited points.

13 to 3 vote. Should tell you something. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616339)

Even the Republicans are getting tired of the President's contempt for their branch of government.

Define "attacked". (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616397)

When we are attacked again, we will know who to blame.

Remember the anthrax mailings?

Did those count as an attack?

What was done? Who was caught?

Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616965)

They must breed idiots like you. Look, this is NOT being used to fight terrorism. Look carefully at this program. It is NOT the NSA who is pushing it. The NSA has the equipment and is doing what Bush and the DOJ say to do. The real issue here is not that NSA is looking calls on incoming/outgoing from the USA. The real issues is that we are doing it on calls within the USA and it is being ordered by the FBI. The NSA is NOT happy doing this. They have been professionals for decades and have always kept a clean separation between knowledge of citizens and politics. The PATRIOT act is what gave all the powers to the DOJ. Don't believe me? Look carefully at all the interesting busts that have occured since PATRIOT act. In particular, congresman jefferson. In addition, look at how the DOJ wins a number of cases that it never has. Why? because is now has insider info. Want to know why Republicans did SO damn good against the dems in 2004? As the saying goes, KNOWLEDGE is power. And W, Cheney, and Rove KNOW how to get it and use it. Terrorist? My ass. This has NOTHING to do with terrorism. YOur calling it such is akin to when the anthrax occured and the republicans claimed it was Al Qaeda right from the git-go. Yet, if you look at a number of facts with it, it was none in the first 2 days that it was not al qaeda.

All I can say, is get an education and grow a set. I am tired of people like you who live in fear and blame everybody.

No surprise here (5, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616077)

I bet the NSA knew these subpoenas were going to show up since they're probably already tapping the Senate Judiciary Committee's phones too. ;-)

Re:No surprise here (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617031)

I wonder if our posts here on /. are also being monitored, and even compiled into portraits of our clearly rebellious personalities by outsourced (Indian) analysts?

A request you can't ignore... (2, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616079)


It's certainly a request they can no longer ignore as much - but ultimately, what are the consequences if they don't comply? Will the president or any of his men be lead away in handcuffs, or will we have another 6 months of someone saying they have to do something, then they REALLY have to do something.

When Bush's team mentioned bringing 'ingegrity' back to the White House, they meant the kind of integrity that doesn't waver from their beliefs... at all costs, everyone else be damned. And they meant it.

Ryan Fenton

Re:A request you can't ignore... (2, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616111)

Fight it in court and let the clock run until January, 2009. The next president, Hillary most likely, will use this precedent to run an even more secretive and authoritarian white house.

Good luck america.

Re:A request you can't ignore... (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616717)

The precedent was actually started by her husbands when he was in office. Adn no, I don't think Hillary will be president. The senate has lower rating then the president and the president is pretty low. The American people aren't clambering for a democrat in office rather someone who isn't more of the same. And you don't really see this separation with any of the candidate on the record for running so far. I think Former Senator Thompson will come in late and seeing how his acting roles of late are going to have more impressions on the American people then mudslinging and dirty campaigning, he will likely be the next president.

In the movies, he almost always plays a good guy. His characters are usually the take charge or I'm not standing for fucking up type people and this will have more sway then a voting record or connection to former presidents. You can expect television stations to play his movies when he runs, not because they support him but because they will get ratings and can charge more for advertising.

Re:A request you can't ignore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616141)

US law only applies in the US, but not outside the US.

The US Constitution only applies in the US, but not outside the US.

So, if the intel was gathered outside the US, a US court order -- or warrant -- was not required.

So, it was a warrentless search, sure: but no warrant was required.

And hence no US laws were broken.

Re:A request you can't ignore... (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616167)

So, if the intel was gathered outside the US, a US court order -- or warrant -- was not required.

But wouldn't those persons/insitutions be guilty of u.s. espionage laws? They can be extradited right?

