Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

FISA Judges Want Answers On Bush's Surveillance Program

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
JABBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 09:53 PM
Original message
FISA Judges Want Answers On Bush's Surveillance Program
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson of Utah, the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is arranging a classified briefing for her fellow judges to address their concerns about the legality of President Bush's domestic spying program.

Several members of the court said in interviews with the Washington Postthat they want to know why the administration believed secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails of U.S. citizens without court authorization was legal.

One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president's suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.

After all, if the president isn't going to respect the law, why bother adjudicating it?

***

Bush clearly knows that a FISA court order was required to conduct a wiretap.

So why skirt the law?

Bush administration officials believe it is not possible, in a large-scale eavesdropping effort, to provide the kind of evidence the court requires to approve a warrant. Sources knowledgeable about the program said there is no way to secure a FISA warrant when the goal is to listen in on a vast array of communications in the hopes of finding something that sounds suspicious. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said the White House had tried but failed to find a way.

"For FISA, they had to put down a written justification for the wiretap," said one official, speaking anonymously to the Post. "They couldn't dream one up."

"There is a difference between detecting, so we can prevent, and monitoring. And it's important to note the distinction between the two," Bush said Monday. But he added: "If there is a need based upon evidence, we will take that evidence to a court in order to be able to monitor calls within the United States."

But the administration didn't "take that evidence to a court," which is why it is in hot water over the issue. Several FISA judges told the Post that they are particularly concerned that information gleaned from the president's eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to gain authorized wiretaps from their court.

***

On Monday, one of 10 FISA judges, federal Judge James Robertson, submitted his resignation -- in protest of the president's action, according to two sources familiar with his decision. He will maintain his position on the U.S. District Court.

Other judges told the Post that they do not plan to resign but are seeking more information about the president's initiative.

"Why didn't it go through FISA," said U.S. District Judge George Kazen of the Southern District of Texas. "I think those are valid questions. The president at first said he didn't want to talk about it. Now he says, 'You're darn right I did it, and it's completely legal.' I gather he's got lawyers telling him this is legal. I want to hear those arguments."

***

This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush's B.S.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. K/R Thanks!
:kick: :applause:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kick eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hwmnbn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. I like the tone this judge is taking....
"....I gather he's got lawyers telling him this is legal. I want to hear those arguments."

It's like prove what you're doing is legal. Give it your best shot! The burden is on the chimp to show he can legally override the 4th amendment. That will have to be a brilliantly persuasive argument. I don't think the "9-11 changed everything" or "congress told me I could" tactic will work on these folks.

I doubt anyone can make a successful case. The bill of rights is pretty important to this country. At least it has been.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. A couple of things....
First, I'd really like to know if leaks from members of this court are as exceptional as I suspect. From the article in the Post:

One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president's suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.

I'm assuming that the anonymous judge *is* on the FISA court - If not, it seems a relevant distinction that the reporter should have made. How rare is that? I mean, leaks from the big double super secret ooga booga FISA court? If that means that the pull of their oath to defend the Constitution (judges do, don't they?) is outweighing their habitual secrecy, it almost takes the sting out of the other thing that struck me. Almost.

Secondly: We are in HUGE trouble. One of the judges has already *told* us this is no big deal:

...Judge Malcolm Howard of eastern North Carolina said he tends to think the terrorist threat to the United States is so grave that the president should use every tool available and every ounce of executive power to combat it.

"I am not overly concerned" about the surveillance program, he said, but "I would welcome hearing more specifics."


You'd have to hypnotize a sycophant to draw a crack like that!....unless of course he's a member of the Sacred Order of The Toensing.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Excellent post...
Edited on Thu Dec-22-05 10:46 PM by radio4progressives
I heard another judge being interviewed on HardBall today, vis a vis telephone, (i forget his name, somewhere from the Midwest i think) essentially saying the same as the North Carolina judge you're quoting here. In fact it his comments that prompted my "hear me people" post.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

THAT is what freaks me out - when a freaking JUDGE is making these kinds of claims.

It's like some sort of other universe - i'm just freaking blown away by these sorts of fascists screeds.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. See my answer to this thread in post #6...
Yes, we are living in some bizarre parallel universe....

And I totally agree with your thread and post about people speaking up and silencing the bullshit that the right wing and Bush administration is trying to float out there.

