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FISA Court Sides With ACLU Against Administration

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the more-light dept.

The Courts 352

jamie caught a breaking news story this evening: the secret FISA Court has ordered the Bush administration to respond by August 31 to an ACLU request for orders and legal papers discussing the scope of the government's authority to engage in the secret wiretapping of Americans. The ACLU's press release calls it an "unprecedented order."

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FWIW (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271057)

I just picked up the phone and screamed "F You!!!" into it. Somewhere an NSA agent just threw off his headset in total pain.

Take that, NSA!

Re:FWIW (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272207)

No... but somewhere, a computer just set the flag for "irrational behavior" in your file to True. So if they need to come to get you for any reason, they'll probably come with guns drawn. Good job. You really showed them something, didn't you?

Interesting ... (0)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271071)

so a secret court takes steps towards transparency. On the face of it, I kind of like that. Of course, the Bush Administration will fight this tooth and nail.

Re:Interesting ... (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271201)

"so a secret court takes steps towards transparency."

No, a secret court has had enough of being called irrelevant. EVERY president since Carter (Carter created it) has actually gone to get warrants from the court and the court has generally granted them. This administration, however, has wilfully ignored them _and_ said out in public that the FISA court system is an obstacle.

Anyone who has been paying attention to this _knows_ that the FISA judges are pissed off.

I am not one bit surprised that they sided with the ACLU.

--
BMO

Re:Interesting ... (0)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271889)

actually, Clinton used warrentless wiretaps in the Ames case.

Re:Interesting ... (4, Informative)

jfern (115937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272039)

Nice try, but no cigar.

Yesterday, some of Bush's defenders pointed out on conservative websites that the Clinton administration had authorized a search of the home of Aldrich Ames, a suspected Soviet spy, without a warrant in 1993.

But legal specialists said the Ames case is irrelevant because it involved a physical search of Ames's home, and the 1978 law did not require warrants for physical searches. The year after the Ames search, 1994, the law was amended to require warrants for physical searches and wiretaps.


Link [boston.com]

Re:Interesting ... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272193)

"actually, Clinton used warrentless wiretaps in the Ames case."

Under the rules, you can do the tap or search and go back later and get the warrant within a certain time frame. It's a few days, IIRC. It sounds backwards, but it's better than the alternative of the "bad old days" when there wasn't _any_ way to conduct secret wiretaps with any guidance, so the FBI just did them willy nilly, collecting evidence that would never see the light of day in a real courtroom, because it wouldn't be admissible. The FISA court is a way to have *some* oversight, even though most people view it as a rubber stamp, and actually let some evidence be used in open court.

While people gnashed and wailed at Clinton for the expansion of these rules, it's the Bush administration that treats even these loosened rules as an obstacle. I mean, c'mon, they can't come up with "probable cause" even *after* the search?

--
BMO

Re:Interesting ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271421)

Why do you hate freem so much?

Re:Interesting ... (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271673)

Why do you hate freem so much?


Who the heck is freem?

Unless you mean Freem... [wikiality.com]

I wish I could join the ACLU (2, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271109)

... but every time I get ready to write a check, I read about them doing something barking-mad like this:

International 'Tribunal' on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita [internatio...ibunal.org]

Second Amendment a 'Collective' right [aclu.org]

Translation: The Bush Administration is responsible for Hurricane Katrina, but we still need to give them a monopoly on firearms, because that way, we'll all be safer.

Or something.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271195)

Second Amendment a 'Collective' right

Hey at least they're willing to state, with some persuasion I might add, what their position is, and how they came by it.

Much as I like the second amendment, some people are going to have to learn that the right to bear arms is a little fucking vague, and could do with a little polish after 200 years of wear and tear.

Also, and something that's not been adequately explained to me, but where is the line? M-16s OK? What about RPGs? AA Missiles? Nukes? There's either a line that most people can get behind, and shut your griping, or it's all in or all out. Make up your minds.

Honestly, is it that fucking hard to buy a gun in the States?

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271369)

where is the line?

The line is basically at the point where your arms become ordinance; in other words, too big to serve as a personal defense against armed individuals. I'm fine with you owning a .50 cal browning, but I have an issue with mortars and heavy artillery.

-jcr

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271465)

I'm fine with you owning a .50 cal browning, but I have an issue with mortars and heavy artillery.

Yeah, me, too. The government has proven itself incapable of handling those types of weapons responsibly, and should therefore be banned from possessing them.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271827)

he line is basically at the point where your arms become ordinance; in other words, too big to serve as a personal defense against armed individuals. I'm fine with you owning a .50 cal browning, but I have an issue with mortars and heavy artillery.