Re:A request you can't ignore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616531)

But wouldn't those persons/insitutions be guilty of u.s. espionage laws? They can be extradited right?
Not U.S espionage laws but the espionage laws where the wiretapping happened. If they are caught, they go to jail (or worse depending on the country they're in).

Re:A request you can't ignore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616197)

The ultimate consequence, should the Administration resist, is an armed showdown between the US Marshals and the US Military on or near the Whitehouse in an effort to exercise the sub poenas. If the Marshals lose, the country would have officially undergone a coup d'etat.

After that, who knows? The executive branch is by far the biggest branch, but I suspect many would just desert without the thin veneer of legitimacy the Consitution grants to their existence.

At the end of the day... (4, Insightful)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616119)

It doesn't mean anything that these documents have been subpoenaed. When the White House refuses to release them, which they will most definitely do, will this Congress have the intestinal fortitude to fight back? Or will they pass more "non-binding" resolutions and whine about it while doing nothing? Judging from the past, I'm going to fully expect them to continue to let the constitution crumble and civil liberties die. I think that the big picture here is that we, as the common people of this country, no longer have anyone fighting for us, whether democrat, republican, third party, or otherwise.

Re:At the end of the day... (2, Interesting)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616239)

My money is on a non-binding resolution.

The /. poll seems especially relevant. The US government is like Windows: it almost seems designed to work better with a reinstall every so often. However, this will not happen, so we'll just get more bogged down with spyware from the NSA and faulty antivirus from Congress.

Re:At the end of the day... (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616253)

When the White House refuses to release them, which they will most definitely do, will this Congress have the intestinal fortitude to fight back? Or will they pass more "non-binding" resolutions and whine about it while doing nothing?

Even if the resolution has teeth it won't matter. The Bush Administration will abuse their power to ensure that the information released will be useless. Hell, if they are using third party e-mail accounts to subvert regulations for other shit and Cheney's office refusing to allow the Information Security Oversight Office in [cnn.com], what the fuck do you think that they are doing for this?

Re:At the end of the day... (2, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616295)

... we, the common people of this country, no longer have anyone fighting for us...


Perhaps it's about time, then, that we did like the founding fathers and started fighting for ourselves.

Re:At the end of the day... (2, Interesting)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616415)

I'm going to fully expect them to continue to let the constitution crumble and civil liberties die.
NEWS FLASH: The constitution crumbled long ago. As for the bill of rights, only one (Amendment 3) is not being abused.

For those not familiar with Amendment 3, it states "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

Hell, I'd bet $5 that not more than a dozen Congressmen/Senators have even read the constitution (We know the President hasn't read it), but they outlawed internet gambling, and I have no desire to go to jail.

Re:At the end of the day... (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617097)

For those not familiar with Amendment 3, it states "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
Just wait until Bush starts using the military for natural disaster relief. Then, he will find an excuse to make sure we have to quarter soldiers in our houses. Or, he will stop calling them "houses" and have Gonzales coin a neologism to get around the third amendment.

Hell, I'd bet $5 that not more than a dozen Congressmen/Senators have even read the constitution (We know the President hasn't read it), but they outlawed internet gambling, and I have no desire to go to jail.
Oh, he's read it. He simply considers it "just a goddamn piece of paper."

Re:At the end of the day... (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616757)

Well, they will do nothing meaningful because they don't want to lose the impression of power. If this goes to court, it will go to the supreme court and it will be ruled probably in the presidents favor. And if it isn't, they can refuse to comply, and have the supreme court issue another ruling that enables it to happen like the one supporting the interstate commerce act that gave the government sweeping new powers.

Democrat or republican, it doesn't matter, they don't want the president to ever think they have more power then congress is willing to let them have and the democrats specifically don't want the supreme court declaring what the president has done to be legal at all. Especially if it involves a funny reading into the constitution like we have seen in the past.

