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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 08:37 AM
Original message
Judge Rejects Bush’s View on Wiretaps
Edited on Thu Jul-03-08 08:38 AM by kpete
Source: New York Times

Judge Rejects Bush’s View on Wiretaps


By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: July 3, 2008

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the “exclusive” means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.

.................

The Justice Department has tried for more than two years to kill the lawsuit, saying any surveillance of the charity or other entities was a “state secret” and citing the president’s constitutional power as commander in chief to order wiretaps without a warrant from a court under the agency’s program.

But Judge Walker, who was appointed to the bench by former President George Bush, rejected those central claims in his 56-page ruling. He said the rules for surveillance were clearly established by Congress in 1978 under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires the government to get a warrant from a secret court.

"Congress appears clearly to have intended to — and did — establish the exclusive means for foreign intelligence activities to be conducted," the judge wrote. "Whatever power the executive may otherwise have had in this regard, FISA limits the power of the executive branch to conduct such activities and it limits the executive branch’s authority to assert the state secrets privilege in response to challenges to the legality of its foreign intelligence surveillance activities."



Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/washington/03fisa.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Judge tosses wiretapping lawsuit by Islamic group
Judge tosses wiretapping lawsuit by Islamic group
The Associated Press

Thu, Jul 3, 2008 (12:57 a.m.)

A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out a lawsuit by an Islamic organization that accused the Bush administration of illegally wiretapping its telephones without warrants.

The U.S. branch of the now-defunct Al Haramain Islamic Foundation claimed federal officials illegally eavesdropped on their telephone calls without court approval required by the administration's so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program.

At the heart of their lawsuit was a top secret call log that the Treasury Department accidentally turned over to Al Haramain's lawyers, who say it shows government terrorist hunters listened to their phone conversations with foundation officials living in Saudi Arabia.

The government has designated the former Saudi Arabia-based Islamic charity as a terrorist organization.

U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker barred the foundation from using the top secret document in the case and dismissed the lawsuit. He gave the foundation 30 days to refile its lawsuit with other evidence proving it was a surveillance target.

more:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/washington/03fisa.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin
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jayfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. WTF?!!
What other evidence would there be? ..oh and is this judge afflicted with a multiple personality disorder?

Jay
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paparush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. Keepin that powder dry? Keeping that table cleared, Nancy?
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. doesn't law require turning over evidence?
Even if they did it accidentally, it was the legal thing to do; so I am really confused on the judges ruling.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
2. Someone should tell Nancy. n/t
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meowomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. They did, she doesn't care. The deal is sealed.
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atjrpsych Donating Member (80 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. That is so funny I had the same picture!
That is so funny I was showing people that same picture ages ago and pointing out the resemblance. I always thought that they looked like identical twins.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. That is really, really scary n/t
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-04-08 05:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
19. The boys from Brazil
I'm sure there's more of them out there.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. A Fitting Ruling This Day Before The 4th n/t
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Krashkopf Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Maybe NOW the Senate will think twice before gutting the 4th Amendment.
This ruling is why Bush wants TELECOM IMMUNITY.

He wants to buy off the silence of his co-conspiritors.

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NinetySix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
11. I read an article on this very topic in the latest issue of the law journal DUH.
It also contained extensive articles regarding the limitations on the Executive's powers to rape nuns and butcher orphans.

Compelling stuff.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Killing 30,00 liberals (in one country) is also NOT cool (in some countries)
Italy: Judge issues 140 arrest warrants in "Plan Condor" case. Bush NOT YET indicted.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x2528536
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
12. Deja DU: ALL COMMUNICATIONS routed overseas to circumvent US law and the Constitution?
Deja DU: Are ALL COMMUNICATIONS routed overseas to circumvent US law and the Constitution?
Nov-09-07 - http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x2245762

I was told years ago that ALL fiber optic communication traffic was routed overseas so that "everything" was moved outside the protections of the law and Constitution and ANYTHING could be monitored. I thought the idea quite fantastic even though it came from a very reliable source that would know exactly such things. Then, the story of the fiber optic splitters hit my radar. I now see now how easily exactly that, routing ALL COMMUNICATIONS overseas, was accomplished.

Is that Bush's and the Telecom's HUGE crime hidden and covered-up behind this story?

If the telecoms get immunity, will it aid in covering up Bush's crime.
ABSOLUTELY! That is why it is so important to the Rs! Support = obstruction of justice.

Have we arrived at the point in the history of the Bushco junta where
laws passed and people nominated are part of crimes of obstructing justice?

===================
AT&T Whistleblower: Telecom Immunity Is A Cover-Up
By Spencer Ackerman - Nov 7, 2007
http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004662.php


Earlier today we flagged that Mark Klein, who uncovered a secret surveillance room run by the NSA while employed as a San Francisco-based technician for AT&T, is in Washington to lobby against granting retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies. In an interview this afternoon, Klein explained why he traveled all the way from San Francisco to lobby Senators about the issue: if the immunity provision passes, Americans may never know how extensive the surveillance program was -- or how deeply their privacy may have been invaded.

"The president has not presented this truthfully," said Klein, a 62-year old retiree. "He said it was about a few people making calls to the Mideast. But I know this physical equipment. It copies everything. There's no selection of anything, at all -- the splitter copies entire data streams from the internet, phone conversations, e-mail, web-browsing. Everything."

