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EFF Documentation Victory in Telco Spying Case

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the keeping-things-on-the-up-and-up dept.

Privacy 89

Krishna Dagli sent on a link to Ars Technica's coverage of an EFF victory in a court case related to the NSA/Telco spying scandal. "Judge Vaughn Walker ruled today that AT&T, Verizon, Cingular (now part of AT&T), Sprint, and BellSouth (also part of AT&T now) must all maintain any data or papers related to the NSA spying case that Walker is overseeing in California. The EFF had requested the ruling out of concern that documents would be destroyed as part of routine data deletion practices before the case could even progress to discovery."

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That's nice... (2, Insightful)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284483)

...but if this Telecom immunity crap gets through its a moot point.

I hope the rest of you have called your Congressmen.

Re:That's nice... (2, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284515)

I hope the rest of you have called your Congressmen.

I called their offices several times, but every time I started talking about this immunity stuff, they kept hanging up on me, the bastards!

Re:That's nice... (1)

George Beech (870844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284885)

No no you have it all wrong, Your representative is more than happy to talk to you about anything you would like. It's just that these pesky phones have had some issues recently, apparently the exact modulation of the words immunity, corruption, Big Brother, bribe and neutrality seem to have a weird effect on the switching gear that Ma Bell (is that valid again???) just put into place. Rest assured that they are working hard to resolve this minor issue.

Re:That's nice... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284985)

I don't understand why these records wouldn't already have been tossed... I mean, they've got to know it's totally incriminating.

Re:That's nice... (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285539)

If they suddenly can't find documents they were known to have had, it looks quite bad for them and could leave them open to prosecution.

Re:That's nice... (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287163)

Look at the names. All belong to Ma Bell family. Also notice that T-mobile is not in the list. I am not surprised if they just tell the judge "Oops, too late. We did not know!".

Congress is useless. Why bother. (-1, Troll)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284585)

I give it a 5% chance that someone important will be punished, or any kind of law will be passed preventing this abuse by the Executive.

At least nobody I care about is gonna die for Bush...I guess that's a silver lining. Well that, and the big smirk I get every morning when I find out how much worse things have gone in Iraq. Man, I love watching the failure of ignorant assholes who ignore good advice. Too bad my kids are gonna have to foot the bill, and so many Iraqis had to die.

Bleh.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (-1, Troll)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284689)

Maybe you should check the news about our failures more often. I hope it doesn't break your heart but things appear to be looking better over there.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/14/AR2007101401245_pf.html [washingtonpost.com]
  and
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=48001 [defenselink.mil]
  along with various reports of the violence at an all time low since the war seems to say that your not going to be smirking for a while. I'm sorry that our men and women dieing is such a joy for you. But I am gload that your not seeing as much joy now.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284737)

all time low since the war

Let us know when they manage to make it better than it was before the war started.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284797)

Last time I checked the average death rate in Iraq (around about the height of the violence) was lower since the beginning of the invasion than the average death rate over Saddam Hussein's rule.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (3, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284831)

Last time I checked

You checked? I call bullshit.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285443)

Given that Iraq has at least 100,000 deaths (that's according to the U.S. Army, other sources estimate 250,000 and more) due to homicide and war since 2003, that's four years and on average 25,000 each year. The death poll of Saddam Hussein's rule is put at 300,000 for the whole of more than 30 years, which results in 10,000 per year. Basicly the death rate has more than doubled since the starting of the Iraq war.

I'd like to see your sources... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286127)

Because the sources I have seen call bullshit.

http://wais.stanford.edu/Iraq/iraq_deathsundersaddamhussein42503.html [stanford.edu]

"Along with other human rights organizations, The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian executions in Iraq. Human Rights Watch reports that in one operation alone, the Anfal, Saddam killed 100,000 Kurdish Iraqis. Another 500,000 are estimated to have died in Saddam's needless war with Iran. Coldly taken as a daily average for the 24 years of Saddam's reign, these numbers give us a horrifying picture of between 70 and 125 civilian deaths per day for every one of Saddam's 8,000-odd days in power"

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=392881 [google.com]

"During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), 730,000 Iranians died. You will
recall that Hussein was the aggressor in this war, because he wanted
full control of the Arvand/Shatt al-Arab waterway at the head of the
Persian Gulf. (For more information on the war, see "Iran-Iraq War,"
at Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/i/irani1raq.asp [encyclopedia.com]
) Approximately 1,000 Kuwaiti nationals were killed in the Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait. It's estimated there were 1,500,000 refugees from
this war, displaced by Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. 750,000 "endured
brutalities, oppression, and torture." Although the date for the end
of the war is usually given as 1988, the struggle continued, and
500,000 Iranians were late killed (the Iranians say it was closer to 1
million), 100,000 by Hussein's chemical weapons. In one day, 5,000
men, women, and children were gassed. ("Sadaam's Other Crime," In The
National Interest: http://www.inthenationalinterest.com/Articles/Vol3Issue29/Vol3Issue29Askari.html [inthenatio...terest.com]
  and "Charges Facing Saddam Hussein," BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3320293.stm [bbc.co.uk] )"

So, we have to make a decision about what you did here. Either the numbers, as a whole, are so unreliable that they fail to be useful, or you're cherrypicking numbers you like and ignoring the ones you don't.

