"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Sunday, December 18, 2005

REID ON SURVEILLANCE

WASH POST:
Reid acknowledged that he was briefed by the administration about the surveillance program "a couple of months ago." [... ] Reid said whoever disclosed the existence of the surveillance program should be prosecuted, but he said the president should not have unchecked authority to disregard the Constitution.
Which means that: (1) Reid ADMITS was informed as soon as he took over Dem Senate leadership from Daschle, (as we should expect); and (2) he accepts that the disclosure of this was a crime.

If Reid thought it was illegal or unconstitutional then why didn't he complain "a few months ago"!? Ditto Pelosi and Rockefeller and the other Dems in Congress who were REPEATEDLY told about this NSA program for the last FOUR YEARS?! Could it be that they DIDN'T think it was illegal or unconstitutional?! Could it be that they are attempting to exploit biased MSM misinterpretations of the NSA effort for partisan gains!?

YES. The Dems put partisanship ahead of our war effort - which I arguye is unpatriotic and (when their efforts help the enemy -- as their effort to derail the Patriot Act does) it verges on TREASON.

11 comments:

Noble said...

A must read:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1543118/posts

Noble said...

Basically - The Clintons wiretapped/listened in/spied on American's prior to a 9-11 landscape.
And not peep from the Media (besides 60 minutes)

Clinton Government = Good
Bush = Bad

In liberal world.

Too bad for them the internet allow us to find info to show their hypocracy.

Anonymous said...

Reliapundit-
"If Reid thought it was illegal or unconstitutional then why didn't he complain "a few months ago"!? Ditto Pelosi and Rockefeller and the other Dems in Congress who were REPEATEDLY told about this NSA program for the last FOUR YEARS?!"

Actually, everyone that you name **did** complain. It’s hard to complain too loudly about a secret program that you’re restricted from telling fellow Senators, your staff, or your constitutions about. Now that it’s public, here are statements by each of the people you reference:

Pelosi -- "I was advised of President Bush's decision to provide authority to the National Security Agency to conduct unspecified activities shortly after he made it and have been provided with updates on several occasions.

"The Bush Administration considered these briefings to be notification, not a request for approval. As is my practice whenever I am notified about intelligence activities, I expressed my strong concerns during these briefings."

Reid -- "The Administration briefers did not seek my advice or consent about the program, and based on what I have heard publicly since, key details about the program apparently were not provided to me.

"Under current Administration briefing guidelines, members of Congress are informed after decisions are made, have virtually no ability to either approve or reject a program, and are prohibited from discussing these types of programs with nearly all of their fellow members and all of their staff."

Rockefeller (in a letter to the administration in 2003) -- "Clearly, the activities we discussed raise profound oversight issues." http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/politics/13444910.htm

Naturally, since your masthead claims that you’re "Dedicated to correcting disinformation," I expect a correction to the original story on the front page. While you’re at it, you should also correct your story "THE U.S. CODE IS CLEAR: BUSH HAD AUTHORITY TO ORDER INTERCEPTS," since Alberto Gonzales is now on record as stating that this program WOULD violate FISA, except that he feels that other statutes (Article II and the 2001 war declaration) override the FISA constraints. When both sides (with actual lawyers) have agreed that a point of law is settled, even the one that it works against, proclaiming otherwise on your front page severely compromises your "correcting disinformation" pledge, the literal name of your blog, and even your nom de plume. I guess we'll find out if any of those are deserved.

-- Joe Yangtree

reliapundit said...

joe - you misstate everything.

fisa says the prez must inform the congress, but it does NOT give congress a veto over the prez. he must inform, not get consent.

this program has gone on for 4 years - with congressional and FISA ocurt consent. maybe with reservations, but consent.

daschle, reid, pelosi, and rockefeller - and their comrades in the MSM misrepresent the surveillance and their contemporaneous views.

if rockefeller what too inept to make a judgement on this matter (as he says in his handwrittem letter), then why did the dems make him the select committee's ranking member!?!?!?!?

the briefings were held en group, anf reid/pelosi rockefeller certainly could discuss amopng themselves. they did not object. the agreed with reservations. that's all.

as i have written in other posts, this surveillance by the NSA was NOT done to build legal cases; it was done to gather intel in order to take military action - totally within the purview of the CinC. carter reagan and clinton ALL asserted this power. as did fdr and truman and ike in other contexts.

if Hillary is elected i would hope she would have this power. a CinC NEEDS this power. WHY!?

WELL.... the info from this surveillance was used for IMMEDIATE renditions and IMMEDIATE assassinations (by drtome missile attacks, among other methods).

revealing it means it will be HARDER for us to get al Qaeda biggies.

which the leakers and the nytimes and lefties like you seem to WANT!

sheesh.

