Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"Obama, FISA and the Netroots"

Isn't Barack Obama ever so wuuuunderful!!! He is not like other politicians who make promises only to break them later. Ooops! The shocking news to the NUtroots is that Obama is even MORE of an opportunist than other politicians. He has no problem breaking whatever promises he makes in order to win the White House prize. Pulling troops out of Iraq, accepting public campaign financing, gun control in D.C., and now he is supporting the FISA bill in the Senate which is absolutely ENRAGING the NUtroots as you can see in this HUffington POst THREAD titled "Obama, FISA and the Netroots." So let us now watch the HUffies whine about Obama being a cheap political opportunist in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, watching the grand disillusionment with great interest, is in the [barackets]:


Obama, FISA and the Netroots

[The comedy begins.]

The current dust-up in the Obama camp over this week's FISA vote may have real consequences for the rest of this campaign. As you may know, the largest "group" on the Obama campaign's social networking site, MyBarackObama.com, is now a group assembled to protest Senator Obama's reversal of his promise to filibuster against the FISA legislation up next week. Reading through the blogoshpere, many commenters appear baffled at the intensity of the passions involved, and criticize the protestors for making such a fuss over "just one issue." But there are good reasons why core activists have taken a strong stand, and why the campaign may look different after this is over.

[Hi NUtroots! How does it feel living under the bus with Rev. Wright and Barack's granny?]

For many Obama activists, a key issue that propelled them into campaign activism is dismantling the unconstitutional legal measures the Bush administration put in place in the aftermath of 9/11. The prison at Guantánamo, the secret CIA prisons scattered around the globe, the torture of prisoners, and the kangaroo courts set up to process them are the foreign pieces of this puzzle. Warrantless eavesdropping on Americans is the domestic piece. While understanding all the ins and outs of the FISA legislation requires a specialist's knowledge, the core issue is simple: are we working to return the country to the rule of constitutional law or not?

[It's unconstitutional to overfeed a prisoner with orange glaze chicken and freeze him with 69 degree air conditioning in the tropics.]

Obama made two arguments in his reply to the protestors. First, he argued that though the bill is "far better than the Protect America Act" which the Bush administration pushed through Congress last year. This argument is not only meaningless but downright misleading, for the Protect America Act was written to expire. If no new legislation is passed, we revert back to the pre-Bush, pre-9/11 version of the legal structure of state surveillance of Americans, not the Bush version. The question is not whether the new legislation is better than Bush's, but whether it is better than what the country lived under from 1978 until Bush. It is one thing for Obama to be vague about the particulars of his policies, as he was throughout the primaries. But it is a different thing altogether to make misleading statements about key issues.

[GASP! You...you mean the Obamassiah made misleading statements to his beloved flock?]

So we are left with Obama's second argument, and this one has actual substance:

"The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer. Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise."

The "important surveillance tool" he is referring to is warrantless wiretapping. Here Obama unequivocally sides with the argument the Bush administration justice department has been making for years: that in the context of the "war on terror," some constitutional rights must be suspended or at least sidestepped, and key among them is warrantless state surveillance. That is a BIG DEAL.

[Obama is a political opportunist. BIG DEAL! You just discovered this?]

There are more ways in which this issue stands out among others. Obama's promise to withdraw American troops from Iraq in 18 months is highly provisional and will be subject to many reality tests along the way. His program for global warming will be a major undertaking to put in place, and will surely show many signs of wear when and if it is enacted. The FISA issue is a completely different deal: this is pending legislation that will be voted on next week. It is very much still a fight. There are senators set to oppose the bill, by filibuster if necessary.

[Yeah, well those other Senators aren't set to enjoy the White House goodies so they can afford to be governed by leftwing causes.]

