NSA Wiretapping

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NSA Wiretapping

Postby Perk_daddy on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:33 am

Here's a story dealing with the New York Times' revealing of the government's wiretapping program (see today's comic for Lewis' request on some info about this). Hope it helps
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Postby Linkara on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:15 am

Sadly, that doesn't sound like the article I was referring to. The one I was referring to was more about bank accounts, but I suppose this is something. Honestly, do people believe that the NSA can't tell the difference between people who express a different opinion on the war and the administration and people who want to destroy the USA?
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Postby VinnieD on Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:02 am

I remember it as well. It's possible that it was taken down. Try foxnews.com. They blasted NYT for the article. You might not be able to get the article its self but you'll probably find some info on it.

.....yes I watch fox news. You just have to realize that Bill O Reily is not a newscaster but rather a comedian.
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Postby Sun tzu on Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:19 am

Linkara wrote:Sadly, that doesn't sound like the article I was referring to. The one I was referring to was more about bank accounts, but I suppose this is something. Honestly, do people believe that the NSA can't tell the difference between people who express a different opinion on the war and the administration and people who want to destroy the USA?

Look at it this way: Nixon was willing to wiretap his political opponents. Do you really trust any government that could get elected not to abuse this kind of power?
I mean, I trust the American government (and my own country's government, for that matter) as far as I can throw it. That's why I'm wary of giving it forms of power that are easy to abuse.
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Postby Perk_daddy on Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:55 am

Try this one. I think it's the one you were referring to.

And for all the crap people give O'Reilly, no one has been able to give me an example of any of his yellow journalism.
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Postby Linkara on Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:56 am

Yup, that looks like it's the one! Thanks, Perk! ^_^

Have a cookie. *Gives Perk a Thanksgiving cookie.*
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Postby Perk_daddy on Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:00 am

You're welcome!

Mmm...sprinkles...
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Postby Wandering Observer on Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:54 pm

sun tzu wrote:Look at it this way: Nixon was willing to wiretap his political opponents. Do you really trust any government that could get elected not to abuse this kind of power?
I mean, I trust the American government (and my own country's government, for that matter) as far as I can throw it. That's why I'm wary of giving it forms of power that are easy to abuse.


I would have to agree. While government traditionally operates to the benefit of society, the government is still composed of humans, which are still imperfect creatures.
Regardless of opinion, the Bush Administration has made attempts to consolidate power. Since much of the country remains politically polarized, and both sides are responsible for rather questionable actions, it makes sense that some groups are wary of the President's intentions.
Throw in the fact that the president's domestic spying program does come perilously close to constitutional limits, and people get downright edgy. Can you blame them for protecting their interests?
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Postby Perk_daddy on Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:51 am

Nope, I can't. On the other hand, if the President knows that someone from Al-Qaeda is calling someone here, and he didn't make attempts to find out what was being said, I consider him derelict in his duty, and criminally negligent.
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Postby Wandering Observer on Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:30 pm

I find it interesting that you put it that way. I agree with you to the extent that homeland security is certainly part of the president's job, the question pragmatically comes down to what is or is not feasible.

Let's take your Al-Qaeda example. Now there are thousands of thousands of calls made in and out of this country every hour. Since Al-Qaeda is still active, one can assume that it probably has cells in our country, probably quite a few. Thus, we can safely assume that there are terrorists making calls in the US, probably exceedingly often.

Now there are several things that stand in the way of the president finding out what is being said in these calls. For starters, you have the basic fact that the president does not initially know which individuals are terrorists, thus he does not initially know which calls are terrorist calls. This get's complicated by the Bill of Rights. Enter reason number 2. Ammendment IV reads like this:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches 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.

What is important here is protection against unreasonable search and seisure. Basically, it means that a warrant must be issued before a wiretap can be used, otherwize the wiretap is unconstitutional, therefore the president is going against the constitution, which alone is enough reason for impeachment. This is part of the reason Nixon had to resign, is the fact that he was breaking this ammendment, among other things.

The president certainly has to do his best to protect the nation, but he must do so efficiently, effectively, and he must obey the laws of his own land, especially the Bill of Rights. The Question than becomes, is this the right way to hunt terrorists?

The Bush administrations says that the wiretapping is working. However, many individuals, both Democrats and Republicans alike, say that the NSA wiretapping is unconstitutional on this very basis. Meanwhile, other groups say that there have been taps placed on non-terroristic organizations, such as the Quakers.

What must be asked is:
Is wiretapping Effective? Is it legal? Has it been used appropriately?
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Postby Linkara on Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:05 pm

I'd like to see the evidence for the claims that it's being used in on-terrorist organizations like Quakers before I automatically assume that the NSA is doing so.

I'd also have to assume that the NSA has methods to track either suspected terrorists or known terrorists within the United States and have been able to identify them and, subsequently, are monitoring their calls and not just broadly examining any person that catches their fancy.
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Postby Wandering Observer on Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:28 am

As for the Quakers and other groups being watched...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/page/3/
http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/04/06/no.fly.lawsuit/index.html


I don't know that it's safe to assume that the NSA works as you said it does, from the links above. While they do not expressly point out the NSA Wiretapping program, they still do show that individuals that are being labeled as terrorists within the country seem to be a bit indignant of that fact, not to mention a bit innocent.

Since, as far as I am aware, the actual program has not been released to the public, I find it hard to assume much of anything.[/url]
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