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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 06:46 PM   #41
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by Brat
That is not my understanding of what happened. *Some members of Congress were INFORMED, NOT CONSULTED. *This is the first time I have heard that a panel of judges was consulted. *There is a panel of judges who hear NSA wiretap requests, the reason for the dust-up is that they did not take advantage of that panel. *The law gives them, as I recall, a free pass on the first 48 or 72 hours so there is no reason why a wiretap can't be in progress while they are preparing to file a request with the panel.

The members of Congress who were informed were prohibited from discussing this with anyone. *Frankly, I don't see why they honored the 'prohibitation' as the Executive Branck actions were unlawful.
The Wall Street Journal reported "The two district court judges who have presided over the FISA court since 9/11 also knew about [the wire taps]". Haven't seen it anywhere else.

Do you really think that the members of Congress who were briefed 12 times about this are not complicit if an actual crime was committed?

And unless one is an expert on the Constitution and the "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act" I would hesitate to assert with absolute authority that the "Executive Branch actions were unlawful."
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 08:02 PM   #42
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Re: Legal question

I don't know the expertise of the Members of Congress in constitutional law, however, if judges were "informed" I hold them to a higher standard in this area. If they did not bring this forward within the Judiciary then they should be impeached!

What I do want is checks and balances. Can you imagine the president this would set? Who is to say that the taps were security matters and not political? There is no oversight, no branch of government to say no, no record to look back on to see if abuse of power happened.

Many of you are younger than I. I remember Joe McCarthy's hearings, the investigations of civil rights activists. Our founders knew that power corrupts.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 08:05 PM   #43
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Re: Legal question

The great mass of people will more easily fall victems to a big lie than to a small one.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 08:12 PM   #44
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by Brat
I don't know the expertise of the Members of Congress in constitutional law, however, if judges were "informed" I hold them to a higher standard in this area.* If they did not bring this forward within the Judiciary then they should be impeached!

What I do want is checks and balances.* Can you imagine the president this would set?* Who is to say that the taps were security matters and not political?* There is no oversight, no branch of government to say no, no record to look back on to see if abuse of power happened.

Many of you are younger than I.* I remember Joe McCarthy's hearings, the investigations of civil rights activists.* Our founders knew that power corrupts.*
I too am in favor of checks and balances. I also favor a presumption of innocence. The revelation of wire taps without warrants raises serious questions that should be addressed by serious people in a serious manner. That is not happening.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 09:40 PM   #45
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Re: Legal question

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I also favor a presumption of innocence.
The presumption of innocense is in a court of law. We need to go forward in the courts to determine guilt or innocence. I have a gut feeling that the Executive brance does not want this to be heard by the Judicial Branch.

As we have seen in these last two presidential election cycles the presumption of innocence is not in play.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 10:12 PM   #46
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Re: Legal question

"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-21-2005, 11:02 PM   #47
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

- Benjamin Franklin
Good ol Ben is my favorite American hero, especially because he was one of the first Americans to retire early at age 42 and went on to pursue his creative dreams.* But even in his quote, he said "essential liberties," not just "some" liberties.



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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 12:05 AM   #48
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Re: Legal question

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he said "essential liberties,"
Ah yes, but who will assure that our essential liberties are protected?
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 12:52 AM   #49
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go

. . .
On "torture", what exactly is the allowable amount of "stress" a prisoner can be subjected to if it is believed that they have information that could prevent a terrorist attack?. . .
First you need to ask a more serious question. Will torture produce important, factual information? McCain says it won't. He knows more about it than I do. If it has produced important factual information, why hasn't this administration made that claim? They seem to be comfortable torturing people. We know this damages our reputation in the world. Where's the evidence that it has helped us fight terrorism?

Before we go asking about how much torture is okay, we ought to ask if it is effective.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 12:58 AM   #50
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go

. . .
On "civilian combatants", what do you do with people who are believed to be conspiring to commit a terrorist act but have not yet broken any law or if revealing the evidence against that individual would jeopardize other intelligence operations?* Do you wait until 3,000 or more people are dead and then round up 'those responsible'?
. . .
Believed by who? Do we wait till a corrupt and misguided administration abuses thousands of citizens before we develop safeguards?

This administration lied to us about WMDs. They were wrong about the burden a war in Iraq would be. Why would be trust them to decide whose rights it is okay to trample?
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 01:03 AM   #51
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go

. . .
On "spying on Americans", is it appropriate to have the NSA monitor the communications of suspected terrorists?* Given the potential urgency in each of these situations is it also appropriate to have a mechanism where, in certain instances, the monitoring can start with the judicial review to follow?* In the specific instance that currently has everyone hyperventilating, the administration did consult Congress as well as a panel of judges.* All of which are now Shocked! Shocked! that this was going on.