I can see you've never been to my old neighborhood. Mortars & heavy artillery are necessities for defense against the roach infestation...

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271835)

Have you considered DDT? I hear it's highly effective, if you can find it.

-jcr

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271959)

It's also highly against the law.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271839)

People should have any weapon they can afford. The weapons aren't there to keep Joe Criminal out of my house, they're there to keep The Man out of my house.

People should be allowed to buy nukes. If the law was open like that, I don't think there'd be nukes. What's the point of inventing something like that if I could win the Lotto and drunkenly nuke Texas? The Germans were developing nukes but the US would've been forced to step in and STOP the development, not encourage it.

If American people had heavy arms, the government would be forced to be a bit nicer. No point in the ATF firebombing the Branch Davidians, if those kooks could've responded with heavy weaponry.

At this point though, it's too late. Soylent green is people.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272235)

How's that working out for you? This story is about The Man wiretapping you without a warrant. How's that weapon working?

Is it working as good for you as it is for the Bloods and the Crips? As good as for the Branch Davidians in Waco?

But then, you think anyone should have a nuke who can afford it. Bin Laden can afford it, but you can't.

Thank you for demonstrating the kind of dementia that says the Second Amendment guarantees any weapon, no matter how powerful, to you. Rather than just ensuring that the US would use militias, rather than a standing army, that supplied themselves with weapons, rather than the government supporting a huge arsenal and a huge arms industry. Which wrong path you gun fetishists have kept driving us down for generations. And bringing along with it all the shooting deaths here in the US, and all the military adventurism worldwide that now includes Iraq.

Congratulations, you've gotten the Constitution and common sense so wrong that you've broken the country and helped kill millions of people.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272397)


Congratulations, you've gotten the Constitution and common sense so wrong that you've broken the country and helped kill millions of people.

Millions of people? I don't think so, friend. A well-armed populace isn't enough to accomplish such a feat. History demonstrates that you need a well-armed government for that.

(Oh, and if I manage to buy, build, or otherwise acquire my own personal nuclear arsenal, it'll be amusing to see you try to take it away under force of law, legitimately or otherwise.)

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271855)

The line is basically at the point where your arms become ordinance; in other words, too big to serve as a personal defense against armed individuals. I'm fine with you owning a .50 cal browning, but I have an issue with mortars and heavy artillery.
Seems like arbitrary semantics to me.
We didn't have a "nuclear ordnance race" during the cold war and the 2nd amendment doesn't restrict anything to "personal" (or "defense" for that matter).

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272035)

You just gotta love the spin...

Let's look at what the 2nd amendment does say...

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constituti on.billofrights.html#amendmentii [cornell.edu]

Militias are a thing of the past. The closest thing we have today is the National Guard and they aren't allowed to take their weapons home now are they? The whole idea behind the 2nd Amendment is to protect the State in case of invasion or other insurrection. It has nothing what-so-ever to do with protecting home, property, or any other personal use.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272165)

Wrong. The ACLU (Aging Communist Leftover Union) is simply trying to further their agenda of destroying the United States. They care nothing for your rights. Why don't you read about their founder and his beliefs? Educate yourself a bit and then post something intelligent.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272185)

Your assumption that a "well regulated militia" means an armed force under the control of the current government rather than an armed force dedicated to maintaining a free state is a poor one.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272023)

The line is basically at the point where your arms become ordinance; in other words, too big to serve as a personal defense against armed individuals.

Why? The second amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the security of individuals and everything to do with protecting the security of the states.

Look, it's very simple: if you want constitutional protection for your right to personally defend yourself with guns against armed individuals, rather than to quell a rebellion or invasion as part of a militia, then follow the correct process and convince your representatives to pass it as an amendment. Don't just stick your head in the sand and pretend the second amendment says something it clearly doesn't say. If somebody can do that to extend your rights, they can do it to take them away. Orwellian newspeak has no place in law and it is far more dangerous to condone it than it is to give away your guns. Better to be armed with thoughts alone than the terrible combination of guns and idiocy.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272119)

Until you have to defend yourself against an aggressive government. I'm a nutjob when it comes to this, but I believe that you should be able to own any weapon, including nuclear/chemical/biological weapons.

The people you'll have to defend yourself against will have them (Your government) so why not give them a reason to NOT use them by having your own?

This is probably what keeps me from getting people to listen to FreeTalkLive...

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271375)

Also, and something that's not been adequately explained to me, but where is the line? M-16s OK? What about RPGs? AA Missiles? Nukes? There's either a line that most people can get behind, and shut your griping, or it's all in or all out. Make up your minds.

