Archive for the 'Wiretapping' Category

The 60-28 roll call by which the Senate voted to temporarily give President Bush expanded authority to eavesdrop on foreign terrorists without court warrants included two yes votes from Maine’s senators: Collins (R) Yes; Snowe (R) Yes.
The issues on the surface are (a.) will this invasiveness be limited to foreigners or will Americans end up […]

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Maine PUC Kicks Ass

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is going ahead with contempt proceedings against Verizon Communications for failing to affirm the truthiness of statements the company made about its possible role in the government’s warrantless surveillance program.
“The public has a right to know if their privacy has been violated,” said Chairman Kurt Adams. You go, Kurt!
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Sphere […]

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The Bush administration has decided to relinquish oversight of the domestic spying program to a secret but independent panel of federal judges. This should end the court battle over the legalities of the warrantless wiretap program.
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From Tom Allen:
In the final hours before leaving town for midterm elections, the House and Senate leadership pushed through legislation (which the President will sign into law) that sanctions inhumane interrogation techniques and revokes rights that go to the heart of what makes the United States a beacon of freedom. In the House, leaders […]

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Republicans are preparing to transfer unchecked powers to the executive branch in the form of H.R. 5825, Yet Another Hysterical Electronic Surveillance Act.
Said Tom Allen, “The Bush Administration has conducted surveillance on American citizens without court approval in violation of the law established by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). A U.S. District […]

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A Republican-backed bill that would enable a secret court to review President George W Bush’s warrantless domestic spying program was approved by the Republican-packed Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats have pointed out that the measure is packed with loopholes, would expand presidential powers even further and could undermine what’s left of American civil liberties.
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“Those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live,” President Bush said in reaction to U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s ruling that his warrantless wiretaps violate a wide variety of laws.
Or maybe the President doesn’t understand that by setting aside due process we […]

Popularity: 18%
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In a strongly worded 44-page ruling, U.S. Judge Anna Diggs Taylor wrote that President Bush’s program of warrantless electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists was “obviously in violation” of the First and Fourth Amendments, the doctrine of the separation of powers and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
But her injunction against the surveillance was stayed […]

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Citing concerns about national security and “butt coverage” the Bush administration is threatening a lawsuit if Maine utility regulators investigate whether Verizon Communications violated privacy laws by cooperating with a domestic surveillance program.
The DOJ advised the Public Utilities Commission in a letter last week that any further investigation into their affairs would result in […]

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The White House has acknowledged that President Bush withheld security clearances necessary to investigate whether administration lawyers had acted within the law when approving and overseeing the super-secret wiretapping spy program conducted by the NSA.
Without the security clearances, the Justice Department probe was compromised from the start.
But, hey, no biggie. See […]

Popularity: 11%
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1. If your banking is completely above board, then why worry about financial spying?
2. If terrorists aren’t calling you then why get in a froth over NSA phone taps?
3. As long as the sex you’re having is heterosexual, legal and for procreation only then why get upset about the guy peeking in your windows?
4. Assuming […]

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The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, have revealed that shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, treasury officials obtained access to an extensive international financial data base (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a.k.a. Swift) in search of terrorists. That’s right, in addition to your phone records, […]

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President Bush is arguing that warrantless domestic spying is well within his authority, but that proving it would require revealing state secrets so you’ll just have to take his word for it - otherwise he’d have to kill you.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor heard arguments in the case brought by the American Civil […]

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The primary argument behind domestic spying — the warrantless wiretapping of Americans — is that it’s the only way to catch misguided Americans who may be revealing classified information to potential al Qaeda terrorists in their home towns or public libraries.
But a warrantless wiretap of President Bush, would have revealed that he, personally and individually, […]

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This week the White House is strongly defending the following:
1. The Katrina response and clean-up despite a completely damning report to the contrary.
2. The 22 hour news blackout, Cheney’s disappearing act, and Scott McLellan’s classic double-speak handling of the Vice President shooting a Texas lawyer in the face with a 28 gauge shotgun.
e. Domestic spying.
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Detailing various foiled terrorist plots the President said, “We are not yet safe,” Bush said during a speech at the National Guard Memorial Building in Washington. “And we will never rest until this threat to the American people is removed.”
Which means we will never be safe. Yup. Take a deep breath. Stop clenching. The […]

Popularity: 7%
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Weapons of Misdirection

Conservatives are afluster over comments made in front of President Bush and the other 10,000 people attending the funeral of Coretta Scott King.
The Rev. Joseph Lowery noted in his eulogy, “We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew… that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions […]

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Senators aren’t buying what AG Gonzales is selling. Following an eight-hour bipartisan meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Chairman Arlen Specter scolded Gonzales for claiming that the administration hadn’t violated the 1978 law that created a special court to issue warrants for investigations of terrorists and spies.
“That just defies logic and plain English,” […]

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The US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, continues to defend the Bush administration American wiretapping fiasco despite having no legal leg to stand upon. Said Gonzales, “hey, I owe the guy. He gave me this job, for [$%#@] sake. Of course I’ll say whatever he wants. I work for him. He signs my checks and […]

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FBI Surveils Peaceniks

The Maine Coalition for Peace and Justice is under surveillance by the FBI. Gandhi quotes? Peace vigils? Candles? Sunflowers? No wonder! OMG! I just visited the website. Now I’m going to be surveilled. … assuming I’m not already. I mean, just last week I was contacted by […]

Popularity: 2%
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Ted Kennedy says independent organizations, like the Congressional Research Service, have studied the legality of the NSA program and say the president has gone beyond what the rules allow. Bush still disagrees, saying, “The American people expect me to protect our lives and our civil liberties and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this […]

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If we pursued domestic spying via a court order, we’d have to discuss what we wanted to do, and that would make our plans less effective. So sayeth Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Gonzales is incorrect. There is a “secret” court the duty of which is to oversee government surveillance. And it was from that […]

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Al Gore, the last honest voice: “As we begin this new year, the executive branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses.”
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In a brilliant, if potentially doomed, PR move, President Bush is simply rebranding his “illegal domestic wiretap” campaign as a “terrorist surveillance program” and claiming it has the support of key lawmakers (He isn’t counting Arlen Specter twice is he?), legal experts (probably Harriet Miers) and the Supreme Court (Give it a few days.)
And […]

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Britain’s spy program was dealt a horrible blow today when their super secret rock was discovered in Moscow. Four British spies -all staff members at the British Embassy - downloaded information and quite possibly pirated .mp3s from transmitters inside the rocks. Several individuals are reported to be “distressed.” See Moscow Times
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