In either case, your opinion is worthless.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (3, Interesting)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286175)

And of those deaths, the vast majority, in excess of 90%, were caused by...

wait for it....

OTHER IRAQIS!!! Not US servicemen.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286363)

In other words... you went in, started a civil war, and still want to claim success?

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286667)

not really "started", we just evened the odds of the pre-existing civil war, now all 3 groups die instead at roughly the same rate instead of the sunni cleansing everyone else.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287485)

Could you tell us where that 90% figure comes from? Even if you're exaggerating, it would be interesting to see.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21288953)

Source or bullshit

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

rtechie (244489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289431)

in excess of 90%, were caused by... OTHER IRAQIS!
Really? Do you think you can prove that?

Because it's my understanding that the #1 cause of violent death in Iraq is still US airstrikes. Lots of explosives going off in urban areas leads to lots of death. In all this talk about suicide bombers people see to forget that the US air power drops MUCH larger bombs on targets in Iraq. Shia death squads are a very close second. Deaths from Sunni insurgent snipers and bombers don't even really come close. This is easy to understand when you realize they're outnumbered 5 to 1 by the Americans and 3 to 1 by the Shia militias.

I'm willing to concede that deaths from Shia death squads may have eclipsed deaths from US airstrikes in the past year or so. Nobody really knows, except perhaps the Pentagon, and they aren't talking. However, this would still mean that the majority of deaths in Iraq came from US airstrikes. As the war drags on, that percentage is dwindling.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293531)

OK, yeah. I pulled the number out of my ass. But I still contend that the vast majority of killings there are Iraqi on Iraqi.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21289557)

What you fail to take into account is that nearly all of the Iraqis who killed other Iraqis were around for years before the US invasion, and most didn't kill anyone at all in years preceding our invasion. Don't you find it odd that someone can be a peaceful citizen for decades and then one weekend turn into a murderous militant?

While I agree US servicemen didn't cause those deaths directly, if those US servicemen had never invaded Iraq, nearly all of the civilian deaths simply would not have happened. To say we don't share some blame is pretty laughable.

US troops in Iraq are in the same position as pieces of shrapnel in an artery. Pulling them out will cause trouble, but leaving them there will also cause trouble--but the larger point is that they never had any business being there in the first place.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21293107)

Ok... Let me rephrase that:

Before the invasion Iraqis killed Iraqis at a rate of 10,000 per year. After the invasion Iraqis killed Iraqis at a rate of 22,500 a year. That's helping progress towards democracy exactly how?

I am not a bible type at all, but one sentence I think is very important: Matthew 7,16 (rephrased in Matthew 7,20): "So then, you will know them by their fruits."

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288603)

The death poll of Saddam Hussein's rule

There's your problem. You're asking dead people.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

Cairnarvon (901868) | more than 6 years ago | (#21294465)

You wish. The ORB poll two months that put the Iraqi civilian death toll since the invasion at a million and the Lancet study in October 2006 that put it at 650,000 are both talking about excess deaths; that is, above and beyond what they would have been under Hussein's rule.
Even if you consider those numbers to be too high (and you'd better have a good reason for believing so besides not wanting to believe them), there's absolutely no denying the fact that the civilian death rates have skyrocketted since the US invasion.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

Thanatopsis (29786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284809)

"along with various reports of the violence at an all time low since the war "

Simply not true. It has dropped to the level of violence we experienced in 2005 so that's good.

It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284873)

Wow, after 5 years and almost a Trillion pissed away into the sand, things are improving slightly! Yeah, take that terrorists! Fuck with the big bad USA and 5 years later we might actually get something done! I feel for those who were already in when this idiotic aggressive invasion took place. Those who enlisted after? Tough shit on them for supporting an evil agenda and being too stupid to realize that they were being lied to. We shoulda cleaned up in Afghanistan, gone home and secured our borders, and stayed vigilant. Pre-emptive strikes are bad precedent.

No declaration of war was made, no conscription, no rationing, no sacrifices made except to our rights and liberty. If this 'terrorist threat' was as serious as the government and their military cheerleaders say it is, why isn't there conscription? Why don't we have the 1/2 Million men in Iraq that military guidelines stated was needed to succeed there? Why doesn't our dear leader require Americans to ration gasoline and food so we can afford to properly equip those soldiers? The whole idea of invading Iraq was stupid because it wasn't involved, and then to top it all off, they went in with no plan.