It's an interesting question. The Miller standard of juriprudence, resulting from the last time the Supreme Court considered the Second Amendment, restricted individuals from owning sawed-off shotguns. Their rationale was that such weapons would not be applicable in a militia-like setting, and thus weren't covered by the Second Amendment. That has the effect of answering the usual "b...b...but what about nukes?" objection, but it doesn't explain why anyone is allowed to own any type of non-military weapon such as a common shotgun.

It's a stupid-ass Amendment written by drooling illiterates, as far as you can tell by reading it. It ought to be rewritten to explicitly endorse a right to self-defense of an individual's life and property with weapons suited for use by individuals.

The ACLU's position, on the other hand, is that it was really meant to apply to the government anyway... which is both historically-ignorant and just plain nuts.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271727)

You mean: "but it doesn't explain why anyone is **constitutionally guaranteed the right** to own any type of non-military weapon such as a common shotgun."

The constitution doesn't often take away rights; if there isn't a law on the books disallowing shotguns, a strict interpretation of the constitution under Miller would *disallow* shotguns, it would just *allow* states/congress to disallow shotguns.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271937)

It's a stupid-ass Amendment written by drooling illiterates, as far as you can tell by reading it. It ought to be rewritten to explicitly endorse a right to self-defense of an individual's life and property with weapons suited for use by individuals.

Who defines 'weapons suited for use by individuals'?

Leave the definitition to the government, we'll all be packin Nerf guns.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271999)

It's an interesting question. The Miller standard of juriprudence, resulting from the last time the Supreme Court considered the Second Amendment, restricted individuals from owning sawed-off shotguns. Their rationale was that such weapons would not be applicable in a militia-like setting, and thus weren't covered by the Second Amendment. That has the effect of answering the usual "b...b...but what about nukes?" objection, but it doesn't explain why anyone is allowed to own any type of non-military weapon such as a common shotgun.

Actually, US v. Miller said the Court had been presented no evidence that a short-barrel shotgun was useful to a militia, so they couldn't rule that it was. If that sounds like a cop-out, it was. But, no one showed up to argue for the defendant, so the government was free to present their case without opposition.

I recently read a very interesting article that explains a great deal about the back story surrounding the decision: the defendants, the district judge, the public defender, and the Supreme Court justice that authored the ruling.

The Peculiar Story of United States v. Miller [ssrn.com]

The author's conclusion: the entire episode was a set-up to 'validate' the National Firearms Act of 1934 with a precedent. But the ruling was not exactly a shining example of clear writing, leaving us to scratch our heads over its effect on subsequent gun control legislation.

It's a stupid-ass Amendment written by drooling illiterates, as far as you can tell by reading it.

It was written and re-written by the House and the Senate at the time, starting with proposals by James Madison that he derived from the constitutions of the states in the US at the time. More interesting, the Senate specifically rejected a proposal to add the clause "for the common defense" (which was in a few state constitutions at the time). If original intent counts for anything, this would conclusively reject the notion of a collective right:

The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of Rights [guncite.com]

But, they were hardly illiterate. They just had a different perspective that you have today. One of the key words even had a different meaning that you associate with it today: "regulated" meant "properly functioning", rather than "constrained by government laws".

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272357)

Some good points there. I do, however, stand by my accusation of illiteracy, because the framers could have saved us all so much trouble if they'd just killed a couple of blatantly-unnecessary commas. :)

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272149)

By common shotgun, you mean something like the Remington 870 which was introduced over 50 years ago and has since become the best-selling, with nearly 10 million sales? This of course being the model the 10th Mountain Division trained with at least until 4 years ago:

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/armyweapons/a/newar myshotgun.htm [about.com]

Of course, that was 4 years ago, so things may have changed drastically since that time. Though of course the US military still is thought to actively use these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_individual_we apons_of_the_U.S._Armed_Forces#Shotguns [wikipedia.org]

For instance, the Air Force does continue to use these for air base defense. Though, you may argue something about it just being the Air Force. Units such as the Marines or Navy Seals using some form of shotgun would probably make a stronger point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_shotgun [wikipedia.org]

To me, the common shotgun seems like a reasonable selection for militia action.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271385)

Pretty much agreed.

The wording could be better. I prefer a blanket "right of defense" in the bill of rights rather than the right to bear arms. Of course, the 9th amendment protects the right of defense, but most politicians rely on the Robert Bork theory of the 9th amendment.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

bob8766 (1075053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271399)

Personally I believe the second amendment is what allows the citizens to overthrow the government should it become a tyranny, but the ACLU's position is along the same line as the Supreme Court's, and it is certainly a reasonable position.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (3, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271717)

There is no persuasion to their position, actually, if you understand English and the concept of a parenthetical phrase.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" .

The only part of that sentence that means anything is the bold part, the rest is parenthetical. It's really very simple.