They broke the law....The President and his administration using the NSA violated the 4th Amendment and the FISA law. The FISA law shouldn't be eliminated and neither should the court.

The threats against the US may be grave, but sacrificing our due process, our laws of habeas corpus and saying to hell with the 4th Amendment is UN-AMERICAN! It goes COMPLETELY against everything this country was founded on! I won't let this go! Not ever!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. glad to hear it!
:applause:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JABBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. the source was from the FISA court
I rewrote the reference point. But from the story, it's clear that the Post spoke with several among the 10 FISA court judges.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JABBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. 1 out of 10
1 out of 10 also resigned in protest -- so that offsets Howard.

Clearly, there is a great concern among the FISA court judges.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Disbanding the FISA Court? Talk about a BS suggestion!
"One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president's suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.

After all, if the president isn't going to respect the law, why bother adjudicating it?"

EXCUSE ME? Has anyone read and re-read this? Think about what its actually suggesting...I thinks a "trial balloon" of an idea that they are trying to see if people react...

I mean, its basically suggesting that "Hey if someone isn't going to follow the law, why bother having a law and a court to try it in!" Huh? Are they serious?

Can you all imagine if it started being suggested that we just disband our court systems because if certain people are not going to obey the law, why bother trying to stop them? Hey, why don't we disband the SEC while we are at it! I mean, if there are going to be execs and CEOs of company's doing insider trading or illegal activity and not following the law, why bother having the SEC to investigate and bring charges?

What a load of crap if I've ever heard any....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-22-05 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I'm with you, Pachamama. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JABBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. you misunderstood
After all, if the president isn't going to respect the law, why bother adjudicating it?" = sarcasm from JABBS

The sentence wasn't in quotes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Well, the last sentence may have been your sarcastic intrepretation, but
it was quite frankly a very accurate depiction of what they are trying to imply and the absurdity in even suggesting the court should be disbanded.

Who is to determine that the POTUS has these powers? The Supreme Court? The Congress? This FISA court?

Like I said before, I think they are trying to float things and see what sticks or passes...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. For The Judges To Disband The Court, Ma'am
Is the sort of action that would focus great attention on the problem, and provide a ready platform for public outrage. The people of our country do not, in their bones, like "gum'mint snooping"....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Sir, that sort of action would indeed get the majority of American's blood
boiling.... :grr:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. For Better Or Worse, Ma'am
We are all Jacksonians in our secret hearts....

The best of the Season to you and your's, Ma'am!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Like a marriage, we are in this together, for better or worse....
Happy Holidays to you and your's too dear Sir :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rodger Dodger Donating Member (87 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. This is what the people get when the elect someone who thinks he's running
a business. He's not interested in governing. He's interested in money. The peoples money and how he can best distributed it to his affluent friends.

G.W. is acting like a CEO, who has a rubber stamp Board of Directors he appointed; not a President.

I sincerely believe he has taken this Home Land Security eavesdropping a step too far. There is too much secrecy in G.W.'s white house.

The good news is he's not going to sleep as well knowning there are people within his cabal that are patriotic enough to leak when they know G.W. is doing something illegal.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
greiner3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
18. Are there enough 'good' judges to trump the DOJ? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
radio4progressives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-23-05 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. That's a very important question ... one that is too often overlooked
and i think what we have is the evidential basis for the people's cynicism and cause for reaction to an increasingly apparent totalitarian state.

But if the FISA courts and/or the Federal Circuits AND the Supremes simply operate on an ipso-facto/rubber stamp sort of basis, and the fourth estate simply acts on behalf of the state, well, let's just say we'll be in for a more profoundly Orwellian period than our darkest nightmares could ever have imagined even in these past five years.

On the other hand if journalists in the Corporate Media, consider the seriousness of civil liberty violations as having a direct impact on them personally, at least from a professional point of view (which relies on the premise of constitutionally protected free speech and civil liberties which we as a nation have been privileged to assume and expect)and become vigilant in the amplification of these reports on the cable news talk shows etc, spurring Congress to take meaningful action, then "We the People" stand a fighting chance for justice to prevail and our rights to be restored (because Congress will finally do the work they were actually elected to do)

And we can then rejoice and dance together, arm in arm into the streets...

But right this moment, our constitutional liberties appear to have been completely stripped away and we have to fight to restore them once again by holding every official (of every party - elected or appointed) in every branch of government completely accountable.







Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Dec 25th 2014, 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC