Prosecute the torture.

December 21, 2005

But I heard at New Republic/Drudge/FOX News that Clinton/Carter did the same thing/worse...

Since we got the same 'argument" from two different trolls on two different posts in the past 12 hours, here's the answer which I posted to one already:

Nice way to miss the obvious! What you're missing in the National Review article is that this was DEBATED in the open at the time. That Clinton SOUGHT Congressional APPROVAL. That he actually sought real Congressional AUTHORIZATION. That Gorelick did TESTIFY before Congress and that The Washington Post was able to quote that testimony the next day. Clinton did not act like a THIEF IN THE NIGHT telling partial truths to an extreme minority of Congress and keeping them from seeking any legal opinion.

And that the outcome of that OPEN DEBATE was an executive order that DID NOT INVOLVE WARRANTLESS SPYING ON AMERICANS (and was not secret):

From Think Progress:

Fact Check: Clinton/Carter Executive Orders Did Not Authorize Warrantless Searches of Americans

The top of the Drudge Report claims “CLINTON EXECUTIVE ORDER: SECRET SEARCH ON AMERICANS WITHOUT COURT ORDER…” It’s not true. Here’s the breakdown –

What Drudge says:
Clinton, February 9, 1995: “The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order”

What Clinton actually signed:
Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section.
That section requires the Attorney General to certify is the search will not involve “the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person.” That means U.S. citizens or anyone inside of the United States.

The entire controversy about Bush’s program is that, for the first time ever, allows warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and other people inside of the United States. Clinton’s 1995 executive order did not authorize that. ****

Drudge pulls the same trick with Carter.

What Drudge says:
Jimmy Carter Signed Executive Order on May 23, 1979: “Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order.”

What Carter’s executive order actually says:
1-101. Pursuant to Section 102(a)(1) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(a)), the Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order, but only if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section.
What the Attorney General has to certify under that section is that the surveillance will not contain “the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party.” So again, no U.S. persons are involved. ****

And, more from from Daily KOS:
****You don't have to be a lawyer to understand that Clinton allowed warrantless searches if and only if the AG followed section 302(a)(1). What does section 1822(a) require?

  • the "physical search is solely directed at premises, information, material, or property used exclusively by, or under the open and exclusive control of, a foreign power or powers." Translation: You can't search American citizens.


  • and there is "no substantial likelihood that the physical search will involve the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person." Translation: You can't search American citizens.


  • ****Here, Carter refers to "electronic surveillance," rather than "physical searches" like Clinton. But again, Carter limits the warrantless surveillance to the requirements of Section 1802(a). That section requires:

  • the electronic surveillance is solely directed at communications exclusively between or among foreign powers. Translation: You can't spy on American citizens.


  • there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party. Translation: You can't spy on American citizens.

  • So sorry, folks: NO CIGAR (pun intended).

    10 comments:

    Billy Valentine said...

    You said many a thing but I still don't understand why non-terrorists have anything to worry about?

    I would be happy to let the government listen in to everything I say and do. Maybe they could pick up some good sidewalk counseling tips, or maybe some good lines I use on my girlfriend. If anything the government would probably like me even more then they already do.

    ...If it meant innocent people working in places like the WTC or Pentagon were safe from terrorists.

    Anonymous said...

    Uh huh, isn't it amazing to see how fast that the liberals are ready to defend themselves. I can only wonder how fast people like you will cry if the terrorists hit us again - the only blame will be the democrats and liberals exactly like you. Go ahead, give the terrorists all the freedoms they need, I just don't want to hear your whining and crying later.

    Maria said...

    SHORT ANSWER:
    Sen. John Cornyn: "None of your civil liberties matter much after you're dead."
    Sen. Russ Feingold's retort: "Give me liberty or give me death."


    LONG ANSWER:
    Ours is a system of checks and balances and of separation of powers. We hold the US Constitution to be our Supreme Law. Even the Executive Branch -- even Bush -- is expected to uphold the Constitution. Do you remember that he swore to uphold the Constitution twice now?

    This is his oath of office. It is not very long:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    This is Amendment IV of the Constitution:

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    Bush took a big fat smelly dump on the Constitution and the rights of all Americans. There is already a SECRET Court in place for him to get warrants from. He can even get them RETROACTIVELY. But that's not good enough for Dear Leader.