Let's practice. "Because I like the way you spend all your money on porn, I am going to give you $1,000,000."

Now, do you have to spend the $1,000,000 on porn? No, you don't. The first portion of the sentence is parenthetical.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

QuietObserver (1029226) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272109)

Very well made comment. The founders wrote the constitution and the Bill of Rights to limit the power of the United States government in the favor of the citizens. Their intention was to prevent the U.S. from becoming totalitarian by preventing those holding a national office (i.e. President, Senator, Judge, etc.) from taking action against a citizen for their own purposes. The ninth and tenth amendments, probably the most widely ignored of the entire Constitution, further establish those protections by assuring the protection of the people and forbidding the national government from taking control of anything that the Constitution does not explicitly mention, which is what it appears the ACLU seeks to do with the second amendment.

One other point; it is very unfortunate that many people do not understand the English language as well as you do. My understanding is good, but even I have had a difficult time understanding the structure of the amendment. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

You obviously don't know Captain Splendid (0, Offtopic)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272117)

Now, do you have to spend the $1,000,000 on porn? No, you don't.

You obviously don't know Captain Splendid... :D

(Just kidding, Captain!)

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272257)

RightSaidFred99 writes: The only part of that sentence that means anything is the bold part, the rest is parenthetical. It's really very simple.

Not quite...notice the first part, which makes clear that the point of citizens to keep and bear arms is to regulate the Militia. Our founding fathers were rightfully concerned about the power of the state; this is merely one more tool given to citizens to defend themselves from tyranny.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271757)

Much as I like the second amendment, some people are going to have to learn that the right to bear arms is a little fucking vague, and could do with a little polish after 200 years of wear and tear.

There's nothing vague about it, when interpreted in the context and era in which it was written. A hint: "well-regulated" had nothing to do with government regulations.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271781)

The line was already drawn by US v. Miller, in which the USSC ruled that weapons of no utility to a militia aren't protected.

That would pretty clearly rule out nukes. It would pretty clearly rule in man-portable small arms.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272273)

Much as I like the second amendment, some people are going to have to learn that the right to bear arms is a little fucking vague, and could do with a little polish after 200 years of wear and tear.
Organized gun crime by governments kill a lot more people than anything else. How many millions of Iraqis must be dead before the USians feel safe? Disarm the US military and then I don't care how many USians kill each other in their own country.

Mod me +1 troll, but you know I'm right.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1)

pionzypher (886253) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271277)

Agreed, sometimes they seem a little rabid or flat out wrong on particular issues. On the whole though, I believe they are a vital organization in protecting freedoms whatever their shortcomings.

Offtopic sidenote: While I disagree with their decision on the Second Ammendment. I have to admit that they at least have a rational reason for their choice. For those that haven't followed parents link, this is the aclus take on gun rights: We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to assure their own freedom and security against the central government. In today's world, that idea is somewhat anachronistic and in any case would require weapons much more powerful than handguns or hunting rifles. They're right. For any sort of citizen militia to be effective at present, they'd need much more than what we can have legally. They don't address hunting or protection issues though.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271799)

They're right. For any sort of citizen militia to be effective at present, they'd need much more than what we can have legally. They don't address hunting or protection issues though.


The only hole in that argument that I can think of is that it requires believing the US military would USE those sorts of weapons against American citizens on American soil. Since the US military has in the past flat out REFUSED to be deployed on US soil, I have a hard time believing they'd use those sorts of weapons, restricting the discussion to personal weapons anyway.

Given the events of the past 5 years or so though, this argument seems far less convincing... all the Fed need do is accuse a whole state of being 'terrorists' or whatever and a part of me can believe they'd allow that to justify almost any atrocity against Americans..

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272183)

Since the US military has in the past flat out REFUSED to be deployed on US soil, I have a hard time believing they'd use those sorts of weapons, restricting the discussion to personal weapons anyway.

Military decisions set no binding precedents.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272381)

Military decisions set no binding precedents.


Obviously. What in the world made you think I was claiming such a thing? I'm just saying the military is loath to use its power against Americans.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272265)

Bush's military used those weapons on Americans in New Orleans after Katrina.

The National Guard is now trained in Iraq to use them on civilians in cities. Those Guard will soon be restationed back in the USA. As economic collapses and more Katrina-scale disasters repeatedly "threaten public safety".

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271803)

They're wrong. The Second Amendment is about defending ourselves from our own government, they're dead-on about that. I disagree that it is solely about States being the only entities in need of protection from an errant central government. The reality is, we individual citizens might just as well find ourselves in conflict with our State governments. What makes them so especially trustworthy, compared to the Federal Government? That's a fiction in itself. The Founders wanted us, the Citizens of these United States, to be something more than sheep.

