Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Perhaps they've picked up some interesting communications with Screwy:).
The legality of Bush's surveillance program is in question. This opinion is a valid one, but I'm guessing that we're going to need amendments in law to allow for the type of intelligence gathering being done within this program. This is going to end up in court. I can't imagine the ACLU not taking it up. So it seems in order to review the FISA court and create laws that protect civil liberties while serving to protect the nation.
The sneaky bit of this editorial is here:
"Although the administration could have sought such warrants, it chose not to for good reasons. The procedures under the surveillance act are streamlined, but nevertheless involve a number of bureaucratic steps. Furthermore, the FISA court is not a rubber stamp and may well decline to issue warrants even when wartime necessity compels surveillance. More to the point, the surveillance act was designed for the intricate "spy versus spy" world of the cold war, where move and countermove could be counted in days and hours, rather than minutes and seconds. It was not drafted to deal with the collection of intelligence involving the enemy's military operations in wartime, when information must be put to immediate use."
Bureaucratic? Of course it is, but that's why we've got pencil-pushers. The FISA court allows for up to 72 hours to report intelligence gathering, so the idea that Bush was ever prevented from seeking intelligence due to some red tape is a red herring. Regarding the possibility that the warrant would be rejected by the court, this has happened so infrequently as to make it statistically almost impossible that permission would have been denied. This is contempt for oversight, plain and simple. And the last line about the 'need for speed' is absurd in light of the 72-hour provision. The 'good reasons' aren't really very good at all. The real reasons are likely too sensitive to reveal, and that's what ought to be said. Straight talk please.
I don't mind having the discussion over how best to protect civil rights while protecting the security of the nation. But it's not helpful to have pro-Bush lawyers obfuscate and create false arguments.
It appears to boil down to - How much power lies in the executive? Is intelligence gathering a function of the Commander-in-Chief, and does the C-in-C have to communicate substance to the Congress? How does data mining square with individual liberties? How can we prevent the misuse of this Orwellian technology?
And, CP, you think they've been listening to me? I shouldn't have repeated the word 'car bomb' over and over to my Uncle Sama I guess.
but hey, at least we haven't suspended habeus corpus like lincoln did or interned entire ethnic groups as fdr did.
yes i am comfortable with the power resting in the exec hands in wartime. the other is impractical and unnecessary to protect civil liberties. if somebody is unduly searched or seized as a consequence, they will always have recourse to the courts.
these types of tradeoffs are i ntelligent wanys to avoid far worse tradeoffs later.
by the way, clinton's lawyers also defended it. so put your partisanship away for a moment if you can possibly do it.
so tiresome the partisanship. really so old.
of course they can. but i support the war, which i view as the highest priority issue on the docket. if gore was president, and he was waging it, which i think he would have been, i'd be a big supporter as well. it's the issue and the country, not the party, that matters.