    Conservatives used to want Government off their backs and out of their business. But now, you two run crying like little school girls, "WAAAAA-WAAAAAA!" "I'm scared of the big bad terrorists!!!" "I don't want my rights!" "Take my rights and get the monster out from under my bed!!!"

    Bush has claimed that the terrorists "hate us for our freedom." So what does he do? He shits on our freedom. And you lick it up. And then you smile a big shit-eating grin defending him. And you can't understand why the rest of us won't join in with you. (And, yes, I am getting vulgar and ugly because you all cannot wait to give away everyone's Constitutional rights. Anyone who does that deserves derision and scorn.)

    Bush is even losing conservatives with this one.

    Read what Mark Earnest, a conservative, has to say at http://markearnest.net/news.cgi?nid=187

    Here's a snippet:

    I almost feel I don’t know these people anymore. It seems now they feel government cannot have nearly enough power. Secret courts, secret warrants, secret prisons, suspect torture, massive data gathering on all aspects of US citizens including medical records, library records, and financial records are all wonderful things.

    [snip]

    I truly and honestly do not understand. People who once proudly quoted Franklin’s
    “Those who give up essential liberty for a little safety deserve neither” now cheerlead the executive branch on in removing any judicial oversight, congressional oversight, and in fact ANY oversight (as most of these laws are secret) from the land. Far from the transparent government the founders imagined, we are now entering a system where laws are kept secret, prosecutions are kept secret, and national security is a password to removing any and all liberty that stands in the way of anything government wishes to do.

    [snip]

    Lastly, the one thing I notice that conservatives who applaud these powers seem to be completely missing is that Bush will not be in power forever, nor will a Republican Congress. These things always go in cycles. Even if you feel the current government is not abusing this power at all, how will you feel when an ultra liberal president gets a Democrat controlled congress and now has all of these powers. What happens when the focus on all of these secret surveillance powers, secret trial powers, and cloak and dagger style of government come to bear on conservative causes. Do you people even think more than one year down the road?

    Conservative or Liberal, the new powers the government is illegally giving itself are sowing the seeds of this country's destruction. It may not be tomorrow, but we have shifted so far already from what we once all believed in that some consider it already destroyed. I am not one of them, but I will admit it is getting pretty damn close, and it is showing no signs of stopping.

    OTHER ANSWER:
    Billy, you're a narcissist and exhibitionist who often likes to pretend he's Jesus Christ when talking to women. Undoubtedly you'd LOVE to think that anyone/everyone was watching you 24/7, but the rest of us aren't willing to give up our rights to satisfy your own perversions.

    Billy Valentine said...

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are LIFE.."

    Let's start there and then talk about liberty.

    Your "right" to "choose" was to have irresponsible sex.

    Ol' Froth said...

    What does that have to do with the issue at hand?

    What an idiot.

    Anonymous said...

    "....But now, you two run crying like little school girls, "WAAAAA-WAAAAAA!" "I'm scared of the big bad terrorists!!!" "I don't want my rights!" "Take my rights and get the monster out from under my bed!!!"

    Gee Whiz, and here I thought liberals had a loving, caring, diversity-following philosophy. I guess that only applies if you believe in their political views, right?

    I'll tell you what: I'd like to hear you shoot your mouth off if this country were to get hit by terrorists again. However, in the interest of innocent American lives, let's hope that day never comes, although people like you are making it easier and easier for the terrorists to do so. And the sad thing is, it's all about someone you hate so bad. You hate Bush so bad that you're willing to put the security of this country at risk....which all stems from your uncontrollable hatred. Then you sit there and whine more about conservatives all while you sit there and use expletives to describe the President Of The United States Of America; which by the way really projects a very negative image of the party you supposedly are devoted to. If you're so devoted to the Democratic Party, then why do you project an image of it being filled with morons, idiots, and nincompoops when you shoot your mouth off the way you do? Then you and those like you sit back, scratch your heads, threaten to leave the country and move to Canada or some other nation when you continue to lose elections. Gee, I wonder why you lose elections? Take a long look in the mirror and you'll see one of the reasons why.

    Maria said...