Re:At the end of the day... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616979)

Why would it probably be ruled in the President's favor? If there are no checks on the President, and he can break the law willfully and nobody can enforce it on him, then he is a king. I don't want that and I don't think the Constitution is written that way either.

Re:At the end of the day... (3, Insightful)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617115)

Why would it probably be ruled in the President's favor? If there are no checks on the President, and he can break the law willfully and nobody can enforce it on him, then he is a king.
Why do you think he put people like Alito and Roberts on the Supreme Court? It's not about the rule of law or what the Constitution is supposed to say. It is about raw, naked power.

Re:At the end of the day... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617135)

It would likely be ruled in the presidents favor for several reasons. This most important is to head off the situation were the court would have to find an exception allowing it like with portions of the new deal.

But generally, if the reasoning the president used to to validate his actions at remotely close, then the court would have to rule in his favor. If I understand it correctly, the president claims the constitution obligates him to do certain things in a time of need (war) which we are in. Congress cannot though law, stop his from fulfilling this obligation. So there are two things at work here, the extenuating circumstances of war and constitutional duties or obligations while in this state. This means that while the law would be valid and he would be accountable to it the rest of the time, but in an emergency, it couldn't restrict him form doing what is perceived as his duty. So he wouldn't be arguing claiming the law wasn't valid, just not valid when the constitution superseded it.

And in this defense or position, he doesn't even have to argue congresses ability to impose a law, just when the law wouldn't be in effect. There is a lot less to argue. And the opposition seems to be "there is a law against that". nothing more. But I think that the supreme court will justify the presidents actions in a limited role in order to head off another constitutional crisis like we have seen in the past.

Write committee, wrong body. (0)

dlthomas (762960) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616123)

Unfortunately, impeachment starts with the *House* Judiciary Committee... but at least this might get them moving.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616211)

You got dat write

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (2, Insightful)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616235)

I cannot support impeachment. The phrase "President Cheney" scares me too much.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (4, Interesting)

grcumb (781340) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616385)

I cannot support impeachment. The phrase "President Cheney" scares me too much.

So start with Cheney. Move on to Gonzales. Repeat as necessary.

Heck, leave Bush alone for all I care. He's not driving this bus, he's just the guy with the hat.

Impeachment: It's not just for presidents.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

The Rizz (1319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616401)

I cannot support impeachment. The phrase "President Cheney" scares me too much.
That's why you impeach every single one of the bastards -- If you throw the whole administration in jail, you don't have that problem.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (5, Insightful)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616407)

I'm not American, nor familiar with your laws, but I keep seeing this point(President Cheney) brought up as a reason to not impeach Bush. Sort of a "Hey, he's the lesser of several evils" arguement I suppose.

Is there honestly no method to simultaneously impeach them? Knock off both at once, and then the next guy in the line of succession takes their place. Or are you just worried that one will suceed and the other fail? Is the THIRD guy in line for the presidency ALSO an ass even bigger than Bush? It seems hard to believe that many despicable people would get elected :P Surely you'd hit a worthy guy eventually.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616579)

I'm not from the US either but as I understand it the "third guy" happens to be a woman.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

Dr_Art (937436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616589)

> Is the THIRD guy in line for the presidency ALSO an ass even bigger than Bush?

The third "guy" would be Nancy Pelosi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi [wikipedia.org]. I have no comment nor opinion regarding her ass.

>It seems hard to believe that many despicable people would get elected :P Surely you'd hit a worthy guy eventually.

While I'm sure we have enough proverbial "monkeys typing on typwriters" working in the government, I'm not sure even they would be able to produce a "worthy guy" in our lifetime.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616665)

Is there honestly no method to simultaneously impeach them? [...] Surely you'd hit a worthy guy eventually.

Sure, we could file charges against the lot at the same time, but each one would be its own case, each with the presumption of innocence of the charges, so any one of the asses might remain.

There is also the limitation that while we can impeach for criminal reasons, we can't impeach based on unworthiness. So if we start that process, we'd have to settle for the first one who wasn't overtly criminal, worthy or not.