Obama had promised to be one of them. On October 24, 2007, campaign spokesman Bill Burton announced,

"To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

The position was elaborated in another statement December 17, 2007:

"Senator Obama unequivocally opposes giving retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies and has cosponsored Senator Dodd's efforts to remove that provision from the FISA bill. Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect. Senator Obama supports a filibuster of this bill, and strongly urges others to do the same."

What Obama has done here is not a "refinement" of a policy position like he recently suggested concerning Iraq. It is an about face. Imagine how different next week would play out if the presumptive Democratic nominee was joining a filibuster on the floor of the senate, standing up for the constitutional rights of all Americans. The contrast between what would happen if Obama followed through on his promise, and what will happen if he doesn't, is night and day.

[Obama is refining you NUtrooters under the bus. Live with it.]

...I always vote Democratic, and I always vote. All my life I have voted for a long string of mediocre Democratic candidates, but I have almost never volunteered for or sent money to a presidential campaign. I am politically active, but on local issues where I feel I can have a real impact, or on international issues that I feel are of global importance. The realm of presidential politics is another world to me: donors who can bring in millions, TV ads which I never see since I don't own a TV, and candidates loaded down with corporate backers with set agendas.

[Your crybabying is starting to annoy me so I edited out a big chunk of your whine.]

Obama changed that for me. I sent him money. I phone banked. I held street signs. I don't know if I am going to continue with all that. I will vote for Obama of course. I will continue to urge everyone I know to vote for him. But my money and time, paltry though they may be, will likely get redirected to candidates who are willing to stand up for issues I care about. And because of the Internet, I know that there are a lot of other Obama supporters in the same boat; a lot of people considering cutting off their string of small donations to the campaign.

[Life under the bus isn't much FUn, is it?]

All of this is coming at a time in which Obama's schedule is filled with big-money fundraisers where people can buy face time with the man for $30k. Put all these things together, and one cannot help but wonder if there is a turning point, that from here on out the campaign is will be less of a grassroots affair. This is not the death knell of the campaign. Far from it. I think Obama can do very well against McCain with a traditional, top down, big money campaign. I think he will be sworn in as our next president in January. But it will be a different campaign than what it has been until now. As one commenter to my blog so aptly said, "Senator Obama, you can tap my phone or my wallet, but not both."

[Now that this NUtrooter has made his Primal Whine, let us see the reaction from the other HUffies...]

If Obama is willing to backpedal on his commitment to fillibuster this FISA bill and instead vote for it, he will not get my vote this Nov. Period.

[So you are staying home on Nov. 5 rather than vote?]

I am heartbroken ... he was my last hope for the US and he seems to be just one of those machine dreams (given the netroots of it all) and I cannot support Obama given his goose-step to the right ... I mean what the hell then was the difference between him and Clinton? Why was so much money spent on a primary battle? I may have been duped and it has not been the first time in my life ... but, I am not about to send money to someone who is not willing to take drastic changes and move the country out of the theocratic fascist state we now live in ... if democratization cannot work in the US ... well ... and saying well he is a democrat really means little to those of us who registered to vote as democrats to support what seemed to be a breathe of fresh air and a progressive candidate ...

[You MAY have been duped? And how many 10 dollar bills did you send to Bev Harris in 2004?]

...while I won't vote for McCain or Nader I will not give Obama another dime or a minute of my time unless he changes his approach to this issue.

[Not one Damn Dime Day.]

Barack didn't even make a pretense about waiting under AFTER the convention...he abandoned the Left already.

[Draft Dennis Kucinich!!!]

Once again, Rovian "divide and conquer" tactics are working.

[You learn quickly, grasshopper.]

I think we boycott the Democratic Convention. Have Barack in an empty stadium and tell the empty seats that "I'm just playing politics", wait until tomorrow...we'll really get them tomorrow. Either we have a constitution or we do not. One man's whim is not a democracy.

[Actually that might make for a pretty FUnnie protest. Obama makes his acceptance speech to a nearly empty stadium. Go for it!]

