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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:11 PM
Original message
Did Ashcroft ask for wiretap expansion, was rejected & they still did it
So, all you smart people help me out here.

I was digging around and found this:

The Bush administration recently received a harsh legal blow in the war against terrorism. It came from an unlikely place: a clandestine federal court responsible for reviewing government requests to spy on terrorism suspects.

This court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court, refused to approve of certain procedures proposed by Attorney General Ashcroft. In an unprecedented move, it also publicly released its ruling this August. The dispute, however, had been going on since May, when the Court announced its dissatisfaction with the procedures and its belief that they were contrary to existing federal law.

The procedures would have allowed criminal prosecutors routine access to information obtained through counterintelligence searches and wiretaps - without a probable cause showing that a crime had been or was about to be committed. ("Counterintelligence" is defined within the FISA as information gathered, and activities conducted, to protect against espionage; other intelligence activities; sabotage; or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities.)

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/ramasastry/20020904.html

There's more there and here's a link to the actual ruling:
http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/fisc051702.html


If I'm putting this together correctly, did they ask for expanded surveillance powers, were DENIED by the FISA court and then went ahead and did it anyway? Or, are these two separate matters?

If I'm right, this definitely seals the case for impeachment for me.

So, help me analyze this more.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. That is from 2002
Edited on Sun Dec-18-05 02:17 PM by leftchick
Apparently they asked for permission after they already started the wiretaps in 2001, shortly after Sept. 11. Which suggests they started their domestic spying, thought better of avoiding FISA so gave it a shot, were turned down and CONTINUED for the next 3 years to do what ever the fuck they wanted. I think that is even worse. Yes it is impeachment time.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. So, who should we forward this to
Anyone friendly with someone who can get it out there?
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I would say Arlen Spector but that is pointless
Lindsey Graham seemed especially pissed off, for him, this morning on Face the nation. I think he would be great along with Sen Levin and I can not figure out Rockefeller's silence on this. Hmmm
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ah, it's coming back to me.
* doesn't like to take no for an answer.

Spoiled brat.
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liveoaktx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. So Ashcroft asked for it, FISA said illegal, so Bush turned around
and gave himself executive privilege to do it anyway.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's what it seems like to me
Any lawyers care to weigh in on this. I know they are out there.

Also, please nominate this. I don't typically ask, but I think this is really important.
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Wordie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Excellent find. Thank you. K&R
Edited on Sun Dec-18-05 03:55 PM by Wordie
Someone else this morning asked the excellent question: WHY wouldn't they have gotten the FISA approval; why break the law if there were procedures in place? It appears that now we have the answer.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. Kicked and nominated. nt.
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DJ MEW Donating Member (432 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. granting him self more power
It just seems that every time this regime wants something that the Constitution says they can't have they just grant themselves what ever they wanted through some Presidential Executive Privilege.

They keep acting like they have this god like ability to get and do what ever they want.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. If true, this is the real deal
And it's not complicated so the vast majority of Americans could understand this. And be outraged enough over it (perhaps... I guess I'm hoping here) to demand action from their representatives.

I hope you get some lawyers or others who were following this intensely back then to comment on it.

Very interesting.

K 'n R
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
10. So it would seem...
From the FindLaw article:
According to evidence before the Court, the ruling said, DOJ had misused the FISA process and misled the court at least a dozen times. Justice Department and FBI officials had supplied erroneous information to the court in more than 75 applications for search warrants and wiretaps, including one signed by then-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh.


If you dig into the procedures that were rejected, you will find that they have been working on this since before the 2000 selection.

-Hoot
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. Excellent find!
This provides further proof, as if more is needed, that the bush cabal deliberately contravened the Constitution and the law of the land even after their secret court refused them the legal cover to do so.

Recommended.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks!
But, if it's correct, we need to get it out there on the blogs, to the legislators pursuing this and the media. Any efforts would be appreciated.
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dutchdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. I put it up at Daily Kos at Operation Flabbergasted
Linking back here of course... coordination is good.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/17/233929/95#174
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dutchdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. First response from Armando at Daily Kos
Is...

Two separate matters (none / 0)

I believe.


Sounds a wee bit reticent - but it's hard to tell in forums.
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dutchdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. It's related but certainly a smoking gun.
The procedures would have allowed criminal prosecutors routine access to information obtained through counterintelligence searches and wiretaps - without a probable cause showing that a crime had been or was about to be committed. ("Counterintelligence" is defined within the FISA as information gathered, and activities conducted, to protect against espionage; other intelligence activities; sabotage; or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities.)

That essentially means that FISA ruled against counterintelligence sharing data (wiretaps etc) that had obtained 'legally I assume' with FISA's approval .... with the criminal justice system. In other words, Ashcroft wanted to merge the criminal justice system with counterintelligence so they could share resources but FISA shot is down.

When the FISA court rejected the procedures, it ruled that they would give prosecutors too much control over counterintelligence investigations, and would allow the government potentially to misuse intelligence information for criminal cases.