Because this conflict was not to secure America, but to enrich the already-rich Americans with connections to politics. I'm sorry over 4k soldiers have wasted their lives for this crock of shit, but hey, they did volunteer knowing that even if a nut-job was elected that they would have to follow orders.

Sorry if that puts some hurt on your sacred cows, but reality often does that.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285201)

If this 'terrorist threat' was as serious as the government and their military cheerleaders say it is, why isn't there conscription?

I'll have to check, but I don't think we have that until after we're researched Barracks and Monarchy.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Absimiliard (59853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285747)

Oh please.

Research Nationalism and you can conscript IF you change your civics to the right type.

But those conscript units only get half the XP of a regular unit built in the city.

Re:National Guard didn't Volunteer for it (2, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285251)

You know, those guys signed up to be called on when a disaster hits their home state. You know, like those tornadoes and hurricanes that hit and we have no resources for now.

Re:National Guard didn't Volunteer for it (1)

greenbird (859670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289743)

You know, like those tornadoes and hurricanes that hit and we have no resources for now.

Yeah those tanks and anti-aircraft weapons they give the national guard are real effective against floods and tornadoes.

Idiot.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21285325)

Well, how about another reality check? You're an ignorant fool.

Regardless of your personal views of this "conflict", the soldiers who died over there did not "waste" their lives. I can agree that the pretense of the current occupation might have been jaded and painfully wrong, however, it was the American people who ultimately felt we should invade Iraq. I know too many military individuals who have come back from Iraq, most wanting to go back, knowing the dangers but also knowing that they are making a positive difference to the Iraqi people.

I can't agree with preemptive strikes in every scenario, but unless you have a compelling reason or the means to go back and change it, shut up. The facts remain, whether or not they stemmed from sound decisions.

Just something to think about, approximately 4,000 US soldiers have died in a war (plus occupation) that's lasted a couple years. We've lost more soldiers in ONE DAY in other wars and other eras.

So do us all a favor and take your asinine opinions elsewhere.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285751)

So let me get this right:

If fewer of our troops die than on D-Day, an occupation that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians is right, get with the program and STFU. Much improved medical technology and procedure means that many more troops are living with horrific injuries that would have died in World War 2 - never mind that.

If the majority of the American public were whipped up into a war frenzy, you should join in on the five minute hate, even though the facts are out there and they say it's a huge fraud. It's your country, right or wrong.

You'll serve your masters quite well, if not your country's ideals.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (2, Informative)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286037)

I like how you try spin it into meaning that America is killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. You do realize that we are not forcing dumbasses to strap bombs to their chests walk into a market and detonate. This shit was happening before we even stepped foot into Iraq it just was not in the news. Now these religious factions just have a way of justifying these horrendous acts they are inflicting on the civilians.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286353)

You do realize that we are not forcing dumbasses to strap bombs to their chests walk into a market and detonate.

Ah, but we are allowing it.

If I get a posse together and we go and kill all the police in some town and then there's a big crime wave - well, me and my posse do bear some of the responsibility for the crime wave.

This shit was happening before we even stepped foot into Iraq it just was not in the news.

No. The estimates for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths refer to deaths in excessive of the death rate prior to the invasion.

Now these religious factions just have a way of justifying these horrendous acts they are inflicting on the civilians.

I'd say the incentive matters more than the justification. The key problem is that the USA has created a situation in Iraq where people have both the incentive and the ability to blow each other up.

If I give some guy a gun and offer to pay him to shoot my neighbor then, sure, it would be wrong for the guy to shoot my neighbor - but the fact that the guy is wrong doesn't make me right for having given him the gun and the hit money.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286989)

"If I get a posse together and we go and kill all the police in some town and then there's a big crime wave - well, me and my posse do bear some of the responsibility for the crime wave."

No, no you don't bear any responsibility at all.

Forgive me for being evolved past the point of needing police to check my actions. Forgive me for thinking that when one becomes an adult, one bears the full weight one's actions except in very specific circumstances.

The criminals bear responsibility. We're talking about human beings here, not animals. Removing police doesn't create a crime wave, decisions by criminals do. Removing police doesn't provoke a crime wave, decisions by criminals do.

Stop giving people a pass for being criminals just because you want to hate on the US.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288707)

So if x kills y and y was preventing z, it's not x's fault that z happens? Not in the slightest? Let's take an analogy from Greek mythology. Atlas is holding up the world. Let's pretend that Zeus decides to kill Atlas. It's not at all Zeus's fault when the world is no longer supported and it falls down and we all die?