Don't you think it is pretty arrogant for Obama to assume that voting for this bill is okay because he will closely monitor its execution as president. Hello? I know it may be heresy to say this, but suppose Barack doesn't win? Suppose another republican thug takes office? Do you want McBush or his VP 'let's double the size of gitmo' Romney, overseeing the new and improved and now quasi-legal warrantless wiretap program?

[Glad to see you admit that there is a teenie weenie chance that the Obamassiah might NOT win in November.]

This was an excellent post; however, I will not vote for Obama if he supports this legislation - I found his response to my concerns insulting. Not only was it misleading, he consciously chose to embrace the divide and conquer political tactics used by toadies like Karl Rove - doublespeak meant to confuse and minimize the issues while leading the People to vote against their own best interests.

[Another vote for Ralph Nader on November 5.]

If Obama flip flops on this, then he has lied -- pure and simple. He either lied when he said he would fight immunity to the end (including via filibuster) or he lied when he defended the new changes.

[Or maybe he just lied both times.]

Problem is bone heads picked the wrong candidate! For what?

[Hee! Hee! You wanted a Messiah but got stuck with a cheap opportunist.]

He is pandering to $$$$$$$$$$$$$ AT&T and etc. He has always been for sale! This isn't new this is POLITICS AS USUAL!!!

[Tony Rezko knew about the Obamassiah's price tag.]

I STILL have a hard time understanding how so many people were just so MESMERIZED by this man, who really is nothing but good rhetoric, nice speeches, and the ability to have staffers cry racism every time someone leveled a criticism at him or his campaign.He is a politician , just like the rest, and if we would have nominated Sen Clinton or Sen. Biden we would have had someone with experience who at least is HONEST, which Senator Obama is not.

[Leftwingers being DUped? Gee, who would've thought?]

What he really is is an ambitous cult of personality who succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of millions.

[So does that mean you won't be fainting during the Obamassiah's speeches?]

The truth of the matter is that Obama is and always has been a rock star... the focus of a huge cult of personality that has sucked up most of the young folk in this country who haven't had the brutal experience of being suckered by a con-man yet. And, sadly, older folks like me who have had the experience and should have known better, but really, really, really wanted to believe that "this time, it's different." The parallels to someone refusing to leave an abusive relationship are frightening, when I think about it...

[I bet you cried flowing tears when Obama gave his speech on race...before he revoked it.]

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anon 1:50 said...

Well! This is disturbing...

Reading stuff like: "... Obama is and always has been a rock star... the focus of a huge cult of personality that has sucked up most of the young folk in this country who haven't had the brutal experience of being suckered by a con-man yet."

This comes from one of the PuffHo's at HuffPo? Since when did they adopt rational thought?

What if ALL the DUmmies start engaging in critical thinking, reasoned argument, and pragmatic political behavior?

I'm sure it's a sign of the apocalypse.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous elrond hubbard said...

These moonbats are coming to the realization that Obama is just another politician (albeit a liberal one). As such, he is going for, 1) the money (ala Willie Sutton) and, 2)the votes. He's got the leftie money but now he has to get the votes; but the votes needed to get him elected are not to be found in the fever swamps of the HuffPo, Kos and DUmmieland.

Thus the moonbats and their dreams are being shoved aside as B.O. goes for the votes of "main stream" America.

Barry is cynical but realistic for he knows the lefties "...always vote Democratic and always vote." Who else will they vote for, McBush? Nader? Paul? LMAO.

Accordingly, B.O. can afford break moonbat hearts, knowing they'll swallow their tears and flip the "D" lever on election day.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Ray said...

What are they complaining about? They all supported him because he represents "Change you can believe in! yet when he changes his mind, and his policies, any chance he gets, they go ballistic! Well, don't they believe in change any more?

Obama, you wanted him as the nominee and you got him. Now that he had his way with you, he's changing tactics and going for the only group who actually affects the General Election; the political center. He's done pandering to the far left, now he's pandering to the common man. How's that for change?