But to answer your first question, people keep citing the possibility of "President Cheney" because, failing concurrent trials and convictions, he's the next in line on paper.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616743)

Don't forget that the president can pardon people before they're convicted. (ala. Nixon's pardon even though he was never convicted of anything)

If impeachment started, all that would happen is that Bush would pardon Cheney before anything was handed down. He might even try to pardon himself although the consitutional basis for that is uncertain. If Bush was ever convicted then Cheney would pardon him.

If the supreme court actually prevented Bush from pardoning himself then it might be possible to get rid of Bush. But, I don't see how it'd be possible to get rid of Cheney before or after getting rid of Bush.

Honestly, the whole presidential pardon thing is an absolute crock. We really need to amend the constitution to get rid of it. The president should never be able to pardon himself or anyone he knows personally, but sadly he can just hand out the pardons without consequence.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

dlthomas (762960) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616747)

You can't pardon for an impeachment. You can only pardon for a criminal offense. You can still be removed from office, even if you are pardoned for the offense itself - it only means you won't be sitting in jail afterward.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616769)

Fantastic! I didn't know that. At least it's possible to get rid of a corrupt administration even if they never suffer any personal consequence besides losing their job a year or two early.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616817)

You can't pardon for an impeachment. You can only pardon for a criminal offense.

There is also this to keep in mind - impeachment is only the bringing of charges. Without a conviction, all you're doing is spending time in court.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

dlthomas (762960) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616803)

There is also the limitation that while we can impeach for criminal reasons, we can't impeach based on unworthiness.

This is not quite true.

You can impeach the President and Vice President only for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," which is a subset of criminal offenses. Personally, I interpret this to mean offenses related to the office. If it's a crime that anyone could commit with the same effect, then criminal charges when they leave office are the appropriate remedy, and *not* impeachment. Regardless, you are correct to say that it must, in the first place, be criminal.

You can impeach other members of the administration because they smelled funny one Tuesday afternoon.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616797)

No offense, but you just have no idea how fucked up things are here.

Re:Right committee, wrong body. (1)

dlthomas (762960) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616643)

And the phrase "President Pelosi" is why we would see Cheney step down and Bush appoint a clean VP - a la Nixon, Agnew, and Ford.

In any event, I am far more worried about the precedent than I am about the damage one crazy old man can do in the time remaining after the impeachment process. The President has knowingly used the machinery of government against American citizens in direct defiance of law. If that is allowed to stand, we are not a nation of laws. ... as for the Subject, did I really type that? I must be more tired than I'd thought...

Re:Right committee, wrong body. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616887)

What if the law was unjust? I mean what if the law was black have to ride in the back of the bus and can never own property? Would you be just as made for the president violating a law?

Now, the president seems to think it has a constitutional obligation and the authority to violate those laws in much the same way he would be able to violate a law that said redheaded jews must have abortions or congress could pass a law with 25 votes and the president doesn't need to sign it anymore.

You see, the reason you have the problem is because you don't agree with the president's assertion. Well, that or you don't even know it. You would be surprised at how many people bash bush and don't even know his first name let along his claimed justifications for whatever actions. But seriously, how much of this disdain is pure party politics instead actually rebellion of the facts. And do you know the facts surrounding this case?

Re:Right committee, wrong body. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19617271)

I'd like to congratulate you on your remarkably appropriate screen name.

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616939)

The phrase "President Cheney" scares me too much.

On June 29, 2002, George W. Bush invoked Section 3 of the 25th amendment. Cheney was Acting President from 7:09 AM to 9:24 AM while Bush had a colonoscopy.

Ok, so he was Acting President, but that has to count towards generating a little fear, right?