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21294971)

"So if x kills y and y was preventing z, it's not x's fault that z happens?"

No.

"Not in the slightest?"

No. Welcome to adulthood.

"Let's take an analogy from Greek mythology."

Let's not. Analogies are for people who can't argue their point based on the facts of the issue at hand.

And having read your analogy, you're leaving out a crucial point. In your incredibly weak analogy, you would have to give the world self determination and will, so it could DECIDE to fall. Without it, your analogy is not at all applicable, as criminals DO have free will, and so will not automatically "fall" as the world does.

You analogy fails, and so does your point.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21299409)

Actually, I think you need to be the one to enter adulthood. Things have consequences. You need to learn that. And I don't see you using facts. All you've done is insult people. Your point fails. You have free will and by knowingly removing an obstacle to something happening, you are letting it happen. The criminals free will does not enter into it because their will has not changed. They ARE committing crimes. Only, the police are stopping them. When you remove the police, you remove their obstacle. I'm not saying it's not their fault at all, I'm just saying not all of the blame rests with them.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21299773)

And I don't see you using facts.


Read the part that you have apparently missed, below.

"And having read your analogy, you're leaving out a crucial point. In your incredibly weak analogy, you would have to give the world self determination and will, so it could DECIDE to fall. Without it, your analogy is not at all applicable, as criminals DO have free will, and so will not automatically "fall" as the world does."

All you've done is insult people.


I'm sorry, but could you support that? I've made some pointed statements, but I don't recall insulting anyone directly. If you're going to toss around accusations, come with some evidence.

The criminals free will does not enter into it because their will has not changed.


So you're saying the actions of criminals aren't influenced by police presence?

When you remove the police, you remove their obstacle.


Wait, you just said that they were already committing crimes. So, apparently SOMETHING has to change about their free will, or else they would commit exactly the same amount of crime in both cases.

Your point fails again. And just so you're aware, there weren't any facts in your post, just your unsubstantiated opinion. Kind of makes it difficult to take this line

And I don't see you using facts.


When you're not willing to do it yourself.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21304685)

"And having read your analogy, you're leaving out a crucial point. In your incredibly weak analogy, you would have to give the world self determination and will, so it could DECIDE to fall. Without it, your analogy is not at all applicable, as criminals DO have free will, and so will not automatically "fall" as the world does."
There are no facts there. Only your own unsubstantiated opinion.

Wait, you just said that they were already committing crimes. So, apparently SOMETHING has to change about their free will, or else they would commit exactly the same amount of crime in both cases.
It's kind of hard to commit a crime when you've been thrown in jail after the first crime. ;)

Nope (1)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21322727)

"There are no facts there."

Criminals have free will. Fact (and please try to argue that, so I can quote your post that agrees)

So, now that it's obvious you're wrong, care to support your accusations of name calling?

Or admit you can't? You won't, your kind never does, you just lie and troll and run away when defeated.

"It's kind of hard to commit a crime when you've been thrown in jail after the first crime. ;)"

Crimes don't occur in jail? Wow, you're getting less and less coherent as you get more and more refuted.

Support your accusation or retract it. Step up and admit you were lying.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289535)

No, Iraq is not the scene of terrorists with bombs causing all the damage we've seen. You're buying into a selective analysis meant to blame those foreign devils for the state of their country, the same as those who have been taking this "white man's burden" style of intervention into the third world have always done.

You do realize that when mostly you're shooting a missile from an airplane into a building where a suspected "terrorist" is, you're going to get a lot of casualties right? You may argue that US soldiers are trained to avoid killing civilians, but when the whole system of aerial warfare is careless of collateral damage, it doesn't matter.

American bombs blew the infrastructure for "shock and awe" and the majority of Iraq's city population has been without steady electricity and proper sewage since. They dropped cluster bombs, which like land mines destroy civilian lives because of the unexploded ordnance left laying about. Then there's the depleted uranium. Cancer is skyrocketing in Iraq, on account of the radiation levels our weapons have sown. The radiation levels are a thousand times the usual [csmonitor.com] . Do you know what the half-life of that stuff is? We're talking billions of years.

Yes, insurgent groups and sectarian militias added to the body count, but the conditions on the ground were set up for that by turning Iraq into a hellhole.

Bush's America is the cause. It is the instigator. When a brute like Saddam has ruled more gently than Bush's occupation, it's quite damning. Bush, his cohorts, and everyone who followed orders to do this bear the moral responsibility.

We'd never bombard our cities this way to do in a few dangerous criminals, and the fact that we do that in Iraq shows how little their lives mean to the powers that be.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (4, Insightful)

saider (177166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285839)

Because this conflict was not to secure America, but to enrich the already-rich Americans with connections to politics.

I don't think it was started with this in mind, although those people did profiteer off of the war.