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Skully said...

The sheen has come off the Obamaessiah. The moonbats are seeing that he is more like Mayor Daley, then a Che Guarva type hero of their fantasy revolucion. These useful idiots have served their purpose to the Obamster, now he's going to shove them aside just like Pelosi and Reid did after 06'. Yet they'll keep pulling the lever for the D; and the Dem leadership knows this, that's why they can shit on them cycle after cycle. Ya figure they would've learned already. But they fell for it again. And it will happen cycle after cycle...rinse lather repeat.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

File this one under "No shit Sherlock".

You've been told all of this since day one but are too blinded by willful ignorance and a raging case of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Oh well, screw you, hahahaha!!!

10:37 PM  
Anonymous susieq2cute said...

Yep, it looks like Lucy (Obama) pulled the football away from Charlie Brown (the netroots)once again.
Bwah ha ha ha ha! Suckers!!!!

11:36 PM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

'Accordingly, B.O. can afford break moonbat hearts, knowing they'll swallow their tears and flip the "D" lever on election day.' elrond

Please. Hard core conservatives just love J Sidney, don't they? Which lever are they going to flip?

But you're absolutely right, elrond. He can do it and know they won't abandon him. I don't know if this is a good thing or bad.

Can any of you reactionary dingbats explain what this issue's about? I somehow doubt it. You're all getting your reactionary rocks off because of Dem conflict. That's what matters to you chimps.

Here's the deal: There's nothing wrong with FISA. I challenge any one of you Einsteins to show me what's wrong with FISA as it now stands. There's no time issue. There's no impediment what-so-ever in getting a warrant. They're issued retroactively.

The bill about to be passed will require no warrants for reading your mail, opening your bank accounts, listening to your phone calls, monitoring your electronics and arresting you without cause. Are you happy with that? This bill will fundamentally alter our constitution. McCain's all for it. Obama's going to throw some token support against it knowing the bill already has the votes to pass.

So I, troglaman, dirty fucking hippy cave dweller, am the first to actually talk about the bill that's causing all the hubbub on this thread. Not you flag-pin, constitutional warriors. No. Susie sums it up pretty well.

"Yep, it looks like Lucy (Obama) pulled the football away from Charlie Brown (the netroots)once again. Bwah ha ha ha ha! Suckers!!!!"

So funny, isn't it? Suckers indeed.

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Please. Hard core conservatives just love J Sidney, don't they? Which lever are they going to flip?


T-man is right we don't love J-sidney. The difference is we never did. Obamites are the ones disappointed in their candidate's shift(s). We are just disappointed in the GOP candidate(again). So in a way McCain is like Bush; another sub-par candidate that is better then the other party's worse candidate. Yay!!
So it boils down to an election between 2 piles of shit; one has corn, the other nuts. Which to choose?? I'm voting for the poo with the corn.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Son Of The Godfather said...

T-man - You're all getting your reactionary rocks off because of Dem conflict. That's what matters to you chimps.

Yuppers.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

"The bill about to be passed will require no warrants for reading your mail, opening your bank accounts, listening to your phone calls, monitoring your electronics and arresting you without cause."

That's not true. The bill deals with the collection of information from FOREIGN sources and not DOMESTIC ones. This authority to collect information from FOREIGN sources without the need for warrants is widely recognized by the Courts and it is NOT unconstitutional. Since we are dealing with FOREIGN sources, this means that Americans still have constitutional protections in place. You know this, so why try to scare us with lies?

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

In case anyone is worried about the bill targeting US citizens, I refer to this section of the bill:

SEC. 702. PROCEDURES FOR TARGETING CERTAIN PERSONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES OTHER THAN UNITED STATES PERSONS.

(a) AUTHORIZATION
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon the issuance of an order in accordance with subsection (i)(3) or a determination under subsection (c)(2), the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.