. . .
Again, suspected by who? There is a legal procedure in place for the Administration to use to spy on Americans. They can even spy first and ask for permission later. The court set up to hear these cases has traditionally approved almost every single request. What's wrong with using the system that exists and that recent Presidents have used? And as for the consultation that happened prior to doing this . . . listen to news reports other than FOX news. There seems to be plenty of indication that the consultation did not really address this spying.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 08:14 AM   #52
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by Brat
Ah yes, but who will assure that our essential liberties are protected?
First, there is never any assurance in life. But as far as we can help it, we the people as a whole will keep the system in balance. Not the far left, not the far right, but the mainstream folks.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 12:12 PM   #53
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Re: Legal question

How about a prarie dog look at it?

How many people have in fact been tried and convicted of terrorist related activities since 9/11? I may have slept through a news flash, but I think the answer is 'none'.

How many terrorist cells have been broken up or major planned attacks prevented? I heard a lot of propaganda saying many have been, but details were withheld to protect national security. Uh...sorry, but if anything big was actually done it would have been trumpeted from the highest towers for months on end. I doubt the claims with no backup information.

I know a few have been charged and as far as I know, all have had charges dropped because the govt would have had to allow 'top secret' information to be leaked in the trial if they had proceeded.

A lot of people have been imprisoned. Maybe some of them have been treated badly. Maybe some have been 'tortured' by various definitions.

So where are the convictions?

Where have we gotten the good information that led to successful anti terrorist actions? We're wiretapping, grabbing people as 'material witnesses', abusing the patriot act on a regular basis, actively teaching the police how to use loopholes in the various legal acts, etc.

While everything I said in the last paragraph is up for debate, I dont think the main point is.

Where are the results?

And yes, its been proven time and again that any 'torture' methods result in the tortured eventually revealing all sorts of information that may or may not be true, as the tortured simply will say whatever they think the torturer wants to hear or whatever will stop the torture. Its worthless as an interrogation tool. The stuff you see on tv where the hero kicks the crap out of the bad guy who quickly spits out the information the hero needs to save the world just doesnt happen in real life.

As far as civil liberties being protected by the 'mainstream folks', I have no faith in that at all. At this time we have far weaker civil rights than we did 5 years ago, its just that most people dont know that yet. Hopefully its stemmed, stopped and perhaps reversed, but I doubt it.

You live in a society where the police can ask you to "produce your papers" without your comission of a crime, and where you can be arrested and detailed indefinitely with no probable cause of a crime being committed.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 01:10 PM   #54
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Re: Legal question

What's sad is I actually sympathized with Saddam today; he's making some very good points. (see CNN article on today's trial or wherever you read your news).

We lied, lied, and lied some more. Its reminiscent of my former christain days... he who has no sin throw the first stone.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 01:26 PM   #55
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Re: Legal question

I'm bad at debate, so I'll throw a "me too" behind what SG and th"()" have said in this thread.

Re: what azanon said, Saddam isn't the one I'm worried about. Many of our "allies" and probably all or our enemies feel the same way. America isn't trustworthy (and neither is our mass media).
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 01:31 PM   #56
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Re: Legal question

I doubt many in Iraq received a fair trial during Saddam's reign...
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 01:55 PM   #57
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Re: Legal question

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what azanon said, Saddam isn't the one I'm worried about. Many of our "allies" and probably all or our enemies feel the same way. America isn't trustworthy (and neither is our mass media).
I thought it was implied that's what i'm worried about too.* Of course I'm not worried about Saddam himself.* But i'm sure what he's saying about us is being printed in everyone's newspapers all across the world.* *Our nose is getting verbally bloodied, and once again the world is being reminded of our behavior in all of this.

