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The media must learn the difference between a wiretap and "Echelon."

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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 04:51 PM
Original message
The media must learn the difference between a wiretap and "Echelon."
Noone is getting it. Liberals are talking in terms of "why couldn't he just go through FISA." Liberals are wasting their time arguing that Bush could easily have obtained FISA approval for what he was doing. Bush and his administration are purposely muddying the water by saying things like "we only listened to people who were talking to people with known al queda links."

Iin short, everyone is talking as if what the NSA does is just your typical, run of the mill law enforcement wiretap.

A typical law enforcement wiretap, the kind you can get a warrant for under FISA, allows the government to tap a person's phone, or even any phone that an identified subject might use, and listen to that person's conversations. Thats what FISA authorizes, targeted wiretaps, constitutional wiretaps authorized by a constitutional warrant that identifies the specific target of the tap.

Thats not what the NSA does. Thats not what Bush was doing. FISA does not and cannot authorize what Bush was doing, because its unconstitutional from the get go.

FISA cannot authorize the blanket monitoring of all telephone calls, a'la Echelon.

That is what Bush was doing.

The media must learn the difference, because arguing about whether the "wiretaps" would have been authorized under FISA is missing the point, its not a wiretap program. Its the wholesale interception of all telephone communications.

Its indefensible. By muddying the water and engaging in complicated legal arguments, the media makes it look as if it is defensible, and supports the right wing meme of "the only people who care about this issue are law professors and scholars, not real americans trying to protect against terrorist attacks" as Katie Couric put it.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for clarifying this.
:toast:

You're absolutely right that people are missing the point, and therefore muddying the waters when arguing that all Bush needed was a simple FISA warrant and everything would have been jake.
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. And a few Quaker meeting to round it all off, I bet.
I am willing to bet they were looking into anti-war and Dem. meeting.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well, then Echelon is illegal
BTW, is Echelon real or is it just a rumour?
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Someone posted this.
Haven't had time to read it yet.

http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/echelon.html

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Pithy Cherub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. Echelon and Echelon II are very real NSA programs.
Edited on Mon Dec-19-05 06:22 PM by Pithy Cherub
Read anything by James Bamford or the 2005 book, Chatter (the entire book is all about Echelon)by Patrick Raddon Keefe.
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. I'm reading "Body of Secrets" right now.
I'll look for chatter later this week.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. OK, I'll look for it, thanks
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Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #16
36. Ooh thanks for the 2nd recommendation; I hadn't heard of it
There's also that book which exposed New Zealand's role in the whole UKUSA thang - "Secret Power" I think.
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
30. It's real.
Edited on Tue Dec-20-05 08:54 AM by tenshi816
I live about 15 miles from the Menwith Hill "spy" base in North Yorkshire (much closer if I were to walk out of the house and hike across the moor). Menwith Hill is technically an RAF base, but it has more American than British personnel and it's well known to be an NSA listening facility. The mere presence of the base is a controversial subject with the locals.

Here's a few links about Menwith Hill and Echelon:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/echelon.html
http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_03/uk/doss10.htm
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/ECHEL...
http://aia.lackland.af.mil/homepages/pa/spokesman/feb04...
http://www.fas.org/irp/facility/menwith.htm
http://cndyorks.gn.apc.org/mhs/index.htm

I know a couple of women whose husbands work for the DoD at Menwith Hill and I've actually been on the base a couple of times myself. On the surface everything looks very normal there - abnormally normal, you could say - but everything is overshadowed by the presence of the giant radomes (massive golf-ball shaped listening structures capable of intercepting satellite information and listening to millions of telephone conversations, as well as faxes and e-mails) and the guys at the gates carrying large automatic weapons. The Menwith Hill base itself has a slightly unreal air about it, like the artificial village in the 1960s British television series "The Prisoner".

I was told by someone a couple of years ago that if I were to pick up my telephone and start dropping certain key phrases into my conversation (presumably things like "bomb" and "bin Laden" and the like), it wouldn't be long before I had an "official" knock at my door. At the time I dismissed it as local paranoia, but who knows? Maybe I'm becoming paranoid myself, but it's not something I'm prepared to put to the test.

Edited for typo.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. the point is missed on purpose...imho. (nt)
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. ding ding ding -- we have a winner!
Edited on Mon Dec-19-05 05:13 PM by xchrom
in my universe -- bushco wasn't after terrorists anyway -- terrorist cells would have anticipated eaves dropping -- wire tapping -- etc.

so who were they after -- an enemies list, perhaps?
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. When Congress investigates, the first question is: Who are the targets?
Specifically exactly which Americans are being listened to? Is it Al Qaeda, or DU people? Is it Bin Laden, or the ACLU? Is it Zawahiri, or Barbra Streisand? I'll give you one guess what I think.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. streisand?
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Goldurn' Hollywood librul pinko...
The RW hates her, and if you look at her blog you'll see why. :-)
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. i love her blog
and i have no doubt they spied on her -- 'cause i'm pretty sure they weren't after terrorists.
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dalloway Donating Member (744 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. what exactly is Eschelon?
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shadowlight Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Google "project echelon" nt.
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POAS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. As i understand it
Eschelon is a working arrangement between certain countries whereby they get around laws against spying on their own citizens by having someone else do it and then passing the information on. In the Eschelon group we have Canada, Australia, Great Britain the USA and a few others I believe.