I believe this was a president, full of hubris, who thought that he could force democracy upon Iraq, and then use that as leverage to "solve" the middle east problem. He viewed himself as some great savior who would liberate them from dictators and be a celebrated hero (there is an interview of him stating this somewhere out there).

This war in Iraq was started for vanity, not profits.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (4, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287125)

Wow, an insightful comment connected to Iraq. I was about to propose some sort of neo-Godwin's Rule pertaining to Iraq too.

I think you absolutely right, the war is proof of the old adage about what the path to hell is paved with.

I've noticed that most of the anti-war crowd like to turn the world into some episode of Captain Planet, or any other cartoon, with definite villains out there doing conscious evil. I can see them picturing Dick Cheney wearing a metal gauntlet, petting his cat, saying "Next time inspector Liberty, next time", and flying away in the White House. I guess it is an easier world view, than having to contemplate that our leaders are just overly idealistic men, no different than us in their foibles, and just as prone to hubris as the next.

Iraq is a complex beast, and not prone to simple logic or characterizations (as are most things).

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (2, Insightful)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21292093)

I think you absolutely right, the war is proof of the old adage about what the path to hell is paved with.

Would we be so quick to ascribe "good intentions" to the perpetrators of this travesty if they were foreigners?

Did Russia invade Afghanistan out of "good intentions"?

It seems that the Golden Rule of the western media is that the bigger the crime, the more pure our intentions were.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21295237)

"Would we be so quick to ascribe "good intentions" to the perpetrators of this travesty if they were foreigners?"

I think that depends entirely on what kind of "foreigners" they were. Obviously history and context matter. Despite the trolls who will rant otherwise, generally the US tries to help. The same cannot be said of all countries, so turning this into a black and white issue as you have is childish.

"It seems that the Golden Rule of the western media is that the bigger the crime, the more pure our intentions were."

Nonsense. The golden rule of ANY media is "get ratings". Your oversimplification of the issue just serves to reinforce GP's point.

Iraq is a hard problem, and the solution can't be easy. It discourages me that people such as yourself are so vocal in their ignorance.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301845)

Would we be so quick to ascribe "good intentions" to the perpetrators of this travesty if they were foreigners?

Actually, yes. I think most people who do evil actions do so with the best of intentions, American or not. Yes, I can point to some exceptions, serial killers, perhaps the portion of evangelicals who want to bring on the end of the world, etc... But I am a firm believer in Hanna Arndt's idea of the "banality of evil".

The problem is that people get stuck in their ideology, and it becomes more real than the real world. They lose sight of the human impact of their actions. People really enjoying using people as a means to an end, and not as and ends to themselves. More people should go read their Kant.

I really don't know how to got America-centricism from this. People are people, Americans are subject to the same flaws as Europeans, Iraqis, and everyone else, and visa versa.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287193)

I don't think it was started with this in mind, although those people did profiteer off of the war.

Maybe I'm wearing too much tinfoil but clearly saran wrap just isn't doing the job. I had several friends observe that the moment Bush was in power (long before 9/11) his cabal was doing everything in their power to destabilize the middle east. The sentiment was that not only did they intend to start a war in every middle eastern country they could, they had absolutely no intention of ending any of them until they bled the country dry by charging for arms and oil as fast as they can burn through both.

As the old poker adage goes: "When you sit at the table look for the sucker..."

Would not a rose by any other name.... (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288791)

I believe this was a president, full of hubris, [...]

My main problem with this theory is that it presumes that the President was the prime mover in this plan.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

jagspecx (974505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285891)

If this 'terrorist threat' was as serious as the government and their military cheerleaders say it is, why isn't there conscription?Why don't we have the 1/2 Million men in Iraq that military guidelines stated was needed to succeed there?

Because those of us who actually went over there didn't want to be stuck in a foxhole with someone like you.

Pardon me.... (0, Offtopic)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286707)

But I've fucking had it.

I love a good political rant as much as the next guy, but the ONLY mod for that guy is "offtopic".

Jesus Christ mods, do you even know what the hell the moderations you give actually mean?

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287827)

Why didn't we have 500,000 men in Iraq? Because Former President William Jefferson Clinton cut the legs out from under the Army and other armed forces so there were not enough people to do that.

Could the US have instituted a draft and built the military back up? Sure. In about five years.

Watch the president after Hillary. There will be a sudden awakening that we need to spend more on the armed forces and it will be like 1981 all over again. Carter did the same thing and when he needed the military it wasn't there for him.