    You want to talk about Homeland Security? Why after four years has the government not set aside a channel so that police and fireman can talk to each other? They couldn't on 9/11 (which is why so many died) and they STILL can't. Why is the cargo in the belly of planes still not checked for bombs? Why is the cargo coming into our ports still left unchecked? Why can reporters still walk around chemical plants with no security to stop them? Why are Homeland Security funds given out on a political basis so that, for example, WY gets more on a per capita basis than NY or DC? Why was the top brass at FEMA populated with crony after crony? That's what will get innocent American lives killed and that is on the heads of Bush and the Republican Party.

    You say we hate Bush. I hate what he's failed to do to really protect Homeland Security and the way he subverts the Constitution. I hate the way you and your ilk are so partisan as to never admit anything that he does wrong. He grabs the powers of a king and you WORSHIP HIM LIKE A GOD. You and your media spread lie after lie and when you're proven wrong, you never admit it. You cry "Clinton" at every turn and LIE about his record.

    Well, it wasn't Clinton that sat their like a deer caught in the headlines on the morning of 9/11 -- it was your boy. It wasn't Clinton that RAN on 9/11 -- it was your boy. It wasn't Clinton that inexplicably was unavailable to give orders to shoot down any planes on 9/11 and that power taken by Gore (even thought it was not within the authority of a vice president) -- that was your boys: Bush and Cheney.

    And it wasn't Clinton who ginned up Homeland Security alerts every time his poll numbers slipped or who told the country that only Bush/Cheney could prevent a "devastating attack" on America right before the election.

    Bush/Republicans rule by fear, intimidation and mad power grabs and you defend him.

    Check your own self in the mirror, Anonymous.

    Anonymous said...

    Ok, now you'll totally ignore what I said in a previous comment and you'll now sit there and fire up the typical liberal "let's assume" and "blame" games. You really don't want to go there, do you?

    Who was asleep at the switch back when the World Trade Center first got attacked in the early 1990's? As you so put it, it was "your boy." Who did nothing to capture Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance? As you so put it, it was "your boy." Who is the person who did absolutely nothing secure this nation of ours against terrorism? As you so put it, it was "your boy." What did "your boy" do do protect this country? Nothing. All he did was sit in the oval office and get blow jobs from Monica - there's YOUR Commander In Chief, hard at work. If anything, he definitely is the true representation of people like you.

    Totally ignoring anything I said in my previous comment, I'll repeat what I said, just in case your mind had trouble comprehending, or just didn't want to "read" the words because they offended you so:

    You hate Bush....repeat...HATE Bush with the power of a million suns so badly, that you and people like you are willing to put the security of this country at risk. You hate Bush so bad, you'll say anything, look at anything, and will practically do anything to have him removed from office. All you can do is point fingers, and resort to using expletives. Another fine example of this is your most recent posting which closed with, "Now can we impeach the fucker?" Real class you show there, real nice. Real professional. I'd hate to think that the way you talk on here demonstrates your offline personality. If so, I am glad to not know you, I wouldn't want to.

    All that being said, all you do is sit there, fester on current events, and only research using sources who are just as liberally biased as you are, then you report them as true facts.

    You want to sit there and blame Bush for 9/11? I think you're seriously mistaken. Given all I said above in a previous paragraph, I think you should take a long look at "your boy" and see who the real blame gamers should point their fingers at. It's people like you who will hold their head in their hands, cry, panic, and whine if this country were to get hit by another terrorist attack. My question to you is this: Why do you insist on making it so easy for the terrorists to accomplish their goals? Do you not only hate your President, but your entire country that much as well?

    Maria said...

    If you hate our Constitution (don't care if it is willfully subverted) than YOU hate our country.

    dayvoe said...

    Wow, you KNOW the wingnuts are out of arguments when they bring up blowjobs. It's kind of the all-purpose defense of their corrupt president.

    I like the general disparagement of "the blame game" followed by blaming it all on Bill Clinton (did you know he got a blowjob in the White House?). And it's all done without a hint of irony. That's amazing. Utterly amazing.

    But as every right-thinking person knows, the fact that Clinton got a blowjob in the White House proves that Bush is the bestest pwesident ever!

    And if you question that, SHUT UP! BILL CLINTON GOT A BLOWJOB IN THE OVAL OFFICE!

    Let me ask a question here: If Clinton deserves some blame for the first attack on the WTC, then (by exactly the same argument) shouldn't Bush get some of the blame for the last? It did occur on his watch, did it not?

    I know it'll take a few years for such subtle logic to sink in.