The FISA court was absolutely correct in its ruling - and in the midst of a dramatic expansion of executive power, it is laudable that the judiciary has in this instance done the right thing. The traditional separations between counterintelligence and criminal law enforcement should be preserved unless Congress gives the Justice Department a clear mandate to relax them - which it has not yet done.


It's related but certainly a smoking gun.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sent the links to Arlen Spector just now...
He said he was going to hold hearings and I think this will be one step less for his staff to take hunting down background.

Kicked/recommended.

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Tom Yossarian Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
14. Wow! What a great find! Good work, Prolesunited!
From what I read, it appears that you may be on to a smoking gun.

Thanks for finding this.

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louis-t Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
15. And if you think that McCain's bill will stop * from torturing?
You'd be wrong.
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
17. So why was Bush spiking bin laden probes prior to 9-11-01 ?
Edited on Sun Dec-18-05 04:04 PM by EVDebs
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I'm very confused now. Prior to 9-11-01 Bushco is shutting down probes into bin laden's org and immediately after,

apparently now awares that the US intel community (NSA, FBI etc) has been compromised by Saudi intelligence

Combine that with the 'wargames' ongoing during Sept 11th 2001 (Vigilant Warrior etc, see www.oilempire.us/wargames.html ) , the Ptech (Saudi software firm with FAA/Intell computer access, see www.madcowprod.com/mc4512004.html ),

and you've got an NSA and FBI with a lot of questions that need investigating. Either the NSA and FBI, and US intelligence in general, were compromised before during and now after 9-11-01 or those said agencies were ALLOWED to be compromised to further another plan...let's say PNAC's and OSP's, which all required the infamous New Pearl Harbor in order to implement a plan that has been interpreted in the Middle East as a "from the Nile to the Euphrates" plan

see globalsecurity.orgs
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/gre...

We now find that US intelligence has been compromised by Iranian intelligence to boot
http://www.abc.net.au/sundayprofile/stories/s1118422.ht...

""Patrick Lang: If this is true and you have to say that, then in fact that is correct. The Iranians wouldve succeeded in having the United States fund this operation which has been functioning towards their foreign policy ends and not those of the United States which would be in fact a masterful accomplishment in intelligence terms. It doesnt make me very happy but if thats the case it would be really quite an achievement.""

Regarding Pat Lang's comment on 'good work' read Newsday by Knut Royce's article at
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print.php?sid=16284

"I'm a spook. I appreciate good work. This was good work," he said.


A US President condoning a treasonous operation by foreign intelligence, first the Saudis and now the Iranians. It doesn't get much more incompetant than that. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice ... shame on *

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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. Makes perfect sense to relax the probes of
Bin Laden beforehand and then step them up afterwards... if the intended result was MIHOP or LIHOP. There are many links to the Bin Laden family and the Bush family. Bin Laden's family, who was meeting with Senior's Carlyle group, was allowed to fly out the day after 911 tho everyone else was grounded for weeks after. Why were they allowed to leave without being questioned and what was the all fire rush? Always bothered me.

But the only way all this makes any sense - is if it was intentional on at least a superficial level. 911 benefited the administration more than it hurt it. Rumsfeld was on his way out that summer as most were of the opinion he was too much an idiot to remain in charge of our defense and * poll numbers were falling as people were figuring out he only had two brain cells to rub together.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
19. Mail the thread to KO. His producer might be interested
in this question.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
20. K&R
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Call me clueless
But, huh?
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doublethink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. K&R ....... Kicked and Recommended.
:kick:
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. I am a kicking cuz this is
HUGE!

Great find proles!
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
26. Kick
:kick:
The procedures would have allowed criminal prosecutors routine access to information obtained through counterintelligence searches and wiretaps - without a probable cause showing that a crime had been or was about to be committed.

If this was just to deny prosecutors equal access why the part I have highlighted?
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
27. B,K, & R! Everyone, RECOMMEND! THIS IS IMPORTANT!
I think we've got the smoking gun here that * knew this was a crime and did it anyway. There's one detail that needs confirmation from the Anita Ramasastry column:

The case is currently on appeal to the FISA Court of Review, a special three-judge panel that oversees the surveillance court. This appeal constitutes the first formal challenge to the FISA court's decisionmaking in its 23-year history. The Court of Review should affirm the ruling.

So now we need to find a link to whether The Court of Review did affirm the ruling as Ramasastry suspected they would. If we can confirm that this special three-judge panel did uphold FISA's ruling, then we need to send this information to everyone in Congress so they will have the evidence they need to IMPEACH, INDICT & IMPRISON!
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I have to get some other things done today
Can someone else try to track this down?

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dutchdemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. It's related but certainly not a smoking gun.
It's related but certainly a smoking gun.

The procedures would have allowed criminal prosecutors routine access to information obtained through counterintelligence searches and wiretaps - without a probable cause showing that a crime had been or was about to be committed. ("Counterintelligence" is defined within the FISA as information gathered, and activities conducted, to protect against espionage; other intelligence activities; sabotage; or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities.)

That essentially means that FISA ruled against counterintelligence sharing data (wiretaps etc) that had obtained 'legally I assume' with FISA's approval .... with the criminal justice system. In other words, Ashcroft wanted to merge the criminal justice system with counterintelligence so they could share resources but FISA shot is down.