Re:It's not a war, and they volunteered for it. (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290809)

You might want to check your facts. The drawdown of the US military was planned and started under Bush the first with the enthusiastic support of the majority of both parties. They started the drawdown even before we had wrapped up the first Gulf War. As to starting a draft, we were able to ramp up for WW II in less that a year, if we, as a country, truly committed to a war against terrorism instead of just waving to the boys as the go to war it would be trivial to have 500,000 troops available. But NO we would much rather pay a bunch of undisciplined contractors to do the dirty work.

Doesn't matter. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21295873)

I don't want my taxes paying for a standing army of 1/2 Million. That is what conscription is for! That's how we won WW2!

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (2, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284879)

Maybe you should check the news about our failures more often.

I think we've been here before. Once bitten twice shy and all that.
Indeed, this press release, for example is *very* encouraging:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030501-15.html [whitehouse.gov]

I'm sure glad its almost over... again.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286533)

Well, I guess if a Washington Post article and an article from a militarty website say all is going great in Iraq, who am I to argue?? Obviously those are both completely bias-free sites... (insert joke about "liberal media" here)

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0, Troll)

Skreech (131543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284755)

At least nobody I care about is gonna die for Bush...I guess that's a silver lining. Well that, and the big smirk I get every morning when I find out how much worse things have gone in Iraq.
Well aren't you just as smug as a bug on a rug. Glad you derive smirk-worthy enjoyment from the Iraq war. I bet it's all just a big reality TV show to you.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284909)

Dude... YHBT. As a recovering biter I would like to invite you to join Biters Anonymous [kuro5hin.org] .

You don't HAVE to bite the trolls' trolls.

-mcgrew

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284911)

If you would bother to read the comment without your own emotional baggage and with a little more literacy skill you would discover that the only enjoyment he is referring to is how the situation is backfiring on the assholes who started it. This in no way implies that the author enjoys the fact that so many Iraqis had to die. If you argue about him not mentioning the brave americans that did died... well frankly the US casualties amount to less than 1% of the total deaths. I bet an Iraqi would say "cry me a river" if he knew the phrase.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

tomkost (944194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284769)

I unfortunately must agree with the first statement about their being a very small chance of punishment. That is a sad enough statement in and of itself.

I can not understand the callousness shown to others who lives are in danger through no fault of their own. Deriving enjoyment from the situation going badly in Iraq is also not a moral or enlightened position.

Modding this post up must be some kind of mistake I hope.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284893)

Deriving enjoyment from the situation going badly in Iraq is also not a moral or enlightened position.
Holy cow. What rock have you been living under for all of human history?

Major league sports? Check.
College sports? Check.
Academic competetion? Check.
Riding high on insider information while Americans struggle just to meet mortgage payments? Check.
Politicians voting themselves pay increases while No Child Left Behind creates an entire generation of disillusioned and miseducated drones? Check.

Deriving enjoyment from the failure of others is the basis of our society--deriving enjoyment from setting someone else up to fail even moreso!

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284899)

Regardless of how you feel about the war, which I disagree with completely, you are ass for hoping we lose in Iraq. The time for proving who is right is over. Let's get out in the best way possible and try not to "smirk" while soldiers and civilians die.

Re:Congress is useless. Why bother. (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285379)

We already lost in Iraq. We lost in Iraq in 2003, when after initial military success it turned out we had no plan. As to proving who was right, I think this is as good of a time as any. A stupid decision to invade was made. People behind this decision are still in power. They press on with their stupid policies and rhetoric. You just propose we pull together and clean up their shit. I don't think so.

I see it as my duty to criticize, berate, insult and generally annoy anyone who in any way supports, implements or justifies this war. The logic here is: the next time another idiot in Washington decides to go to war, he will remember all the crap the last guy had to deal with and will change his mind. Hopefully. Hey, it's a better plan than yours.

Righteous! (self) (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284907)

Well that, and the big smirk I get every morning when I find out how much worse things have gone in Iraq. Man, I love watching the failure of ignorant assholes who ignore good advice.

So it's about winning the argument, eh? You're not alone in predicting that invading Iraq was a bad move. But taking satisfaction in our failure in Iraq seems perverse to me. After all, although the Executive made mistakes and Congress rubber stamped them, the mistakes hurt us all (Iraqis included). Every time I see another Bush misstep, I cringe. We'll be paying for this for a long time. To me, fixing our problems is a lot more important than saying "I told you so."

If we keep going down the "us and them" path in our own politics, we'll wind up like the Sunnis and Shiites, self-righteous to the end, destroying our own country in the name of winning an argument.

Wrong tense (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285771)

"If we keep going down the "us and them" path in our own politics, we'll wind up like the Sunnis and Shiites, self-righteous to the end, destroying our own country in the name of winning an argument."

You use the future tense - I think the past tense is more appropriate.

maybe... (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287831)

You use the future tense - I think the past tense is more appropriate.