(b) LIMITATIONS
An acquisition authorized under subsection (a)

(1) may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States;

(2) may not intentionally target a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States if the purpose of such acquisition is to target a particular, known person reasonably believed to be in the United States;

(3) may not intentionally target a United States person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States;

(4) may not intentionally acquire any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known at the time of the acquisition to be located in the United States; and

(5) shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States.


So, tman, tell me how this bill will "fundamentally alter our constitution" as you claim? It won't and you know it.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Shambhala said...

So I, troglaman, dirty fucking hippy cave dweller,

Thats quite a self-image you have. Sorry to hear that.

Please. Hard core conservatives just love J Sidney, don't they?

Whats a "J Sidney"?

Can any of you reactionary dingbats ...

Thats mighty Maoist of you. Should we wear signs on our chests before we're lined up for execution?

12:32 PM  
Anonymous John Galt said...

The bill about to be passed will require no warrants for reading your mail, opening your bank accounts, listening to your phone calls, monitoring your electronics and arresting you without cause... - t-man

Well, not exactly... again t-man you exaggerate and conflate. Can you show us the text of the bill being proposed and where it says what you claim?

The conflation is purposeful obfuscation by civil liberties folks of the distinction between criminal prosecutions and intelligence gathering.

As I understand it, the whole bone of contention for the Democrats is the retroactive immunity from civil lawsuits for telecom companies who provided access to the "intelligence agencies" (that's intentionally vague, as there are 16!! agencies in the current state of affairs). The issue for the Republicans is they don't want telecom companies refusing to cooperate in the future from fear of getting sued by a bunch of lawyers on fishing expeditions.

There is no doubt there is a danger of government agents going too far in "fishing" for data for purposes other than national defense or security concerns, but no matter how carefully you construct laws and regulations you will never be able to eliminate that danger. That's what oversight is supposed to serve: provide the opportunity for punishment of overstepping the boundaries and thus hopefully deter such overstepping.

Congress' duty is to provide that oversight, but fearful of actually having to take responsibility for wrong decisions that result in outrages like failing to prevent 09/11/01, they toss the ball over the fence to the FISA courts and unelected, unaccountable judges. The responsibility-averse Congress and the populist-pandering civil libertarians are intent on making the boundaries so restrictive that it will be impossible to gather intelligence or keep the intelligence gathering methods and "take" secret as is absolutely necessary.

12:48 PM  
Blogger The Gunslinger said...

I've never understood the Obie fascination/obsession. He's just a sort of dopey looking guy with big ears. He clearly has no actual ideas; he's certainly not very attractive; he has a harpy for a wife; and he comes from one of the most corrupt political systems in America.

Geraldine Ferraro was absolutely right when she said if he wasn't Black, he'd never have gotten this far. It is all about race. Particularly about the need for seriously slow-witted (liberal) white people to exorcise what they apparently believe is their own persistent and profound racism.

Shame, really, because the rest of us are under the very real threat of this idiot becoming president.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Jerome Goolsby said...

You all will have to excuse Troglaman to some extent; when you lack both intellectual depth and moral bearings as he does you automatically respond by slamming your head up your ass repeatedly to pump out the mental excrement he posted on here. Since he can't hate himself, he hates his country and everyone who doesn't automatically agree with his self-proclaimed and self-delusional brilliance.

It's sad and pathetic, but remember, people like him number close to 30,000,000 voters and they may just put his clones in power, screwing us all blind. We owe it to our country and fellow citizens to not let this happen.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right Gunslinger...God help us if that idiot gets elected.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous elrond hubbard said...

"So I, troglaman, dirty fucking cave dweller..."

You left out "maggot infested".

3:58 PM  
Blogger Ken Adams said...

Here's the deal: There's nothing wrong with FISA. I challenge any one of you Einsteins to show me what's wrong with FISA as it now stands. There's no time issue. There's no impediment what-so-ever in getting a warrant. They're issued retroactively.

