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Domestic Spying: Necessary Evil or 1984 Realized
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 02:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Domestic Spying: Necessary Evil or 1984 Realized

Gonzales Defends Legality of Surveillance By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
11 minutes ago



WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales insisted Monday that President Bush is fully empowered to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants as part of the war on terror. He exhorted Congress not to end or tinker with the program.

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Gonzales' strong defense of Bush's program was challenged by Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and committee Democrats during sometimes contentious questioning.

Specter told Gonzales that even the Supreme Court had ruled that "the president does not have a blank check." Specter suggested that the program's legality be reviewed by a special federal court set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"There are a lot of people who think you're wrong. What do you have to lose if you're right?" Specter, R-Pa., asked Gonzales.

The attorney general sidestepped the question directly, just saying, "Obviously, we would consider and are always considering methods of fighting the war effectively against Al Qaida."

However, he said that court was already quite familiar with the program. He also said he did not think the 1978 law needed to be modified.

And, said Gonzales, "To end the program now would afford our enemy dangerous and potential deadly new room for operation within our borders."

At the White House, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan declined to say how the administration would respond to Specter's suggestion that the program be reviewed by the special federal court. McClellan said he didn't want to provide "on-the-spot analysis" of Gonzales' testimony or "get into ruling things in, or out, from this podium."

"This is something that we've briefed members of Congress on over the course of the last several years. We will continue to brief members of Congress about this vital program," McClellan said. The administration gave classified updates on the surveillance program to just eight congressional leaders.

Specter told Gonzales that federal law "has a forceful and blanket prohibition against any electronic surveillance without a court order."

While the president claims he has the authority to order such surveillance, Specter said, "I am skeptical of that interpretation."

A former Texas judge, Gonzales played an important role as White House counsel in developing the legal justification for the spy program. He served in that post from January 2001 to February 2005.

Committee Democrats, who have generally contended that Bush is acting illegally in permitting domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, sharply grilled Gonzales.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), D-Vt., asked if the authorization Bush claims to have would also enable the government to open mail in addition to monitoring voice and electronic communications.

"There is all kinds of wild speculation out there about what the president has authorized and what we're actually doing," Gonzales said.

"You're not answering my question," Leahy retorted. "Does this law authorize the opening of first class mail of U.S. citizens? Yes or no."

"That's not what's going on," Gonzales said. "We are only focusing on international communications, where one part of the conversation is al-Qaida."

Gonzales said the fact that the nation is at war gives the president more powers than during peacetime. "The president is acting with authority both by the Constitution and by statute," he said.

Gonzales called the eavesdropping program "reasonable" and "lawful," and said much of the published criticism about it was "misinformed, confused or wrong."

Monday's hearing got off to a rocky start when Republicans and Democrats disagreed over whether Gonzales should be sworn in. Democrats said he should, but Specter said it wasn't necessary.

He wasn't. "My answers would be the same whether I was under oath or not," Gonzales told the panel.

Gonzales reiterated the administration's contention that Bush was authorized to allow the NSA to eavesdrop, without first obtaining warrants, on people inside the United States whose calls or e-mails may be linked to terrorism.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., told Gonzales the administration broke with the time-honored system of checks and balances by not seeking greater congressional cooperation.

Kennedy said the eavesdropping program could actually weaken national security, raising the prospect that terror suspects could go free if courts rule evidence collected from such surveillance to be tainted.

"We're taking a risk with national security which I think is unwise," Kennedy said.

"We don't believe prosecutions are going to be jeopardized because of this program," Gonzales told Kennedy.

Gonzales declined to discuss details of the operation, as skeptics of the program have demanded. "An open discussion of the operational details of this program would put the lives of Americans at risk," he said.

The program has sparked a heated debate about presidential powers in the war on terror since it was first disclosed in December.

Gonzales argued that Congress did, in fact, authorize the president in September 2001 to use military force in the war on terror.

The Judiciary Committee's Democrats want Specter to call more administration officials for questioning, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft and ex-Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey, both of whom reportedly objected to parts of the program.

Specter said such appearances were possible.

The committee chairman asked Gonzales if he would have any objections to Ashcroft's appearance before the committee on the spy program. Gonzales told Specter his committee could ask whomever they wanted to appear. "Senator, I don't think I would have an objection."
================================================== ======

Anybody else creeped out that this is even happening?
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 02:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this is why I like to randomly say "allah" "bomb" and "airport" in phone conversations



On behalf of middle class America, I would like to thank the current administration.
Thank you for understanding that we truly want you to spend more money on eliminating our privacy....We don't REALLY want better roads, cleaner communities, higher paid teachers, properly trained and staffed responsive police forces, or even health care.....we want you to eavesdrop on our conversations, randomly search our homes, and audit all of our mail whenever you see fit.

Thank you sirs, for making my country feel more and more like a police state. Go get those terrorists.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't forget look through your internet search engine.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Whatever they wanna do, I can promise that I'm gonna make the job more interesting for them... but they aint gonna find anything even remotely bomb like.....


Tho now, I'm gonna research instructions for building a bomb....
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As a person with my particular lifestyle...this certainly comes as disconcerting. I'm sure XeR0, Mac and a few others can relate.

On the other hand, I'm an American citizen with a family. I have deep hopes that the whole Terrorist Insurgencies like bombing trucks, suicide bombers and those freaks who take hostages based solely on the person's ethnicity, videotape the torture and murder of said hostages and then mails the tape off to a TV Network that's only too happy to air every alleged terrorist tape they get...I have hopes that this never comes to fruition in America.