We haven't yet taken to the streets, AK-47s in hand. One nice thing about the rule of law is that for all the absurdities of our government and our legal system, people don't generally resolve disputes in America with bullets. I think we tend to forget that a lot when we talk about how jacked up the government is, how we should kill all the laywers, etc. Life without daily bloodshed has a lot to recommend to it.

Re:That's nice... (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285983)

I hope the rest of you have called your Congressmen.
IIRC, the House already passed a bill without immunity. It's the Senate who is considering adding immunity to their version of the FISA reform bill. Then the two bills would go to conference, and a frankenstein of the two would be enacted.

So call your Senators. They'll be voting on this soon.

The EFF is Awesome (4, Insightful)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284487)

Granted, the EFF is a group of lawyers, but they are lawyers working for a better Internet. Sometimes they make me just want to cry. Hopefully this is just the beginning. The NSA has gone way beyond breaking the law. The ease at which they put people under surveilance and on watchlists flies in the face of the constitutional ban on unreasonable searches and bills of attainder. This is great news.

Re:The EFF is Awesome (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285129)

constitutional ban on unreasonable searches

My 4th amendment rights have been violated not once but TWICE this year alone. And I'm a 55 year old white guy, I can only imagine if I were young, black, or Hispanic!

The first one was ironically on Memorial day. I'd run across an old girlfriend, and gave her my phone number and told her where I'd moved, but asked her to wait before visiting as my daughter was in town that weekend. I got home and went to bed, daughter still out with her friends.

My daughter woke me up - "dad, there's some strange woman on the porch swing and she says she knows you." It was Chris, [slashdot.org] the old girlfriend. Her live-in BF had seen her with me and locked her out of the house (I guess he has very good reason to hate my guts).

A knock came at the back door - it was the police. Chris had scared teh elderly neighbors, banging on their door. She must have really looked the witch carrying that broom (no I am NOT making this up). I told the cops I was glad they were there and told them about Chris' being locked out. They called teh BF and gave her a ride home, but before they did they informed me that they had opened my garage and had a look around inside - on the day we commemmorate those who died defending the Constitution.

The second time I gave the wrong two ladies a ride to the wrong house. A big black SUV cut us off as we were leaving, and several very large men wearing vests with FBI, DEA and POLICE on them (the DEA guy was wearing a ski mask - in July!) accosted us, searched me, my car, and the ladies' purses before sending us on our way. No arrest, no warrant, nothing but guns and tasers. No Constitutional rights either, I guess. In the War On (some) Drugs (and the prostitutes who use them I guess), the first casualty was the Constitution.

Liberty? What liberty? [kuro5hin.org]

-mcgrew

Re:The EFF is Awesome (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285427)

what's really scary is that from reading the article I can tell that they are snooping my every packet (seems my packets must pass thru that peering point) .... including now when I'm reading a web page that's discussing the NSA and their breaking of the law .....

Re:The EFF is Awesome (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285715)

(and I should add every packet you send and receive to kernel.org since PAIX is in there too)

Of course this being the EFF... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284571)

...they will go on to lose the case itself. Too bad.

A small light at the end of the tunnel (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284783)

may indeed be a distant headlight of a big oncoming train. I can't help but think that if more and more judges are making reasonable decisions, even if not enough such decisions, then the country is waking up from the darkness. Yes, I know, DST doesn't really help, but every little bit of goodness counts. It's not like jurisprudence works like the latest fashion fad, it takes time. Now, we only need for a couple of them to have emails go missing (seems a favorite of the current administration) to show culpability, or some semblance of it. Hopefully, enough to shut down the spying and cause enough outrage to force it onto the election issues agenda.

Data Retention/Deletion (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284803)

routine data deletion practices

Convenient (for telcos) how they're required by law to retain personal data on people which they exploit for profit, but routinely delete evidence of telco crimes.

"These days it's all secrecy, and no privacy." - The Rolling Stones, "Fingerprint File" [gettherhythm.com]

Re:Data Retention/Deletion (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284999)

I generally hate those who start railing about how "America == fascism" and whatnot. However, in these telco cases it's hard not to see the correlation. When you break it down the government allows these guys to break the law (most likely in a crooked way of supporting a campaign). When they get caught do they get punished? No. They get immunity and screwed up data retention rights with which to make a profit.

Wanna take it a step further? (4, Insightful)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284875)

Here's a longer NPR part than the article [npr.org]

This whole thing just reeks of sketchiness. If congress wanted to show some actually fortitude, they should knock the immunity out, even if there is a veto by the President.

Re:Wanna take it a step further? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286551)

The department of misinformation has read your post and decided that all words other than "the" should be redacted.

DOMI - For the public good!

Winning a battle, losing a war? (5, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284939)

Judges generally grant motions related to discovery to be on the safe side, to limit chances of appeal later. Only the most unreasonable discovery requests are likely to be refused.

