Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

View Poll Results: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?
Yes 16 35.56%
No 29 64.44%
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post #1 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

In today's news conference, Bush claims he has a right to spy on US citizens without a court order. Many have suggested the President read Amendment IV of the US Constitution, which makes the quaint claim that a court is required to issue a warrant before a US Citizen can be spied upon by the government, however, Bush claimed that "things changed after 9-11", the change apparently being that we have been converted to a Nazi dictatorship. Do you think the government has a right to spy on you without a court order showing just cause as to why you should be subject to Gestapo tactics?


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #2 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 09:55 AM
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This is not the first time

Right or wrong?

Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls


During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon.

On Friday, the New York Times suggested that the Bush administration has instituted "a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices" when it "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants."

But in fact, the NSA had been monitoring private domestic telephone conversations on a much larger scale throughout the 1990s - all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2000, for instance, CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft introduced a report on the Clinton-era spy program by noting:


"If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency."
NSA computers, said Kroft, "capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world."

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."

Mr. Frost detailed activities at one unidentified NSA installation, telling "60 Minutes" that agency operators "can listen in to just about anything" - while Echelon computers screen phone calls for key words that might indicate a terrorist threat.

The "60 Minutes" report also spotlighted Echelon critic, then-Rep. Bob Barr, who complained that the project as it was being implemented under Clinton "engages in the interception of literally millions of communications involving United States citizens."

One Echelon operator working in Britain told "60 Minutes" that the NSA had even monitored and tape recorded the conversations of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond.
Still, the Times repeatedly insisted on Friday that NSA surveillance under Bush had been unprecedented, at one point citing anonymously an alleged former national security official who claimed: "This is really a sea change. It's almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches."
post #3 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:02 AM
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RE: This is not the first time

Quote:
guage - 12/19/2005 11:55 AM

Right or wrong?

Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls


During the 1990's under President Clinton, blah blah bal bla It's almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches."
guage, can you answer the dam question without going to your to your escape habit?
Don't worry no one is going to eat if you voice an opinion... Come on get some courage and answer the question and support your point of you, I really want to believe that you are not shallow

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post #4 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:10 AM
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

Use their systems, passports, citizenship, laws, traditions, books and media, create internal divisions among them, and inflict defeat on the kuffars, for in the current balance of power, all we need to do is to use their weaknesses as our strength.
post #5 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:14 AM
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

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guage - 12/19/2005 12:10 PM

Use their systems, passports, citizenship, laws, traditions, books and media, create internal divisions among them, and inflict defeat on the kuffars, for in the current balance of power, all we need to do is to use their weaknesses as our strength.
Are you saying that Muslims and Arabs in your country are there on a mission to break your system down? Sort of like inner combustion???
Explain would ya.....
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post #6 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

The question is simple - the President is asserting a right to read and record the private communications of US citizens without a warrant. Does the president have this right? If he does, who exactly is "winning" the so-called "War on Terrorism" if we are going to be required to surrender the Fourth Amendment to the federal government? What is really scary, and what people should pay attention to, is that some people are actually voting in favor of this assertion in this poll, and our "president" is on TV asserting he is perfectly right to violate the Bill of Rights.

As usual, our resident rightwing response is some unsourced 'CLINTON DID IT!' crap.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

Quote:
guage - 12/19/2005 12:10 PM

Use their systems, passports, citizenship, laws, traditions, books and media, create internal divisions among them, and inflict defeat on the kuffars, for in the current balance of power, all we need to do is to use their weaknesses as our strength.
WTF are you talking about?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #8 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?


Democrats call for investigation of NSA wiretaps

Monday, December 19, 2005; Posted: 4:55 a.m. EST (09:55 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic House leaders called Sunday for an independent panel to investigate the legality of a program President Bush authorized that allows warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens, according to a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

"We believe that the President must have the best possible intelligence to protect the American people, but that intelligence must be produced in a manner consistent with our Constitution and our laws, and in a manner that reflects our values as a nation," the letter says.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Minority Whip Steny Hoyer; Rep. John Conyers, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee; and Rep. Henry Waxman, the ranking member on the House Committee on Government Reform, signed the letter.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended Bush's actions, telling "Fox News Sunday" the president had authorized the National Security Agency "to collect information on a limited number of people with connections to al Qaeda."