We love FISA Einstein. Why would I want to prove anything wrong with it. The DUmmies and KOssacks are the ones flipping out. And yes, it is hilarious.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous susieq2cute said...

Yes, it is funny, T-man. I think most conservatives realize Obamessiah is a flaming liberal. He's just moving to the center to try and appeal to the "center to right" voters. That these libtards can get so upset when this is so obvious, is hilarious. Ann Coulter is right; it is a mental disorder.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

So did anyone tell me why FISA wasn't working? Did I miss something other than being maggot infested, '...can't hate myself so I hate others (rather Freudian, Goolsby. You a fan?), and I'm clearly having hilarious ideological (Help! I think I've swallowed my tongue!!!) seizures?

BTW. Read what Ray, skully, and Mr. Galt said. This, despite your efforts to make it simply a "mental disorder", is complicated. Not that a mental disorder isn't complicated (I don't want to upset goolsby's sense of psychiatric propriety) but come on.

So if nothing was wrong with FISA in the first place, ken, why did it need to be changed? Telecom immunity anyone?

Under old FISA, "A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally—
(1) engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute; or
(2) discloses or uses information obtained under color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through electronic surveillance not authorized by statute."
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/50/usc_sec_50_00001809----000-.html

Bush et al have been breaking the law for years. So have the telecoms that went along with it. Three ongoing lawsuits rulings have determined the Feds broke the law. Here's one:
http://www.eff.org/files/Al-HaraFISA-order.pdf

Giving immunity effectively stops any legal means for finding the extent of the lawbreaking which has been going on for years.

Thomas Piane, ladies and gentleman. Common Sense. "...that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other."

"Well, not exactly... again t-man you exaggerate and conflate. Can you show us the text of the bill being proposed and where it says what you claim?" Mr. Galt

I think I can, Mr. Galt. But it will have to wait because the clan has suddenly decided to hunt bats or nocturnal worms or some goddamn thing.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous John Galt said...

Giving immunity effectively stops any legal means for finding the extent of the lawbreaking which has been going on for years.

What purpose or justice would be served by allowing these CIVIL lawsuits to go forward, t-man? They can only serve to expose both intelligence methods and the "take" from those methods.

What is of legitimate concern and must be watched for carefully is whether the "fruits of the tainted tree" would ever be used in any kind of CRIMINAL prosecution of someone whose call records, conversations, or e-mails were examined. This is easily addressed by existing rules of evidence that all defense lawyers are quite familiar with and stretch all the time.

One thing that peeves me greatly about this whole "debate" (if one can call such screeching ad hominem attacks a debate) is that the facts get buried and obfuscated and that most of the so-called debaters are not and cannot be fully aware of the "facts" they contend.

I'm probably guilty of that on occasion myself, so I tend to stick to what is known from testimony given in public. Most of that testimony indicates that the majority of questionable actions involve harvesting and mining call RECORDS, not call CONTENTS. That is, what numbers originate and terminate calls, how long those calls last, who pays the bills for the numbers, etc. In other words the data phone companies MUST collect as part of their legitimate business operations to provide accurate billing.

It is only when particular numbers, are known to be associated with "persons of interest" that orders and warrants are issued to start recording the CONTENT of calls originated from or to those numbers.

The call RECORDS are of great value to intelligence agents in establishing the scope and character of networks of people. They should have access to that information without much muss or fuss or warrants provided that oversight ensures the legitimacy of establishing that a particular number is indeed associated with a specific "person of interest" for national security purposes.

At some point, you ultimately have to trust some person, no matter what the laws, rules, regulations, or oversight are. That trust is required from the general citizens and unreasoned attacks and scare-mongering by civil libertarians does nothing to establish such trust, and everything to destroy it.

(BTW, in what I wrote above, one can substitute pretty much any communication method for "call" and the same principles would apply.)