The EFF have to find something in that discovery to win their action, and that is the uphill battle....

Re:Winning a battle, losing a war? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285927)

Yeah, and at least from the wording it sounds like this merely assured they would not be automatically deleted - that's still not a decision the EFF will ever see any of it. Clearly the court wouldn't let it be arbitrarily destroyed, so I don't see the big news. This is the kind of motions even SCO was granted...

Re:Winning a battle, losing a war? (1)

abb3w (696381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288731)

The EFF have to find something in that discovery to win their action, and that is the uphill battle....

No, I think the real uphill battle is to get the appeals courts to treat "State Secrets! State Secrets! Look at the Wookie!" with the dignity it deserves. Once they get a court to say that State Secrets can't be used to hide State Crimes, at least one or two of the cases ought to be downhill.

It won't matter... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285099)

the telcos would quite happily delete the data anyway and be in contempt... they'd get pardoned for it and a pat on the back from the executive branch...

Wolf in hen house (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285857)

"Judge Vaughn Walker ruled today that AT&T, Verizon, Cingular (now part of AT&T), Sprint, and BellSouth (also part of AT&T now) must all maintain any data or papers related to the NSA spying case that Walker is overseeing in California.


"Now, Mr. Telco, you be good now and don't destroy any of those documents that may incriminate you in the future, okay? We don't know what documents you have, but we'll ask you to not shred them until we actually can proceed to ask you for them."

Really why is the system set up this way? It's like telling a suspected murderer to please not dispose of the murder weapon if he has it until the prosecutor can get a search warrant.

Re:Wolf in hen house (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286547)

If you realize you're gunna get caught and you can take the punishment, why risk adding to it? The punishment for a murderer is sufficiently high that they'll be willing to risk added punishment if it increases the chances they get away clean. In this case those asked to retain the papers won't see life in prison if they're found guilty - they can take the punishment - so why make it worse? If evidence springs up that they did in fact destroy evidence they were specifically ordered to keep, both their punishment and their case are hurt. In theory anyways.

Re:Wolf in hen house (1)

Snaffler (311068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286945)

Actually, the in-house attorneys for AT&T undoubtedly issued a stop shred order as soon as the case was filed. Technically, a judge does not have to issue such an order as a verified threat that litigation is imminent is sufficient to allow a federal court to sanction a company for deleting or destroying files. Penalties can be very high for destruction of evidence.

The fact that he Judge in this case issued the order (at the request of the plaintiffs) indicates that the Judge was likely worried that the normal procedure would not be followed. Orders like this are usually not issued in the typical case. The Judge may have shared some of the concerns given in the speculations in these comments.

But given the confidential nature of the program and the contents of any data mining, it will be extraordinarily expensive to get access to any such information and to process it even if it is not shredded. It is not like this information can be handed over to plaintiffs' counsel and their experts. Good luck, though to those working on the case. I hope you find out the full extent of this program and whether it has been abused.

Congress will cave - a hypothetical dialogue (1)

Snaffler (311068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285861)

Anybody who thinks that Congress will stand up to the Administration on Telecom snooping is crazy. Here is the dialogue that I see:

W.H. Staffer: "Lord Cheney, House Judiciary Committee Chair Conyers is trying to block the Telecoms are real Patriots Immunity Bill

Cheney: "Oh ya? Hold on . . . Here it is. Let me make a call.

Cheney: "Mr. Black? this is Lord Cheney.
Mr. Black: "We know it is you. How can we do your bidding?
Cheney: "Conyers is getting in the way of the TARP bill. What can you give me? I need that NARUS STA-6400 data crunched right now!
Mr. Black: "Conyers . . . Conyers, OK here we go, House ISP routers and home routers . . . OK do you want his home e-mail? office e-mail? You want it summarized or verbatim?

Mr. Black: "Oh, I know, how about web page browsing history for the last two years?

Cheney: "I don't care. Just get me something good!

Mr. Black: "Ah, yes. Here is what you want. oooh. Nasty. Shall I send it to you or do you want me to send it to Mr. Conyers directly? Anonymously, of course.

Cheney: Send it to me damn it. This will be fun.

AT&T gave feds access to all Web & phone t (2, Informative)

John Sokol (109591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288491)


AT&T gave feds access to all Web, phone traffic, ex-tech says

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004001159_spying08.html [nwsource.com]

  he alleged that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the help of AT&T and without obtaining a court order.

NSA built a special room in San Francisco to receive data streamed through an AT&T Internet room containing "peering links," or major connections to other telecom providers. Other so-called secret rooms reportedly were constructed at AT&T sites in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, Calif

Not this guy again (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289061)

Not this useless Vaughn Walker again.

Bad judge, bad decision.
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