We like to think our governments (any of them) will never need replacing, and that we'll never need violent defense from them, but history is against us on that score. This [wustl.edu] article outlines how a proper defensive posture made by a well-armed civilian population can deter violence and save lives. That's something else that was very clearly understood by the people who fought the War for Independence, and eventually created our system of government.

This dangerous idea that individual citizens (who, are a collective in their own right, regardless of any State's desire to formally organize them into some Militia) have no legitimate use for deadly force is disingenuous at best. That's not even counting the value of firearms when it comes to defending ourselves from each other! No, the Second Amendment is in need of no polish or other adjustments. It serves the purpose for which it was intended very well, and truly our need of it is greater now than at any point in our history. Our government is rapidly extending its powers without much regard for the checks and balances the Founders put in place for us, and at some point, it may go too far. If we allow ourselves to be made defenseless by believing that it can't happen here, we may well come to regret our complacency.

Very little of the Founding Father's wisdom is as anachronistic as people think (we believe we are somehow fundamentally superior to our forebears but we're not) and if you look at many of the failings of our culture and legal system today, it is usually because we decided to ignore that wisdom.

How true. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271807)

It is amazing what a wonderful job we did in invading and occupying Iraq. Or are those ppl in an organized army with comparable equipment? The truth is, that Rifles and handguns DO help. We need to retain them.

With all that said, I have been an ACLU supporter over the years. Sometimes a member and other times not, but always a supporter. The real problem is that they really do not have a choice on the cases they take. They take those that are attacking our civil liberties even when it is disgusting (such as defending kiddie porn that was found via an illegal search or wiretap).

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (5, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271311)

What's so crazy about the International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? The name and casting of it as a court is a little funny, but basically it is just an inquiry into the Bush administration's mishandling of the relief and reconstruction efforts. Since this not only affects the people in the area but involves the waste of hundreds of millions of tax dollars, this certainly seems a worthwhile topic for investigation, and there is ample evidence already of gross inefficiency and corruption.

With regard to the Second Amendment, while I like you disagree with the ACLU's position, I don't see why that should prevent you from supporting the ACLU. The ACLU doesn't actively oppose individual gun rights, it just doesn't include them in its agenda.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271405)

We are not the EU. We're still a sovereign nation and we'll handle our internal shit ourselves.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (4, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271507)

Funny, that's what China always says when people complain about its violations of human rights and occupation of Tibet.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271557)

Did I miss something? Who is claiming that someone other than Americans should be investigating these American problems? Or are you saying it is not the right of the citizens to look into what the government is doing?

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271767)

We are not the EU. We're still a sovereign nation and we'll handle our internal shit ourselves.

You know, that explains a lot. I never realized the GOP considered itself a sovereign nation that lives inside this one, but it makes perfect sense now.

After they lose the election and get driven from power, they're going to open a chain of casinos.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271335)

Well, you could join the ACLU and the NRA -- the latter will handle your 2nd Amendment rights, and the former will handle the rest.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271403)

True, I could join both organizations, but it just feels like I'm paying to bet on both sides in a dog fight. In the past, the NRA has endorsed socially-conservative positions that annoy me as much as the hyper-liberal Katrina "tribunal" lameness.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1, Offtopic)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271669)

Maybe I'm ignorant, but I don't recall the ACLU acting against the 2nd Amendment, nor do I recall the NRA acting against the other Amendments (unspecified "socially-conservative positions" notwithstanding). Therefore, I don't see the problem with supporting both.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271515)

Well, you could join the ACLU and the NRA...

I don't know...That sounds a little like joining the NAACP and the KKK.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0, Offtopic)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271569)

Exactly, except that in your example, the KKK would be pro-gun control organization. (Look up the history of gun control and you'll see what I mean. It was intended to keep weapons out of the hands of former slaves.)

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271657)

Well, you could join the ACLU and the NRA -- the latter will handle your 2nd Amendment rights, and the former will handle the rest.

I did both, but then the ACLU started pestering me about once a week for donations. I never had that type of nagging from the NRA. So now I hate the ACLU about as much as most rabid right wingers, but for a completely different reason.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1)

dlthomas (762960) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271363)

The first *is* a little hokey. As to the second, they say right there that they're neutral on the matter, and it's not as though the issue is going unaddressed. *Were* this the only problem, I would say the appropriate solution - given your apparent views - would be to join both the ACLU and the NRA.

In some cases, I think that the ACLU taking too extreme a position is valuable. For instance, in the several cases regarding posting of the Ten Commandments, the fact that they brought cases on both sides of reasonable let the Supreme Court speak *much* clearer on the matter, as to what is and isn't acceptable.