When the FISA court rejected the procedures, it ruled that they would give prosecutors too much control over counterintelligence investigations, and would allow the government potentially to misuse intelligence information for criminal cases.


The FISA court was absolutely correct in its ruling - and in the midst of a dramatic expansion of executive power, it is laudable that the judiciary has in this instance done the right thing. The traditional separations between counterintelligence and criminal law enforcement should be preserved unless Congress gives the Justice Department a clear mandate to relax them - which it has not yet done.

It's related but certainly not a smoking gun.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Well prolesunited, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
I went searching and found the truth which makes me sick:

In First-Ever Ruling, Secret Appeals Court Allows Expanded Government Spying on U.S. Citizens (11/18/2002)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON - Ruling for the first time in its history, the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review today gave the green light to a Justice Department bid to broadly expand its powers to spy on U.S. citizens.

"We are deeply disappointed with the decision, which suggests that this special court exists only to rubberstamp government applications for intrusive surveillance warrants," said Ann Beeson, litigation director of the Technology and Liberty Program of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"As of today," she said, "the Attorney General can suspend the ordinary requirements of the Fourth Amendment in order to listen in on phone calls, read e-mails, and conduct secret searches of Americans' homes and offices."

At issue is whether the Constitution and the USA PATRIOT Act adopted by Congress after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks permit the government to use looser foreign intelligence standards to conduct criminal investigations in the United States.


more...

http://www.aclu.org//privacy/spying/15189prs20021118.ht...

While this is disgusting that three Rehnquist rubberstampers were able to reverse FISA's ruling, Dumbya is not out of hot water by a long shot. But I don't think the FISA ruling is the smoking gun I hoped it would be, considering how the ACLU was shut out of the appeal.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Damn. n/t
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. not a smoking gun, but maybe a bloody knife...
from the ACLU link:

<snip>

The ACLU and its coalition partners are examining today's decision and considering a number of options, including requesting an appeal to the Supreme Court and asking Congress to clarify through legislation that it did not authorize the Justice Department to use FISA's looser surveillance standards in ordinary criminal cases.

"This is a major Constitutional decision that will affect every American's privacy rights, yet there is no way anyone but the government can automatically appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court," Beeson said. "Hearing a one-sided argument and doing so in secret goes against the traditions of fairness and open government that have been the hallmark of our democracy," she added.

<snip>

Now that Congress is becoming aware (let's make them REAL aware) and even a few Rethugs are offended, i am hoping there will be real hearings on something... as for the OP and the FISA rulings, if nothing else it underlines the Fascist tendencies of this regime. Establishes another link in the chain of abuses. Hopefully it doesn't distract us from our voting machine problems...
peace out.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Raw Story does well underlining their Fascist tendencies in this case.
Fact Sheet on Domestic Intelligence Wiretaps December 17, 2005

*

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted in 1978 to provide a statutory framework for eavesdropping on individuals within the United States, including U.S. citizens, who are not suspected of having committed a crime but who are likely to be spies or members of terrorist organizations.
*

FISA established a secret court that could issue wiretap orders if the government showed probable cause that the individual to be tapped is an agent of a foreign power, meaning he or she is affiliated with a foreign government or terrorist organization. This is an easier standard to meet than the criminal wiretap standard, which requires that there be: (1) probable cause that the individual to be tapped has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime, and (2) probable cause that communications concerning that crime will be obtained through the electronic surveillance.
*

In the 27 years since it was established, the FISA court has turned down only a handful of applications for wiretap orders. The number of approved FISA wiretap orders has jumped since September 11, 2001, with 1,754 FISA orders issued last year, up from 934 such orders in 2001.
*

FISA already addresses emergency situations where there is not time to get pre-approval from the court. It includes an emergency exception that permits government agents to install a wiretap and start monitoring phone and email conversations immediately, as long as they then go to the FISA court and get a court order within 72 hours.
*

FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order. <50 U.S.C. 1809>
*

Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted. <18 U.S.C. 2518(f)>
*

The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

more...

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Democratic_senator_says_B...

I'd love to see Feingold run in 2008, but I would be even happier if with this scandal for * and the Plame scandal for Cheney, with a Dem Congress elected in 2006, we'll have President Pelosi in 2007.

But yeah, gotta fix those voting machines first!
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BamaBecky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
35. Whoa - sounds like you "got it right" to me
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
36. They need the wire tapping ablity to figure out who outed Plame and
who in the Whitehouse is compromising national security and endangering American lives.
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The Judged Donating Member (613 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
37. Here are brief, hearing transcript, and decision links (source: wiki).
Brief for the United States, redacted, to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, dated: August 21, 2002:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/082102appeal.htm...

Transcript of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Hearing on Docket No. 02-001, September 9, 2002, 9:00 a.m.:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/hrng090902.htm

56 page decision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, argued on September 09, 2002 and decided on November 18, 2002:

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/terrorism/fisa111802...
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The Judged Donating Member (613 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 03:49 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. Check out the Appearances list! n/t
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
39. kick n/t
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