9:15 AM  
Anonymous John Galt said...

The call RECORDS are of great value to intelligence agents in establishing the scope and character of networks of people.

"One is known by the company they keep."

9:22 AM  
Anonymous John Galt said...

What purpose or justice would be served by allowing these CIVIL lawsuits to go forward, t-man? They can only serve to expose both intelligence methods and the "take" from those methods.

I'll amplify that a little:

The CIVIL lawsuits are targeted at the wrong entity (the telecom companies) if the purpose is to punish wrongdoers (the intelligence agents who requested the telecoms' assistance). The CIVIL lawsuits also promise a fat of deep pockets that can be extorted for money (actual damages and punitive damages), most of which typically goes to the lawyers, not the person wronged.

This latter fact is probably the reason there is so much hysteria and agitation over the issue: certain powerful lawyers see riches and certain of their politician friends and colleagues are inclined to help them grab those riches.

If you want to punish wrongdoers, then you need to target them directly. In these intelligence cases, that would have to be done in secret courts so as not to make public the either the methods or the data. Secret courts would then become the target of agitation and scare-mongering, I'm afraid, so my original conclusion remains: you have to trust somebody sometime.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous john galt said...

pool
promise a fat ^ of deep pockets

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Ray said...

"So did anyone tell me why FISA wasn't working?"

FISA needed to be updated to include modern communication methods like e-mail and instant messages. The original FISA was adopted in 1978, long before such methods of communications were used. The process of requesting a warrant took time and critical information was lost during that time. The updated version corrects that discrepancy.

BTW, you STILL haven't answered my question: How will this bill "fundamentally alter our constitution" as you claim?

"Giving immunity effectively stops any legal means for finding the extent of the lawbreaking which has been going on for years."

The Democrats in Congress have been investigating the Bush administration for YEARS have have come up with exactly NOTHING! As even you understand, Congress has the authority to investigate the policies and the practices of the President, not the civil courts.

As far as "Bush et al have been breaking the law for years", the civil courts can not decide if someone has broken a law or not, that's up to the criminal courts to decide. Civil courts can only decide liability and reparation for personal and/or financial injury. This is known as tort.

"In a civil trial, a judge or jury examines the evidence to decide whether, by a "preponderance of the evidence," the defendant should be held legally responsible for the damages alleged by the plaintiff."
Link

12:32 PM  
Anonymous susieq2cute said...

T-man, I guess you've gone all "batty" and such, since President Bush just signed the FISA bill. So, did you get your fill of nocturnal worms?

1:35 PM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

"T-man, I guess you've gone all "batty" and such'..."did you get your fill of nocturnal worms?" susie

Well I wish I could say we went 'batty', but we ended up with just a few phosphorescent grubs we found deep in the cave. Not a big deal when compared to Bush signing the FISA bill, for sure. But thanks for asking, susie. A rare bit of conservative compassion on your part.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

Mr. Galt, can an American making a call overseas be spied on without a warrant?

Once identified as an American making an overseas call, can said American have their phone tapped, their bank records and emails monitored, and their name put on a no-fly list, etc? Without a warrant?

Can they be then identified as an enemy combatant and therefore subject to rendition? Without a warrant?

Every single overseas call will now be subject to the above rules. How many overseas calls are made everyday? How many emails? I know 99% of you think I'm a raving Neanderthal (though I'm mostly Homo Erectus and proud of it!), but this is full out bullshit and most of you think it a clever victory! Jesus. Fucking. Astounding.

2:26 AM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

"What purpose or justice would be served by allowing these CIVIL lawsuits to go forward, t-man?" Mr Galt, again

Let's see...How 'bout purpose and justice?

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

"Mr. Galt, can an American making a call overseas be spied on without a warrant?"

No.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

"Let's see...How 'bout purpose and justice?"