Re:Write committee, wrong body. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19617151)

you know what is more scary...that these people can get away with breaking the law like this. the whole point of the law is that it doesn't ignore anybody. if he did something to be impeached, he should be impeached, just like any other person. if that means cheney becomes president, so be it.

if you get a dui, the cops don't sit there and say, "hey, if he went to jail his family would crumble. let's leave him alone." or when they pull you over for speeding, they don't care if your late for work. same for bush. i didn't think that cops were allowed to think about the consequences of enforcing the law, in other words, they can't (or aren't supposed to) pick and choose what laws to enforce, they have to enforce them all.

what am i missing here? would cheney really be worse? how could he be any worse? isn't it worse to let bush get away with taking a giant dump on the entire country? wouldn't impeachment send a message to future presidents that this stuff will not be tolerated? isn't that more important than a year and a half with cheney as vice president?

Right sound, wrong spelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616249)

Just saying.

Has it really come to this point? (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616185)

What the hell ever happened to the government serving its people? Wasn't that what this country was founded on? Isn't that the whole idea of a democracy? The US government has become this monster that seems to fight its people as hard as it can. It honestly saddens me to take a step back and say "Is this what America has really become?". We've become 18th century England. Everything our forefathers fought to establish for this country has been thrown away. Our government now is nothing more than a corporate powerhouse who's members use it as a way to become personally more powerful. Can they honestly believe illegally wiretapping their own people serves the peoples best interests and freedom? Maybe they need to visit a 5th grade Social Studies class because I really think they've lost their way.

Re:Has it really come to this point? (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616261)

What the hell ever happened to the government serving its people?

They still do. To the highest bidder, usually.

Can they honestly believe illegally wiretapping their own people serves the peoples best interests and freedom?

Oh, they don't believe any such thing. You said it yourself - it's all about the government's "members [using] it as a way to become personally more powerful". In spite of what is written in the Constitution, in spite of nobler ideals, never forget that the people in office are still just people, and people are selfish creatures.

Re:Has it really come to this point? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616399)

people are selfish creatures.

While I don't argue that statement on face value, I do argue it's implications. Everyone, deep down, is selfish. They only do what they want to.

Where we diverge is in people's ability to do what's best for others to make themselves feel good. This is the traditional "selfless" definition, and I see this from people every day ( I work with cops and firefighters ).

Re:Has it really come to this point? (1)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616469)

Yes, even altruism is driven by "selfish" motivations, as you said. I doubt, though, that this particular brand of "selfishness" is what has placed these twits in office. It seems mostly to be a form of short-sighted narcissism that makes people run in elections.

Re:Has it really come to this point? (1)

Hexxon (151978) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616667)

Your Premise Is Wrong, We Are A REPUBLIC, Not A Democracy. There Is Quite A Big Difference Between The Two.

Re:Has it really come to this point? (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617163)

We are a Democratic-Republic since we The People elect our representatives directly, although that was not the case at the beginning. To be more precise, we are specifically a country run by a government as set forth in the Constitution. Whether you call that a Democracy, a Republic, a Chucktatorship, or Ernwiresheshersbysleevings doesn't matter.

not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616213)

the subpoenas haven't been issued yet. they just authorized that the chair issue them. There will likely be negotiations with the executive department.

Americans, wake up! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616251)

None of the political candidates running for president (aside from Representative Ron Paul R-TX) ever make the stink about the issue of warrantless wiretapping that they should. If you CARE about the constitution at all, I suggest you look at the Ron Paul campaign at www.ronpaul2008.com and possibly also ask questions at www.ronpaulforums.com.

It's this simple... (3, Interesting)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616259)

despite the idea often held by some cultures that corruption proceeds from the top down, it is rather the other way around. The people themselves are inherently corrupt and weak. They don't want to take responsibility for themselves, they don't want to take the blame for anything that goes wrong in their lives, don't want to acknowledge their fallibility. Yet deep down, they would have to be positively not human to not know and accept all of the above, but it terrifies them. So they bide their time keeping busy until something comes along to absolve them of all that and make them feel better.