BTW: you came awful close to getting erased: too many peronal attackls agauinst me. but i decided to leave it upo becasue you went to the trouble of gettign real quotes.

i believe that the dems will regret making these statements. because they are distancing themselves from the victory we are now winning in iraq and in the gwot. pity.

next time: leave out the personal attacks and stick to the arguments on point. thanks.

reliapundit said...

bush followed FISA regs to the t.

he got the USA ag to concur, and
informed congress and the fisa judge.

this is NOT in the constitution.
it is not in the 1947 NSA (national sec act).

it is ONLY in fisa.

which proves that they followed FISA.

the 1947 nsa specifies that the prez can do what bush did to collect intel to fight a war. every prez since truman has claimed this power - even carter and clinton.

see congressional record. kit bvond spoke on it tonight.

reliapundit said...

when gonzalezs makes an appeal to a HIGHER authority than FISa - namely the US Constitution - he is NOT saying that therefore FISA forbids it. SEE MY OTHER POSTS.

carter and clinton BOTH did what bush is doing.

and they did it without the fisa judge being informed or congressional leaders.

so bush did it MORE legally than wither clinton or carter.

Anonymous said...

Here, again, is the quote from Alberto Gonzales?

"Now, in terms of legal authorities, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I've just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow -- there is -- unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That's what the law requires. Our position is, is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence."

I'll further break out the highlight to clarify.

"the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides -- **requires a court order** before engaging in this kind of surveillance." Please address your interpretation of that quote.

Is there any statement that Gonzales could make to convince you that, in his opinion, this program was NOT compliant with FISA? The one above seems pretty clear. FISA requires a court order for this surveillance. We didn't get one. Therefore FISA was violated. He, of course, goes on to justify why FISA compliance was not needed, but only after first acknowledging the FISA requirements were not met as “the law requires.”

Gonzales referred to a higher authority because he recognized that that was no reasonable way that he could state he didn't violate FISA. Did FISA require a warrant for this surveillance? Yes. Did we get one? No. When he states what his “position is,” don’t you think he would have mentioned that FISA was never violated first, if he actually believed that?

And how do you come to the conclusion that Carter did anything resembling what Bush did? Carter was in office when FISA was passed (1978). As far as I know he issued a public executive order that stated "Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section." 'Pursuant' means 'in accordance with.' In other words, Carter issued a publicly known executive order to start complying with FISA. Bush issued a secret executive order to explicitly break FISA requirements.

I have seen and directly answered all your other posts. If you have points that you think I've not addressed from them, please be specific and I'll be more than happy to reiterate my responses. On the other hand, yor response fails to directly address even one of my direct quotes from Gonzales.

reliapundit said...

listen YOU IDIOT: just becasue the USA AG says it's legal becasue the US Constitutionn says it is doesn;t mean that it is illegal under ANY statutes; he is merely assertring the highest authority, the one that trumps all others.

and his application of this is NOT NOVEL; carter clinton aslo used it.

in the quote YOU offer, USA AG Gonzo said that a court order is necessary...:

"unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress."

and there are MANY parts if FISA and 1947 N.S. Act which allow the pres to order what he ordered.

the USA AG can CHOOSE among MANY MANY defenses, some coinstitutional some statutory.

ands there are MANT legal and constitutional scholars who are opining JUST THAT.

check otu POWERLINE todfay or read CASS SUNSTEIN of the U Chicago Law School.

and leave me alone. you are pestering me.

this part of your comment is especially STUPID:

"And how do you come to the conclusion that Carter did anything resembling what Bush did? Carter was in office when FISA was passed (1978). As far as I know he issued a public executive order that stated "Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section." 'Pursuant' means 'in accordance with.' In other words, Carter issued a publicly known executive order to start complying with FISA."

Carter was authorizing surveillance WITHOUT A COURT ORDER. AND THIS WAS AFTER FISA PASSED.

Carter specifically claimed that FISA did NOT trump the US Constitution when he signed FISA. EVERY Fed Court - including the SCOTUS - which has heard cases on FISA have conccurred, and they have overtly said that when it comes to GATHERING INTEL ABOUT FOREIGN THREATS THE PRES HAS FULL POWER AND AUTHORITY AS CinC. Once the USA AG concurs that the effort is to gather intel about a foreign power or foreign agent the pres can order the surveillance HIMSELF. EVEN IF THE AGENT IS A US PERSON.


this is FACT. period. Now: accept that, or go away.

reliapundit said...

The NY Times reports...

James Taranto:

...

The New York Times reports on one of those cases:

" A Federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency may lawfully intercept messages between United States citizens and people overseas, even if there is no cause to believe the Americans are foreign agents, and then provide summaries of these messages to the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

This article appeared Nov. 7, 1982, and is reprinted by Newsbusters.org.

But last week the Times was shocked, shocked to learn that the NSA was spying on al Qaeda.

The Drudge Report notes that both President Carter and President Clinton signed executive orders providing for warrantless searches.

This is looking increasingly like another effort by hostile journalists to gin up a fake scandal and discredit the administration. And once again, Democrats are falling for it. From the Associated Press:

"Domestic spying authorized by the White House "doesn't uphold our Constitution" and President Bush offered a "lame" defense in recent public appearances, Sen. John Kerry[*] said Tuesday."

The [haughty, French-looking] Massachusetts Democrat, who [by the way served in Vietnam and] lost to Bush in the 2004 presidential election, also said the alleged White House leak of a CIA agent's identity was more serious than the media's disclosure of the spying program.

This is proof, as if any were needed, that Kerry is not serious.