If the USA wanted info on me for example they can't legally spy on me but Canada, under their laws could. So Canada spies on me and gives the info to the USA agent sitting at the next desk. The US agent in turn hands over info on Canadian citizen X and all is good.

As far as I know they also share the equipment and other resources necessary to carry out the monitoring or detection.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
10. The Constitution is a victim of rendition.
That's how they pulled of the torturing.

Now they're torturing the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
14. haven't we known about echelon for a while?
Why is it in the news now?

Or did people think it got shut down when uber-creep poindexter's shp was shut down?
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. Removed to new thread
Edited on Mon Dec-19-05 06:45 PM by Marie26
Sorry, I didn't want to hijack your thread.
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MarinCoUSA Donating Member (783 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
20. BREAKING- See Rockefeller's '03 letter to Cheney-it's Echelon

Like Bush said today at his press conference, FISA is for monitoring.

These bastards want to tap 100% of everything.

See Jay Rockefeller's letter to Cheney and related posts at Talking Points Memo:

Scary stuff.


http://talkingpointsmemo.com/
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ecoflame Donating Member (268 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
21. Found this while snooping....
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truthout Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
22. People need to learn the difference between "blanket" and targeted...
As the devil is in the details. There wasn't a "blanket monitoring of all telephone calls" of US citizens. The NY Times article mentions that there was a list of about 500 people constructed by captured information from the terrorists we had in custody overseas. The communication targeted by these people were communication either to or from the US to another country or terrorist organization which is completely legal with no warrant needed. A warrant IS needed when the communication is from one US location to another US location and are citizens of the US.

The ability of the Federal government to monitor all forms of communication that a person may use is actually new. The Patriot Act updated the wire tapping laws that hadn't been changed for decades to now allow the government to target the person instead of the device the person used. It's just a shame that this updated law is soon to expire since it is a part of the Patriot Act.

I do hope though that one of the 500 people monitored was the person that is disclosing the classified information that is being leaked to the NY Times. US Attorney General Gonzales said "we'll just have to wait and see" whether there is an investigation into who leaked information about the program. I'm sure we'll see subpoena's of the NY Times in finding out who the leaker is.
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. have a really really nice stay.
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. .
:D
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. Gonzales, are you posting here?
Since he's probably the only person that believes that argument, you can only be Gonzales (or Bush). You need a warrant to wiretap any calls made within the US, whether it's going to another country or domestically.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #22
31. And people better learn that the US Constitution is being destroyed.
I for one value the Republic and believe that the Constitution is one of the greatest documents ever written. I believe strongly in 'checks and balances' and don't really give a damn about Chimpy's 'war on terror'. The people of America better wake up and smell the fascism! Gonzales should be tried along with Bush, Cheney, Rice, and a few others for undermining our democracy and crimes against humanity. So I applaud whom ever leaked the story to the NY Times ....that's the person who should have the Medal of Freedom!!
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #22
32. Unbrilliant
And wrong! Nice set of talking points, though.
The Professor
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
23. Fuch that whore bitch couric. What a traitor to america!
God damn her to hell, along with her jockboy AWOL War Criminal bunkerboy!
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LiviaOlivia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 03:27 AM
Response to Original message
27. "60 Minutes" transcript on Echelon program
60 MINUTES

Television Broadcast February 27, 2000

ECHELON; WORLDWIDE CONVERSATIONS BEING RECEIVED BY THE ECHELON SYSTEM MAY FALL INTO THE WRONG HANDS AND INNOCENT PEOPLE MAY BE TAGGED AS SPIES

STEVE KROFT, co-host
http://cryptome.org/echelon-60min.htm
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 05:12 AM
Response to Original message
28. That Katie Couric quote is incredibly appalling.
When/where did she say it? Is there a link for the quote? She should be shredded for supporting these illegal, un-American activities.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Video here
See post #24-I initially got her quote a little wrong but mostly got the meaning (I hope)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. Rats. I don't have the software needed to view it.
I hope someone else uploads the video clip. I can't believe Couric's shocking lack of patriotism.
I never watch that show, so I don't know how bad things have gotten, but it's surprising to me that the thread you posted didn't get any votes. I obviously missed something ... So the Today Show now belongs on Faux?
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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
34. This is scoop, dammit, Josh Marshall is just catching on.
And the mainstream media still clueless.

Noone picks up that bush is still lying, saying that they only eavesdropped based on individualized suspicion (contact with known al queada).
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-20-05 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Why do you think they haven't noticed?
The newspapers have got to know about Echelon; heck, a Google search would tell you. Yet they still keep referring to it as "wiretaps" even though Bush isn't even using that word. Wouldn't the national security correspondents know what's going on? It's like they got stuck w/a certain view & aren't going to change now.
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