While in past times these were some other ethnic group, some other nation, the devil, etc. we have today the modern political system. Someone else has wronged you, someone else got what should have been yours, you and yours have been held back by they and theirs. All these things are open to interpretation convenient to the subject audience to which the political/avaricious/power-hungry/self-deluded are preaching. They dress up with fun-house mirror magnifications of real issues mixed with non-sequitr reasoning and provide them to the people with the dual benefits to the seller of giving the audience the needed scapegoat du jour to avoid dealing with their fallibility and culpability, as well as providing an ultimately open-ended and thus never reachable hopeful land of opportunity to permanently right all of these probably non-existent wrongs against them.

We the people let this kind of thing happen because we the people buy into this kind of thing. They aren't selling us anything we didn't buy from them. If we didn't buy it, they'd have sold us something else, probably equally odious in the end whether or not it was as obvious as this or not.

While our collective modern intellectual and psychological exhaustion with trying to make sense of our truly warped world and the people who made it and the horrors of what that says about us may not always work well and probably will not, we can at least thankfully point to that and say it is thanks to this we have the modern sense of cynicism that gives us a chance to grab the reigns solidly, and pull back from disaster. Our collective history shows we won't, but perhaps a self-derived deceptive and deluded false hope is better than one sold to us by someone else. At least when it all falls apart, we can blame it on a conspiracy of one, headed by the person staring back at us in the mirror.

We have met the enemy, and probably wondered if we needed a shave when we looked at them.

Re:It's this simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616807)

You must be new here. Logic isn't appreciated, only ad homin "I hate ..." type complaints.

Get Over It (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616325)

In the past, Civil War, WWI,II, and Korean wars, the feds did things that would cause most of you to simply stroke out and die.

Yet, despite what you would undoubtedly call massive,unprecedented violations of civil rights in those times, the U.S. is still here, still has free elections and is run at least partly by the left wing wackos. What other evidence do you need to assuage your fear the the U.S. is headed towards a dictatorship?

Gawd!, get over it already...How do they say...moveon.org?

Oh yeah mods, don't even bother, my Karma sucks and so do you.

Subpoenas Won't Matter (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616343)

Everyone knows by now that the Bush administration loses all important documents, and damned if anyone in the administration can remember any event that's occurred at any point since W took office. I'd bet we're in for similar, but consistent, excuses again.

Priorities (5, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616427)

So in America, A president ordering others to repeatedly violate your constitution and violate the rights of the people you are not punished but if you get a blow job from an ugly fat girl you get impeachment hearings. My god you guys have issues with sex.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616587)

He said the S-word!!

You warm up the electric chair; I'll get the torches and pitchforks.

Re:Priorities (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616731)

Well Clinton didn't put the right spin on it. If he said he was defending all the men out there from having to deal with Monica... a real threat...

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616735)

My god you guys have issues with sex.

If only we could get half that excited over the constitution.

Re:Priorities (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616829)

Well, you see, the monica stuff was not about a blowjob as much as it was about lieing to a court of law when asked about it in a lawsuit that was brought before he became the chief officer of the land.

Now, it might be just a blowjob but what is did was declare the president isn't subject to the same laws you and I are. Why anyone is acting like they are surprised when another does the same shit I have no idea. This isn't the first time a president has done the same things the guy before him got away with. It hasn't quite gotten to telling a lie in court yet, but it probably will.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617201)

Actually, most of the right-wing nutbags were saying that he should be impeached simply because he got a blowjob from Lewinsky. Their argument was that he was abusing his position, much like a corporate CEO would be abusing his position if he got blown by a secretary. And they also often said that he should be impeached for lying to the American people about it on national television. So, the point still holds. Lie about sex - get you character eviscerated on television. Lie us into a war that has killed thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of civilians - get praised as a hero.