I'm of the opinion that while terrorist attacks of foreign soil are unfortunate, the bombings in Bali, England, Spain and France must be stopped from coming to issue here in the States.

In this mindset, I'd like to remind all of you that terrorists do not play by our rules. They know how to circumvent the United States' Judicial System, they know how to manipulate our Security rules and concerns. The planes used in 9-11 were taken over with shanks...probably less complicated than those used in prisons today.

I'm not happy about the possibility of my conversations being archived in some Federal Database, but I'm even less thrilled with the idea of being in a store with my kids shopping for groceries when some idiot all fucked up on Allah comes in and detonates himself.

It's not the step I'd like the US to have taken to secure against the possibility of acts of terrorism being triggered on my home soil...but it's a step, and it's more than England or Spain did before their commuter systems were bombed, and it's more than Bali did when it's resort areas were bombed.

Also, on a final note, I find the comparison to 1984 interesting. 1984 was allegedly written to decry Socialism, which is not only a system diametrically opposed in ideaology to the Bush Administration, but it also happened to be the political affiliation of the books' author, George Orwell.

Animal Farm is also recommended reading.



Late.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If it's truely only with people calling over-seas to areas like Iraq and Afganistan or something like that, like how I've been hearing over the news, then I'm all for it. You think people are complaining now about how we have less freedom, well I'm sure those same people will be complaining when they get blown up by some terrorist asshole. I will be willing to give up the freedom of having a private phone call with someone every now and then, if it means I can ride the bus without having to worry about it getting blown to smitherines, or fly in a plane without having to worry about crashing into a building.

Now I know there are some risks to this. You have to wonder when it goes from security measure to simply big brother watching your every move, but as long as there are people in place that can stop it from becoming that, well I feel safe that it wont.

And Glue, we watched the Animal Farm movie in my civics class. It was actually a great lesson for those who actually payed attention to it, and got past the fact that there were pigs talking.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Glue
Also, on a final note, I find the comparison to 1984 interesting. 1984 was allegedly written to decry Socialism, which is not only a system diametrically opposed in ideaology to the Bush Administration, but it also happened to be the political affiliation of the books' author, George Orwell.

Animal Farm is also recommended reading.



Late.
This is actually more of an Enemy of the State type thing
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spear
And Glue, we watched the Animal Farm movie in my civics class. It was actually a great lesson for those who actually payed attention to it, and got past the fact that there were pigs talking.
That book is actually a satirical parody of the Russian Revolution. It's probably the most thought provoking book I've ever read.

And I highly doubt that the reach of this "legal wiretapping" will omit domestic calls...if not covertly now, then overtly later...we'll all be on tape.

Late.
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People who use the words "Internet Bullies" are the most pussiest form of pussies you'll ever find. Chances are better than not that any girlfriend they've ever had cheated on them multiple times, probably right in front of them, laughing at their pitiful punk asses the whole time while they sat there and cried. If you or someone you know has been caused grief by an "Internet Bully" then you and/or that person is nothing but a little punk ass bitch, and the world would be a better, more manly place if you'd just jump off a fucking bridge already. Late.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spear
well I'm sure those same people will be complaining when they get blown up by some terrorist asshole.
it is my personal experience, that people who get "blown up" do VERY little complaining.....
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krypt
This is actually more of an Enemy of the State type thing
MOTM sir...sorry if this seems snobby, but The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and any of his collected works don't need to be mentioned here...



Late.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Krypt
it is my personal experience, that people who get "blown up" do VERY little complaining.....


Touche.

Late.
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People who use the words "Internet Bullies" are the most pussiest form of pussies you'll ever find. Chances are better than not that any girlfriend they've ever had cheated on them multiple times, probably right in front of them, laughing at their pitiful punk asses the whole time while they sat there and cried. If you or someone you know has been caused grief by an "Internet Bully" then you and/or that person is nothing but a little punk ass bitch, and the world would be a better, more manly place if you'd just jump off a fucking bridge already. Late.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Glue
That book is actually a satirical parody of the Russian Revolution. It's probably the most thought provoking book I've ever read.

And I highly doubt that the reach of this "legal wiretapping" will omit domestic calls...if not covertly now, then overtly later...we'll all be on tape.

Late.
Does that mean we'll have to stop our "special phone calls" late at night?
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Glue
MOTM sir...sorry if this seems snobby, but The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and any of his collected works don't need to be mentioned here...



Late.
Fuck that....Summertime is the jam
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krypt
it is my personal experience, that people who get "blown up" do VERY little complaining.....


If you need that comment explained to you I can do it.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krypt
Fuck that....Summertime is the jam
Here it is...a groove...slightly transformed...
Just a bit of a break from the norm...

Summa, summa, summa-tiiiiiiiiiiiiiime...summatime...


AWWW FUCK!!



Late.
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People who use the words "Internet Bullies" are the most pussiest form of pussies you'll ever find. Chances are better than not that any girlfriend they've ever had cheated on them multiple times, probably right in front of them, laughing at their pitiful punk asses the whole time while they sat there and cried. If you or someone you know has been caused grief by an "Internet Bully" then you and/or that person is nothing but a little punk ass bitch, and the world would be a better, more manly place if you'd just jump off a fucking bridge already. Late.
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Old 06 Feb 2006, 03:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spear


If you need that comment explained to you I can do it.
there is very little you can say that will make me believe blown up people do much complaining


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Glue
Here it is...a groove...slightly transformed...
Just a bit of a break from the norm...

Summa, summa, summa-tiiiiiiiiiiiiiime...summatime...


AWWW FUCK!!



Late.
Summer, summer, summertime
Time to sit back and unwind
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