I think overall the ACLU is valuable, and the best thing to do is to *be* a member, and when they do stupid things, write an angry letter and lower your donation.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1)

General Wesc (59919) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271503)

Yes, the ACLU isn't defending the Second Amendment the way I'd like it defended. Neither is the International Red Cross or the EFF. None of them are fighting against it, though. I'm perfectly happy to support a group that fights for nine of the first ten amendments so long as they don't fight against the other one. I'm not going to forgo defending most of my rights to spite a group for failing to deal with one of them. That would just be childish. Take a portion of what you'd give the ACLU and give it to the NRA. A portion. Not all.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271765)

Neither is the International Red Cross or the EFF

The difference being that neither of those organizations claims to be a broad-based defender of civil liberties. The ACLU markets itself as a defender of civil liberties, but then explicitly comes out in favor of arms-control policies that are ideally suited to a police state.

Re:I wish I could join the ACLU (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271975)

One way to stomach it is just to assume that someone else who really hates the stuff you like is also a member, with each of your dollars going exclusively to the cause that you support.

Bush (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271111)

"Not gonna do it..."

Oh wait. Wrong Bush.

Re:Bush (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271129)

Right Bush ... wrong voice.

More Info Needed (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271135)

Is there a link somewhere to the actual order? Or anything else more objective than a press release from the ACLU? As it is, the significance of this is nearly indeterminable.

Re:More Info Needed (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271165)

The article links to a portion of the ACLU site containing additional information, including the actual order. But since you obviously can't read, it won't do you any good, will it?

Losers! (3, Funny)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271199)

Freakin commies in bed with the terrorists. What do they think this country is? A Republic governed by a Constitution? If they want the rule of law they can all go to Canada.

Re:Losers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271269)

You hit the L key instead of the H key.

Re:Losers! (1)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271709)

Yeah, leave our imperial theocracy alone.

Sorry To Be The Party Pooper.. (1)

Halvy (748070) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271205)

But I would not get my hopes up tooo much... after all, *The System* tends to look after its own.. unless they are throwing us a bone.. which I highly doubt they will use Bush as an example :(

-- Silence is NOT golden.. it is deadly...

I am extremely confused. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271267)

"The ACLU filed the request with the FISC following Congress' recent passage of the so-called "Protect America Act," a law that vastly expands the Bush administration's authority to conduct warrantless wiretapping of Americans' international phone calls and e-mails."

I thought the whole hullabaloo was about *domestic* surveillance. Monitoring of internal US communications. This is how the story break a few years ago. But every time someone accidently brings that up, everyone else only talks about cross-border surveillance.

AANAL, but it is my understanding that if you cross the border you are going to possibly get a probe inserted in your anus that will come out of your mouth-- and that is perfectly legal.

But if the cops tried that on you while you were walking down the street, that had better have a rock-solid warrant.

Was the origianl issue not *domestic* warrantless wiretaps? (QUITE illegal-- but everyone conveniently forgets about it and starts talking about this non-issue international stuff).

Re:I am extremely confused. (3, Interesting)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271723)

The administration likes to claim it's only applying to international traffic, so that's how some people refer to it.

However a) the NSA has repeatedly admitted it doesn't have the technology to just intercept international calls, b) there is no oversight, and c) the Bush administration just rammed a bill through Congress letting them tap people without a warrant as long as the target is not in the US.

For those who don't know what that means, 'targets' of a tap do not, in fact, have to be at either ends of the actual tap. If they are targetting someone who might call you via unknown means, they can tap all your incoming phone calls, even when that person is not, in fact, calling. Aka, if you know a non-citizen, they can tap all your calls if they want, even domestic ones.

And there's actually quite a lot of evidence to suggest they are, in actuality, tapping whoever the fuck they want to at any time at they want to. The top of the Justice department doesn't threaten to resign because you're tapping foreigners.

Irony????? (1)

ZachMG (1122511) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271323)

So a "secret" court has a ruling about a "secret" wiretapping plan. And these "secret" things are able to make it into the media? Has the definition of secret changed since yesterday?

Re:Irony????? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271729)

I didn't know about the FISA court until I read this news. As far as I'm concerned, they kept the secret pretty well.

What's the punishment? (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271345)

What's the punishment if they don't comply? Who would be the target of the punishment? Who would enforce this punishment?

I ask these questions, because I can't think of an incident in this past term in office where the Bush administration complied with any request that wasn't directly self-serving. Without a meaningful cost that could actually be enacted, I don't see this administration answering to anyone about anything that they wouldn't like to do already.