Re:Priorities (1)

lawrenlives (991376) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616925)

"If the standard for impeachment is covering up a burglary or getting a blowjob... then shouldn't Bush have been executed at this point?" - Patton Oswalt

dnc.slashdot.org (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19616561)

... we need a new section on slashdot

Headline is wrong (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616847)

The subpoenas were not issued; the Senate Judiciary Committee merely voted to authorize them. Nothing "happens" until they are actually issued, which may or may not happen in a timely manner, or at all. Consider the matter of the firing of the those US Attorneys - subpoenas were authorized months ago, but only actually issued a few weeks ago.

Lest we forget the other headlines this week. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#19616875)

VP Dick Cheney believes his office isn't an executive branch office!

maybe he needs to pick up a book.

He thinks he is above the law and doesn't have to disclose what classified materials his office has.

He's defied the presidential order for over 6 years now.

Cheney should be impeached immediately. Any congressman who doesn't think so is a coward and a fraud.

Re:Lest we forget the other headlines this week. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617061)


>VP Dick Cheney believes his office isn't an executive branch office!

I keep hearing vague allusions to this, but I have yet to see the full analysis (in the legal sense, specific details as would be necessary for Congress or a court to evaluate the case).

It is clearly not as simple as is being repeated ("Cheney said the VP is not in the Executive Branch"). What is actually being claimed may have merit. Since it's an Executive Order of Bush in the first place, it may actually be true that the Pres and VP aren't bound by them. Congress and the States (through Constitutional Amendments) pass the laws that constrain the President, while the President is empowered by the Constitution and by Congress to make rules that form the basis of the administration, and the agencies are granted a certain amount of autonomy.

It seems that it's not as clear as some are claiming, that such orders become laws which the President or Vice President must follow -- as they are EO's, the President can by the same authority that makes the order, rescind it as well. If he did that today, the argument being raised against Cheney goes away.

I'm not trying to support Cheney, but I suspect that in this particular matter, he might be right, and critics of the administration are not being wise to choose this particular torch to carry. The status, roles and responsibilities of "agencies" are quite well defined, and I have not seen any evidence yet that shows the VP has ever been considered an "agency" (like the Department of Agriculture.)

One thing I notice is news reports are not giving the full text of the EO in question or even citing it by number. That bothers me. I want to read it and decide for myself what it covers.

NSA warrantless surveillance program (3, Insightful)

buss_error (142273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617067)

Well, we know how this will be answered. I mean, after all, the VP isn't an execuitive branch office, you know.

NSA: What NSA. There is no such office or department.
If there were, it's actions would be of the highest national security secret. Highly sensitive. Even admitting there were such a department would subject New York or Washington to a dirty bomb attack. So there is no such agency. Even if there were such an agency, I mean, after all, it's only charged with tracking terrorist. No true citizen worthy of the protections of the constitution is involved. After all, only CITIZENS are afforded the rights granted by the state. And only those we designate are citizens. We can't have just any old Tom, Dick, Harry, Iven, Shamus, Pedro, or Jamal covered by the same rights as some one that "belongs" here is granted. If you aren't white, Anglo-saxson, prodistant, you aren't shit, right? Why the hell do you expect to enjoy "one justice for all"?

You know what? I think America is strong enough to grant the same rights to evey person that is under our control the same rights of a citizen, except the right to vote and hold office. The prisoners at Gitmo and other sites not known should be affored the same rights and protections as someone whose grandparents were born here.

We are all illegal immigrants, unless we have native american blood. Just ask Chief Ten Bears. Oh, wait, we killed him.

Politics of stone walls (2, Insightful)

theoriginalturtle (248717) | more than 6 years ago | (#19617337)

They can subpoena anybody they want. Bush & Co. have already decided they answer to no one. Lookit what's going on this week with Cheney's refusal to comply with a long-standing executive order regarding submission of materials to NARA... I think somewhere in the White House someone went down to the mall and got one of those rubber stamps made at Things Remembered, marked "GO POUND SALT." They've worn out several inkpads already, using it.
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