I'm reminded of so-called "technicalities" where arrested individuals are freed due to massive blunders of the arresting authority.
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 04:26 PM   #58
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Re: Legal question

Lots of stuff here.* I can't get to it all but will give some of it a try:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
First you need to ask a more serious question.* Will torture produce important, factual information?
No, the first question is "define torture".* I deliberately used the word "stress" in my original post because somewhere along a continuum stress becomes torture. Not all stress is torture (if you disagree on this point then we probably have no common ground on which to discuss this issue).* Is any amount of stress appropriate?* If so, how much is too much?* This is an important debate to have because stress is useful as an interrogation tool?* The critics aren't really interested in this debate because it forces them to take a position on the specifics. Instead they choose to label just about everything, even pretty standard interrogation techniques like sleep deprivation, as torture.* It is all well and good to be "against torture" and I'm sure they feel morally superior for their stand "against torture" but life is more complicated than that.* *


Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
This administration lied to us about WMDs.*
I love this one.* Let's see.* A short list of people and institutions who are on the record saying they believed Iraq had WMD before the invasion:
1) The current President
2) The former President
3) CIA director George Tenet told GWB the WMD case was a "slam dunk"
4) Tony Blair and the SSI
5) UNSCOM (United Nations Special Commission)
6) Jacques Chirac

Basically everyone who had access to intelligence on the subject came to the same conclusion.* But don't let the actual historic record get in the way though, Bush said Iraq had WMD and they didn't.* There is only one possible way that could happen . . . Bush Lied!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
What's wrong with using the system that exists and that recent Presidents have used?*
There has only been one president since 9/11.* In many instances the old way of doing things was not up to the job.* It is not clear to me whether or not this was one of those cases - I don't have enough information to judge and I humbly submit that neither do you.* * I think there ought to be hearings, and I suspect there will be.

But there are two questions here, only one of which people are talking about.* The most important question is why did the President feel the need to circumvent the old system?* Did the old rules materially limit our intelligence services from doing their job?* If there is a satisfactory answer to that question, the second question of whether the President overstepped his legal authority seems less relevant.* If there is not a satisfactory answer to the first question, then there should be hell to pay.* *


Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
Where are the results?
Well, one could argue that since 9/11 there have been many terrorist attacks around the world, including in Spain and London.* None here though (fingers crossed).* It might be just good luck on our part.* It might also have something to do with an aggressive, proactive, policy against terrorism complete with all the dirty little things that no one likes to hear, or talk about.

You worry that you haven't heard about all the successes and therefore conclude there haven't been any.* How many national security successes are you actually aware of?* Care to list them?* I guess we haven't had that many in the nation's history then.

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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 05:13 PM   #59
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by ()
How many people have in fact been tried and convicted of terrorist related activities since 9/11?* I may have slept through a news flash, but I think the answer is 'none'.

How many terrorist cells have been broken up or major planned attacks prevented?* I heard a lot of propaganda saying many have been, but details were withheld to protect national security.* Uh...sorry, but if anything big was actually done it would have been trumpeted from the highest towers for months on end.* I doubt the claims with no backup information.
I'm sorry, even if we had a need to know we don't have the clearance.*

The information's being held in a secure location for our own good.* As soon as someone gets Bin Laden and what's-his-name then we'll be able to handle knowing about it.* Or maybe not-- they might have to go after the next generation too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go
No, the first question is "define torture". I deliberately used the word "stress" in my original post because somewhere along a continuum stress becomes torture. Not all stress is torture (if you disagree on this point then we probably have no common ground on which to discuss this issue). Is any amount of stress appropriate? If so, how much is too much? This is an important debate to have because stress is useful as an interrogation tool? The critics aren't really interested in this debate because it forces them to take a position on the specifics. Instead they choose to label just about everything, even pretty standard interrogation techniques like sleep deprivation, as torture. It is all well and good to be "against torture" and I'm sure they feel morally superior for their stand "against torture" but life is more complicated than that.
Another part of the problem is that the military runs a SERE school teaching survival, evasion, resistance, & escape tactics to POW/MIA candidates like special warfare operators & aviators. Part of the curriculum there includes "training" that's at least as severely stressful as anything done at Abu Ghraib.

I can see the SERE instructors huddled around the photographs now-- "Hey, why didn't we think of that?!?", "Ooooh, let's try this one next!", "I wonder if she'd like to work here after her court-martial?", and "Who's requisitioning the dogs and the deep-cycle marine batteries?"
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Re: Legal question
Old 12-22-2005, 07:18 PM   #60
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Re: Legal question

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Originally Posted by Nords

Another part of the problem is that the military runs a SERE school teaching survival, evasion, resistance, & escape tactics to POW/MIA candidates like special warfare operators & aviators.* Part of the curriculum there includes "training" that's at least as severely stressful as anything done at Abu Ghraib.

I can see the SERE instructors huddled around the photographs now-- "Hey, why didn't we think of that?!?", "Ooooh, let's try this one next!", "I wonder if she'd like to work here after her court-martial?", and "Who's requisitioning the dogs and the deep-cycle marine batteries?"
Excellent point! This never occurred to me.

JG
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