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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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For You ACLU Lovers......

Local news here in the Midwest about getting rid of traditional events so as not to offend. These are actions that are breaking down what America is or was......lets not have anything of our culture least we offend someone. A sad state America is in......

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 12:58 AM
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Yeah, who needs em.

Ex-Justice lawyer says wiretap program illegal
Parts of government surveillance have no legal backing, former adviser says

ASSOCIATED PRESS


Updated: 7:17 p.m. CT Oct 2, 2007

WASHINGTON - A former top lawyer for the Bush administration on Tuesday said that parts of the government's much-criticized eavesdropping program were illegal.

There were aspects of the Terrorist Surveillance Program "that I could not find the legal support for," Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But he would not say exactly what law or constitutional principle the surveillance violated. Goldsmith said the White House has forbidden him from saying anything about the legal analysis underpinning the program — key details long sought by majority Democrats and some Republicans.
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As the Justice Department's top legal adviser to the White House from 2003 to 2004, Goldsmith was in charge of writing formal legal opinions and interpretations for the executive branch.

The legal rationale for the program is so secretive it initially was not even shared with top officials, including the general counsel of the National Security Agency, which conducted the surveillance.

Then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey also was not "read into," or advised about, the TSP program, despite his role in implementing the warrantless surveillance. As deputy, Comey would have been responsible for approving warrantless surveillance requests when the attorney general was not available.

Goldsmith said he assumes that the White House does not want the legality of the TSP program scrutinized, and he said "the extreme secrecy — not getting feedback from experts, not showing it to experts — led to a lot of mistakes."

Adding to questions about legality
The legal justification for the eavesdropping program has been a central point of a standoff between the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. The Vermont Democrat has said he wants certain information about the administration's surveillance and interrogation methods before he will schedule confirmation hearings for Michael Mukasey, Bush's choice for attorney general.

Key to the debate is a March 2004 showdown at the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft as he recovered from gall bladder surgery.

Goldsmith, who was in the room, confirmed Comey's earlier account that a physically weak Ashcroft rebuffed White House officials who were trying to get him to reauthorize the eavesdropping program. According to Goldsmith, Ashcroft said he believed the program was illegal.

Goldsmith also confirmed he was among Justice Department lawyers who threatened to resign after the hospital standoff because of the White House's attempt to get around the Justice Department's opinion of the program. The threat of a mass walkout ultimately convinced the White House to adjust the program.

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In his testimony, Goldsmith also contradicted former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who told the committee earlier this year there was no dissent in the administration about the legality of the program.

Between 2001 and 2007, the U.S. government eavesdropped on an undisclosed number of people and entities in the United States without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court was created 30 years ago to oversee surveillance activities inside the country after Congress learned the government had been secretly eavesdropping on Americans for decades, in some cases for political gain.

The FISA court is meant to balance the government's need to periodically collect intelligence inside the United States and the U.S. public's right to privacy. Secret FISA court orders can compel telecommunications companies to cooperate with government surveillance requests and indemnify them from lawsuits.

About 40 pending lawsuits
The Bush administration has asked Congress to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated. Around 40 lawsuits related to the surveillance are pending in federal courts. The administration has refused to give Congress details on the companies' involvement.

On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee went to the companies themselves, asking AT&T, Verizon and Qwest for details on the government's secret surveillance program.

Of the three, reportedly only Qwest rebuffed the government, insisting on a FISA court order first. The law prohibits telecommunications companies from sharing customer records without a court order.

The committee asked in letters sent Tuesday whether the companies allowed government agencies to install equipment on telecommunications lines to copy private Internet traffic, whether they have provided information on customers' networks of associates to the FBI, and whether they have ever been offered legal indemnity or compensation for cooperating with surveillance requests.

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 #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 10:08 AM
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I think schools spend entirely too much time on soft, squishy, social bullshit anyway. I lived in Munich growing up and spent some time in the public school system there. Bavarians observe every kind of Christian holiday you can imagine, by taking the freaking day off and not by doing something like dressing up, face painting or decorating the schools. They did have religion classes, and since I was Catholic I got the standard dose with the rest of the Catholic kids. I have no idea what Protestants or Jewish kids got, but they didn't do the Catholic thing. And I don't recall any Muslims in class.

When you are in school you do school stuff, like take lessons that are in the subject matter that schools are entrusted and commissioned to provide to our children. If you want to maintain Christian and pagan traditions in your house, or your neighborhood, go ahead and do it. But don't expect the school system to take time out of the regular school day to teach these traditions - it is not their purpose. Jim
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 11:36 AM
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It's easy to look at these social changes as wrong if you are, like me a white, anglo-saxton, semi-Christian whose family has been in America since 1747. On the other hand, if you are one of the 10s of Millions of Americans who don't share those same religious beliefs or don't share those same social habits you are left out.

If you are Muslim or Jewish or Hindi or Buddist Christmas is nothing more than an abstract concept and fully Commercial endeavor.

Christmas really has no more place in Public Schools than Football or Soccer. Schools are intended for learning yet we seem to fill them up with more and more pageantry and sports and extra curricular activity since it is easier to deal with than actually teaching kids to be prepared for the realities of work in this Century.

Maybe that is why we, as a country get our ass kicked on academic test scores by kids from Europe and Asia. Somehow I bet we would kick their ass in Christmas Pageants and Sports.

Academic tests are much like Political Polls. The idea is HIGHER SCORES. This is NOT GOLF people!

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Last edited by mcbear; 10-03-2007 at 11:39 AM.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 11:44 AM
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ACLU is the wrong target.

I don't much like the title hereinabove "For All You ACLU Lovers" because it references the ACLU as though it were some contemptible political orginization.

I see it as more of a defender of a PROCESS and important RIGHTS.

Unfortunately, in defending such things, it has to take the side sometimes of some pretty bad and contemptible people or organizations, seeking to utiliize those rights.

Rather like the Unions defending a dues paying but worthless worker; the fire department or police department saving a really horrible person, etc.

There is NO shortage of people and organizations or groups that would gtladly abolish or curtail the Constitutional rights the ACLU is forced to protect.

You should be glad it is there

Jim
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 05:19 PM
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Having read the article . . . where was there any mention of the ACLU?

To paraphrase a fictional movie president . . . why wouldn't you support an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the constitutional rights of its citizens?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI View Post
Having read the article . . . where was there any mention of the ACLU?
What exactly was the TITLE of this thread? And for that matter, what was the tone expressed in the title?

Jim
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BadBenz94 View Post
Local news here in the Midwest about getting rid of traditional events so as not to offend. These are actions that are breaking down what America is or was......lets not have anything of our culture least we offend someone. A sad state America is in......

First Jell-O, now Santa :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State
Well, some fictions are decidedly bad: adult religion. Others are OK for kids: Santa Claus.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 06:20 PM
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Stuff like this will eventually polarize regions of the nation. People will either flock to, or move from, areas that exhibit one side of this narcissism or the other. I'm no longer in the "This is right, this is wrong" camp as it applies to this kind of shit. It's idiotic as all get out. People who agree will move.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Corkscrew View Post
Well, some fictions are decidedly bad: adult religion. Others are OK for kids: Santa Claus.
I agree with that but too many folks try to tie in Christian beliefs with Santa Claus and that is were it breaks down in a publicly funded school.

It is somewhat like having the Easter Bunny without the Easter message that somehow is intertwined [the Easter Bunny Died for your Sins?]

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