What Klein unearthed -- you can read it here -- points to a nearly unbounded surveillance program. Its very location in San Francisco suggests that the program was "massively domestic" in its focus, he said. "If they really meant what they say about only wanting international stuff, you wouldn't want it in San Francisco or Atlanta. You'd want to be closer to the border where the lines come in from the ocean so you pick up international calls. You only do it in San Francisco if you want domestic stuff. The location of this stuff contradicts their story .....

=======================
NSA Monitors All Web Traffic, Says Ex-AT&T Employee

NSA Monitors All Web Traffic, Says Ex-AT&T Employee
Tom Corelis (Blog) - Nov 10, 2007
http://www.dailytech.com/NSA+Monitors+All+Web+Traffic+Says+ExATT+Employee/article9620.htm


Felt "forced to the connect the Big Brother Machine" if he wanted to keep his job

Mark Klein, the former AT&T technician and whistleblower who helped kick off the AT&T/NSA eavesdropping scandal, clarified further details regarding what he witnessed while connecting a secret NSA eavesdropping facility: secure room 641A in AT&T’s San Francisco switching center, presumably commissioned by the NSA, received copies of all the traffic its splitters were connected to, including both international and domestic e-mails, web traffic, and phone calls, both from AT&T’s customers as well as other providers.

Previous statements by the government, AT&T and President Bush indicated that the only affected communications are communications relevant to national security, like those of suspected terrorists and suspicious foreign nationals. According to Klein, however, the technology used to connect the secure room was far more democratic, consisting of simple, dumb splitters incapable of any kind of contextual filtering: essentially, room 641A received “a duplicate of every fiber-optic signal routed through facilities.”

Klein, appearing on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann show, told viewers about his personal association with secure room 641A. “When I was a technician, I had the engineering/wiring documents, which told me how the splitter was wired to the secret room … I had to know in order to do my job,” he said, “so I know that whatever went across those cables was copied; the entire datastream was copied into the secret room.”

Referring to the equipment itself, Klein states, “the splitter device has no selective capability, it just copies everything. .............

=======================
Interview: AT&T Whistleblower Mark Klein on Bush's Illegal Surveillance and Retroactive Immunity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0dJJhLueEg

=======================
NSA Pressured LA Times To Kill Domestic Spying Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOI1VGKcgGY

=======================
November 5th, 2007
AT&T Whistleblower to Urge Senate to Reject Blanket Immunity for Telecoms
Press Conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, November 7
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2007/11/05

Washington, D.C. - On Wednesday, November 7, at 10:30am, telecommunications technician and AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein will speak out at a press conference on Capitol Hill, explaining why he is asking lawmakers to reject immunity for telecoms who assisted the Bush administration's spying on millions of Americans.

Klein witnessed first-hand the technology AT&T built to assist the government's domestic warrantless wiretapping program at AT&T's main switching facility in San Francisco. As part of his job at AT&T, Klein connected high-speed fiber optic cables to sophisticated equipment that intercepted communications from AT&T customers and then copied and routed every single one to a room controlled by the National Security Agency (NSA). Klein has provided evidence for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) class-action lawsuit against AT&T for its role in the illegal spying.

"My job required me to enable the physical connections between AT&T customers' Internet communications and the NSA's illegal, wholesale copying machine for domestic emails, Internet phone conversations, web surfing and all other Internet traffic. I have first-hand knowledge of the clandestine collaboration between one giant telecommunications company, AT&T, and the National Security Agency to facilitate the most comprehensive illegal domestic spying program in history," said Klein.

Also speaking at the event Wednesday ...........

=======================
Judge Orders Telecommunications Companies to Preserve Evidence in Government Surveillance Cases
Ruling Advances EFF's Class-action Lawsuit Against AT&T
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2007/11/06


San Francisco - A federal judge today ruled on a preservation motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), ordering that telecommunications companies must preserve any evidence of collaborating with the government in illegal spying on ordinary Americans.

In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ordered the telecommunications companies to halt any routine destruction of documents or to arrange for the preservation of accurate copies. On December 14, each party must provide the court with confirmation that the court's order has been carried out. The court order did not require the government or the carriers to reveal whether or not they had any relevant evidence.

The government and the carriers had opposed the preservation motion, claiming that the government's invocation of the state secrets privilege made it impossible to proceed with a preservation order. In litigation, parties are typically required to preserve all relevant evidence.

For the judge's order:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/att/393%20order.pdf

For more on the class-action lawsuit against AT&T:
http://www.eff.org/cases/att

===== MORE ======
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x2245762
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
14. Anyone take note of the following?
Edited on Thu Jul-03-08 12:08 PM by 8_year_nightmare
Judge Walker’s voice carries extra weight because all the lawsuits involving telephone companies that took part in the N.S.A. program have been consolidated and are being heard in his court.


Gee, do you think BushCo might have learned something beforehand (wiretaps of the judge or his law clerks?) about Judge Walker's difference of opinion? Is that why they're rushing to approve the FISA bill with the immunity clause?
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progressfinder Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
15. Good move
The Constitution matters.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thank you!
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-03-08 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Mukasey -- where is the people's lawyer??
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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-04-08 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
18. When justice dept is sifting through netComms to eliminate lefty
candidates, are we really sure that warrantless eavesdropping is only used for national security purposes?

Ans: Yes if you are a Bushy Fascist
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-04-08 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
20. "saying any surveillance of the charity or other entities was a “state secret” and citing the pres"
Who's safe?
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-04-08 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
21. God bless Judge Walker!!!!
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