Ryan Fenton

Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (4, Informative)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271393)

The judge that signed this order is the same judge that presided over the Microsoft anti-trust trial after Thomas Penfield Jackson was removed from the case. She has apparently now become presiding judge over FISC. She certainly gets around. [wikipedia.org]

Not new, unfortunately... (3, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271407)

This sort of behavior has been the standard operating procedure for our government for seventy years, unfortunately.

I was recently reading a couple of books on the history of the atomic weapons program in the US, particularly around the spy cases brought against a bunch of people involved.

A shocking number of known Soviet spies were unable to be tried because of the massive amount of illegal wiretapping that had been done against US citizens during that time. It wasn't until decades later that FOIA releases started to show just how many cases were quietly dropped to avoid it becoming public about the illegal surveillance and wiretapping.

The biggest difference now is via legal "loopholes" like Guantanamo Bay, and secret courts, people can be imprisoned without a trial or with a secret trial where the government can actually use the illegal wiretaps as evidence.

In my opinion, they're going after the wrong thing here. What do they hope to do? Stop the wiretaps? It'll *never* happen. What needs to be targeted is the illegal courts that allow them to make use of the illegal wiretaps.

Burying the lede. (3, Informative)

lheal (86013) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271461)

Why all the hyperventilating? From the end of TFA:

The ACLU's request to the FISC acknowledges that the FISC's docket includes a significant amount of material that is properly classified. The ACLU argues, however, that the release of court orders and opinions would not raise any security concern to the extent that these records address purely legal issues about the scope of the government's wiretap authority, and points out that the FISC has released such orders and opinions before. The ACLU is seeking release of all information in those judicial orders and legal papers the court determines, after independent review, to be unclassified or improperly classified.
So release the court orders and such. It's the ACLU's job to be paranoid, but I'm glad they see the value in keeping some things classified. All of these charges that the Bush Administration is trampling over the Constitution and spying on everyone is only helpful to partisans.

Kin George (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271481)

King George will simply dissolve the court and appoint another.

So what? FISA is effectively GONE! (1, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271523)

Two weekends ago Bush kept Congress in session all weekend until the effectively eliminated the FISA court. Now all that has to happen is that once a quarter, Alberto "Lies like a rug" Gonzales has to NOTIFY Congress how many people they've spied on without a warrant.

And how many demagogues voted *for* that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272065)

You know, the ones who just a few months ago were calling for Bush's impeachment over "domestic spying"?

But when the rubber meets the road, they go and VOTE FOR what they called "unconstitutional" just a few months ago.

WTF?

If it was so "unconstitutional" and "dangerous" and such an "affront to liberty" and a gigantic "invasion of privacy" a few months ago, what the fuck are they doing voting FOR a law that specifically authorizes those exact same acts?

Re:So what? FISA is effectively GONE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272143)

I know it is self obvious, but I think the only way we can keep out governments honest is to consider any elected official complicit of illegal actions, unless they actually act against them.
No, not the party, in this case, Congress, should go to jail, for failing to jail the legislature for knowing about the illegal wiretaps and not doing a thing about them...

I'm in Canada, and I know we're not better(so don't try to inform me Canada is no better, I know, we're not)
All I'm saying is we have the mediocre, corrupt governments we deserve, for not DEMANDING integrity from them.

Taps without a warrant, aka a fishing expedition, should be a fireable offense, at the least, preferrably a criminal offense, period...

the jig's up, Bushleague! you're going to Gitmo! (0, Troll)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271655)

nobody is buying your line any more. prepare for impeachment.

XP KEY==CRGCC-223WV-6D3C3-KF73X-WX39D? GET OFFLINE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271769)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Anybody that has Windows XP key CRGCC-223WV-6D3C3-KF73X-WX39D - GET OFF THE INTERNET NOW!!! MICROSOFT IS ABOUT TO DO A SWEEP!

XP KEY==CRGCC-223WV-6D3C3-KF73X-WX39D? GET OFFLINE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20271917)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Anybody that has Windows XP key CRGCC-223WV-6D3C3-KF73X-WX39D - GET OFF THE INTERNET NOW!!! MICROSOFT IS ABOUT TO DO A SWEEP!

slashkos (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20271913)

This story is tagged "slashkos". As if a story about the FISA Court objecting to unwarranted (pun intended :P) invasions of Americans' privacy is somehow a "liberal" issue.

I remember when "Conservatives" used to be the most sensitive Americans to government invasion of personal lives. When "Conservatives" used to swear to lay down their very lives to prevent "big government" from gaining unbalanced power over people.

That was a long time ago. Those "Conservatives" are dead, or sold out to the lust for power and the money it brings.

Today's "Conservatives" will sell any liberty for any illusion of "security". And even a geek blog like Slashdot can notice. "Slashkos" indeed.

Re:slashkos (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272091)

Nah, dude, freakin' libs took our guns and waged a successful PR campaign against independent militia organizations. Hence, we just bend over like everyone else, because no matter what the politician's want they'll get it eventually.

Just come quietly... You'll thank us later.

Re:slashkos (1, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272325)

You still have your guns. Liberals haven't taken any from you.

But you also still obviously have your paranoia and schizophrenic disconnection from reality.

I wish someone would take your guns before you hurt someone.

Re:slashkos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272103)

Um, what's your point?

This story has nothing to do with "news for nerds". It may be "stuff that matters" but I've always read that as being satirical: Slashdot focuses on news for nerds, the stuff that really matters (like what's in the next Linux release and upcoming video game releases) while leaving things like this to the political sites.

Slashdot is not supposed to be a political site. ("So block politics!" I'd rather see Slashdot refocus its political stories on actual "nerd" politics, like candidates' positions on net neutrality and internet regulation. "Politics for nerds", like the section says [slashdot.org] !)

In any case, this article is tagged "slashkos" not because of its blatant liberal bias, but because it's covering an issue that Slashdot is not supposed to address. It's just mindless anti-administration bashing.

Mod This Up (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272195)

Congrats..you've utterly destroyed Doc Ruby to bits. This is why Slashdot has been in such decline these days. Lefties like kdawson and their cocksucking kos kids like Doc Ruby are flooding this site with their own political crap that shouldn't be here at all.

Re:slashkos (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272343)

Anonymous fascist Coward, the FISA Court is stopping the NSA from wiretapping you. Telecom abuse. Which is most certainly Slashdot material.

But since you're so insane that you think the FISA Court is engaged in "mindless anti-administration bashing", who cares what you think? Karl Rove, is that you, now that you've "retired" and have time to pollute Slashdot instead of trolling on DKos?

Re:slashkos (0)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272187)

DR, I agree... the Dems have the history of being party of anti-privacy and fewer liberties (you do realize that is what you are acknowledging right?) Their recent change of position is less about ideology and more about just being anti-Bush. Did you forget to mention how Republicans are for big government now? (as though Dems were for smaller government...)

Re:slashkos (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272369)

How is pointing out that privacy invasion isn't a uniquely liberal issue acknowledging that Democrats are anti-privacy and fewer liberties? Unless of course you're the kind of rightwinger who sees everything that way, no matter what the facts are.

BTW, by far the biggest jumps in government size since WWII have been by Eisenhower, then Nixon, then Reagan, then Bush. Each of them multiplied the size of the government, rather than the fractional increments during Democratic administrations. But why would facts matter when you've got Republican slogans to repeat instead?

Re:slashkos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272253)

I remember reading about how Republicans were for smaller government and for States rights. Kind of like the name REPUBLICans, that they use. It seems that most that would fall under the old definition of Republican now fall under Libertarian or Constitutionalist.

The current high end crop and most of the low end of both top parties have no real differences. They all need to be thrown out. Will someone from /. run for local office? How about state or national office? Will someone from /. attempt to do more than write about the problems with government? Will they stand up and be counted?

What if they don't? (2, Insightful)

man_ls (248470) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272125)

While overwhelmingly positive, this ruling still has to actually be complied with.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, the Administration refuses to comply. Who goes to jail, and who takes them? Is it the President? The heads of the various organizations that didn't comply? Nobody, since the Judicial branch can't really enforce anything without the cooperation of agencies under other branches of government?

I'd like to know, even if it's an unrealistic situation that they'd flat out ignore that sort of an order.

After Bush leaves (ever thought of that?) (4, Interesting)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272151)

Being all up in arms about this stuff is fine. But I have SERIOUS concerns that people are SO foamed up at the mouth with Bush that when the next Democrat wins the presidency everybody will be so happy that nobody will pay attention like they are now.

I predict that with the exception of some high-profile non-productive executive orders the next prez (no matter which party) will keep most the powers that Bush has acquired via executive orders.

I may sound jaded, but let's not delude ourselves.

americans are fucking sheep (0, Flamebait)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272169)

they should get used to the government spying on them. they have no right to complain. Fuck them.

In other news... (2, Funny)

sgilti (668665) | more than 7 years ago | (#20272293)

the FISA court has announced that it will be stepping down at the end of the month, for personal reasons. It claims to have been mulling over this decision for months.

Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20272395)

To be honest, this is great, but... Doesn't the Protect America Act, which Shrub passed into law after Congress passed it (I think they did, didn't they?) as well that the FISA courts are not applicable anymore? Or did the Act cover something else in regards to warrantless (aka anti-4th Amendment) options for the President?
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