On Saturday, Bush acknowledged he authorized the NSA to intercept international communications of people in the United States "with known links" to terror groups, and criticized the media for divulging the program.

He said he has re-authorized the NSA wiretap program about 30 times "and I intend to continue doing so as long as we have terror threats."

While the NSA is barred from domestic spying, it can get warrants issued with the permission of a special judicial body called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court. Bush's action eliminated the need to get a warrant from the court.

Asked why the president authorized skipping the FISA court, Rice said the war on terrorism was a "different type of war" that gives the commander in chief "additional authorities."

"I'm not a lawyer, but the president has gone to great lengths to make certain that he is both living under his obligations to protect Americans from another attack but also to protect their civil liberties," Rice said on "Meet The Press."

"And that's why this program is very carefully controlled. It has to be reauthorized every 45 days. People are specially trained to participate in it. And it has been briefed to leadership of the Congress, including the leadership of the intelligence committees."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said "Congress was never involved" in Bush's decision.

"I think all you need to know is look at former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham -- he was never informed of domestic eavesdropping," the Nevada Democrat said on "Fox News Sunday." "There should be committees investigating this."

Top Republicans also called for hearings.

"We have to resolve the issue to show Americans we are nation of law not outcomes," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on CBS' "Face The Nation." "I would like to see the intelligence committee look into it."

"There is a theme here that is a bit disturbing," the Judiciary Committee member said.

"If you allow him [Bush] to make findings, he becomes the court. You can't allow him or others to play the role of the court because then others adopt that model when they hold our troops."

Sen. John McCain also said that if the matter goes to a congressional panel that the intelligence community should investigate.

"You've got to be very careful about putting into the open situation" sensitive information "that would be helpful to al Qaeda," he said.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, told "CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" there were many questions but cautioned against politicizing the matter.

"I'd like to inquire why they didn't go to the Federal Intelligence Security Act," [FISA] which sets up a special court to authorize national security wiretaps," the senator said. "That's a real question they have to answer."

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, said he believes Bush's action violated the law.

"FISA law says it's the exclusive law to authorize wiretaps," he said. "This administration is playing fast and loose with the law in national security. The issue here is whether the president of the United States is putting himself above the law, and I believe he has done so."

Specter, however, said Feingold "is rushing to judgment."

"The president did notify key members of Congress," he said, but he added that the matters of how much those members of Congress were told -- and what they should have done about it -- were unsettled.

Sen. Carl Levin, a member of the Intelligence Committee, said it is possible the president's action was illegal, but that should be determined through hearings.

"But I don't want to prejudge whether the president broke the law," the Michigan Democrat said on "Meet The Press." "We need an explanation. We need it fast. The American public is entitled to the protections of the law."

CNN has not confirmed the exact wording of the president's order.


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #9 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:30 AM
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

The IDC data mining has yeilded valuable information on terrorist cells living and working in the US. It is not "unreasonable" for a person or groups having ties to "suspected terrorists or terrorist sympathizers" to be monitored or investigated. If there had been more sharing of information early on or more attention paid when several of the 9/11 terrorists were linked to Al Queida perhaps the WTC /Pentagon attacks could have been avoided.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That's all assuming, of course, that the wiretaps in this case are the same as in any other. But maybe they're not. Maybe there's something different about this surveillance. It could be in its scope.

But I'm guessing -- and this is just a guess -- that the real difference is in the technology of the wiretaps themselves.

post #10 of 106 (permalink) Old 12-19-2005, 10:50 AM
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RE: Does the president have a right to spy on US citizens?

Quote:
guage - 12/19/2005 12:30 PM

The IDC data mining has yeilded valuable information on terrorist cells living and working in the US. It is not "unreasonable" for a person or groups having ties to "suspected terrorists or terrorist sympathizers" to be monitored or investigated. If there had been more sharing of information early on or more attention paid when several of the 9/11 terrorists were linked to Al Queida perhaps the WTC /Pentagon attacks could have been avoided.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That's all assuming, of course, that the wiretaps in this case are the same as in any other. But maybe they're not. Maybe there's something different about this surveillance. It could be in its scope.

But I'm guessing -- and this is just a guess -- that the real difference is in the technology of the wiretaps themselves.
When you are done quoting the US Fourth Amendment and calling it your opinion I will be all ears... guage I asked your opinion not the usual stuff, you know what I mean...
PS. Next time when you quote some's else work, please cite your writing, it's just proper...
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