Remember that in January 2004, Kerry described the war against terror as "primarily an intelligence and law-enforcement operation" rather than a military one. If he is to be believed--admittedly, a big "if"--a President Kerry would have been more concerned with terrorists' "rights" than with gathering intelligence to prevent terror attacks.

...

posted by Merv @ 2:40 PM

Anonymous said...

reliapundit -- "in the quote YOU offer, USA AG Gonzo said that a court order is necessary...:
"unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress."
and there are MANY parts if FISA and 1947 N.S. Act which allow the pres to order what he ordered."

As I’ve said before, this will be an interesting case. What is not currently under contention by almost any legal scholar is that the President’s actions violated FISA as it is written in letter and spirit. The questions that remain are whether the 2001 declaration of war and the President’s inherent powers make the FISA restrictions irrelevant. No, there aren’t many parts of FISA that allow the President to order what he ordered. Gonzales was obviously talking about the authorization to use force when he spoke of this behavior being "otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress." Just look at the full quote. It leaves no possibility of being misinterpreted. As usual, you want to take a small quote out of context and try to tortuously interpret it. Reading the full quote, the meaning is obvious. My other question, which you ducked, remains: "Is there any statement that Gonzales could make to convince you that, in his opinion, this program was NOT compliant with FISA?"

reliapundit -- "check otu POWERLINE todfay or read CASS SUNSTEIN of the U Chicago Law School."
Here's a relevant article by Dr. Sunstein http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2005/12/presidential_wi_1.html#more. Slight problem, though. He agrees with my arguments almost exactly:"The legal questions raised by President Bush's wiretapping seem to me complex, not simple. Here is a rough guide: (1) Did the AUMF authorize his action? (2) If not, does the Constitution give the President inherent authority to do what he did? (3) If the answer to (1) or (2) is yes, does his action violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)? (4) If the answer to (3) is yes, is FISA constitutional, or is it inconsistent with the President's inherent authority? (5) If the answer to (1) or (2) is yes, does the wiretapping nonetheless violate the Fourth Amendment?" Just the first sentence blows away your assertion that, "IT THEREFORE SEEMS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR TO ME THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS OPERATING WELL WITHIN THE LAW." Sunstein agrees with me that these are complex issues, not the simple ones that you wish to blithely reduce them to. Going further Sunstein states: "If the answer to (1) or (2) is yes, does his action violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)?" So, he believes that you MUST answer affirmatively to (1) or (2) before considering FISA, clearly implying that he agrees with Gonzales on this point and that the letter of FISA was violated. Either the AUMF or the Constitution must give the President powers that are outside of the laws of FISA.


reliapundit -- "the USA AG can CHOOSE among MANY MANY defenses, some coinstitutional some statutory."
Yes, obviously, he can. And he chose to concede the point that FISA was violated. Does that tell you anything?

reliapundit --"Carter was authorizing surveillance WITHOUT A COURT ORDER. AND THIS WAS AFTER FISA PASSED."
For the 50th time, yes FISA allows surveillance WITHOUT A COURT ORDER. What it doesn’t allow is surveillance of US Persons without a court order. Carter didn’t do that. I asked this, not quite as directly as I should have in my last post. Here’s another try. What evidence do you have that Carter ordered surveillance of US Persons without a court order?

reliapundit --"Carter specifically claimed that FISA did NOT trump the US Constitution when he signed FISA."
It would be crazy for any public official to assert that a Congressional law, Presidential Order, or Judicial decision that they agreed with trumped the Constitution. All officials swear to uphold the Constitution. Nothing "trumps" it.

"EVERY Fed Court - including the SCOTUS - which has heard cases on FISA have conccurred, and they have overtly said that when it comes to GATHERING INTEL ABOUT FOREIGN THREATS THE PRES HAS FULL POWER AND AUTHORITY AS CinC." -- SCOTUS has rejected challenges to the legality of FISA itself. I’d be very interested to hear the FISA related case where the Supremes have stated that, "said that when it comes to GATHERING INTEL ABOUT FOREIGN THREATS THE PRES HAS FULL POWER AND AUTHORITY AS CinC." Please be specific with case name and number.

Since you’re having trouble picking out the relevant questions, here’s a summary from this post:

1. Is there any statement that Gonzales could make to convince you that, in his opinion, this program was NOT compliant with FISA?

2. What evidence do you have that Carter ordered surveillance of **US Persons** without a court order?

3. Please specifically note the case name and number where the Supreme Court heard and decided a FISA challenge and said, "when it comes to GATHERING INTEL ABOUT FOREIGN THREATS THE PRES HAS FULL POWER AND AUTHORITY AS CinC".

Anonymous said...

Reliapundit -- "A Federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency may lawfully intercept messages between United States citizens and people overseas, even if there is no cause to believe the Americans are foreign agents, and then provide summaries of these messages to the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Very good. Now, here’s a quick quiz to see how much you know about this case. Why is this case law not relevant to FISA’s stricture that you cannot order warrantless surveillance on US Persons? Why does it not mention FISA in its deliberations? There’s a very simple and fairly obvious explanation. If you don’t know the reason, just ask me and I’ll tell you.