You mean vengeance and spite. don't you? Where's the justice in suing a telecom for providing information to the government. Information that is legal to provide if requested? Remember, that information is the property of the telecoms and NOT the person using said services.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

"There's no time issue."

That's not true. There is a serious time issue involved here as cellphone conversations rarely last more than a few minuets and it takes ten times longer to get a warrant than a given call will last. How much valuable information is lost do to the constraint of waiting for a warrant to gather foreign information simply because that call is being routed through American satellites and ground-based stations? That's the real problem here, one that this bill addresses and will correct. Prior to this bill, foreign intelligence gathering is be subjected to American warrants requirements simple because that foreign call or e-mail is being routed through American equipment.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous John Galt said...

Mr. Galt, can an American making a call overseas be spied on without a warrant?

You need to be more specific in your rhetoric, t-man if you wish to get useful discussions going. (You asked for tips on your writing in an earlier thread, so there you go.) Not to pull a Clinton, but define "spied on" for us please. But first go back up this thread and re-read my previous posts on what we know about what "spying" is being done.

...Where's the justice in suing a telecom for providing information to the government...

Information which, by the way, most people likely provide to anyone free for the taking if they choose to rummage through the trash set curbside on trash pickup day. No warrants required for dumpster diving for phone bills!

HMM... cost-saving suggestion for the spooks: hire homeless to ferret out phone bills for you on trash day.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous john galt said...

That's not true. There is a serious time issue involved here - ray

Well, rarely, ray. Warrants to tap or record communications aren't issued on a call-by-call or real-time basis. They are (or used to be -- see below) issued to target a specific phone number or e-mail account for a specific period of time.

FISA has already permitted tapping or recording for up to 7 days before needing a warrant.

One of the required updates in new FISA as I understand it, is the capability to target a PERSON versus a PHONE NUMBER. i.e., as a person uses a home phone, cell phone, throw-away cricket phone, e-mail, etc. you previously had to get separate warrants for each phone number and method of communication: I'm thinking that was changed to allowing a warrant targeting an INDIVIDUAL no matter what phone or method (e-mail, text message, IM) they are using.

Note that warrants issues are peripheral to the issue of telecoms and what they assisted with in 2001 - 2005: they assisted in giving access to certain switching and termination gear on the US end of trans-oceanic fiber optic cables. The bitching is because that gear is physically in the US, thus makes for great "Domestic Wiretapping" histrionics, demagoguery, and theater.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

"You mean vengeance and spite. don't you? Where's the justice in suing a telecom for providing information to the government. Information that is legal to provide if requested?" ray

This is the heart of it. If the information requested is legal to provide (which it is), then why demand immunity? From what. Riddle me that, ray.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

Ray said...

"Mr. Galt, can an American making a call overseas be spied on without a warrant?"

"No." ray

Wrong. The answer is yes in spades.

2:22 AM  
Anonymous susieq2cute said...

Oops, I didn't realize the t-man was racist. He used the word, "spades". I think it's just as offensive as "black hole". You need to be more sensitive, t-man.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous John Galt said...

This is the heart of it. If the information requested is legal to provide (which it is), then why demand immunity? From what. Riddle me that, ray.

t-man, the immunity is to cut off fishing expeditions by those who would like to destroy or cripple our intelligence capabilities, as well as to prevent extortion attempts by the civil libertarian equivalent of ambulance chasing lawyers.

The expense involved in defending yourself from nuisance class action suits often makes it cheaper for a corporation with deep pockets to simply settle the issue prior to trial with a payoff to the plaintiffs. The lawyers love this kind of thing because it's highly lucrative and the only legalized extortion method in this country.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous troglaman said...

"...as well as to prevent extortion attempts by the civil libertarian equivalent of ambulance chasing lawyers." Mr. Galt

You haven't done your homework. Why don't you look at who's bringing these law suits. Just do it. This "trial lawyer" bullshit is just about as dumbass as it gets. Fucking lemming.

1:12 AM  

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