Tuesday, January 17, 2006

pinions of buddy don: how that spyin is wurkin out

whut are we gittin fer lettin the presdint take the law into his own hands? heres three thangs fer us all!
  1. more fun fer the fbi, witch they git to play the gaime of trine to tell ifn they caught innybidy they woodnta caught otherwise
    Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends:
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month.

    But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans.

    F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. The spy agency was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of phone and Internet traffic. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy.

    As the bureau was running down those leads, its director, Robert S. Mueller III, raised concerns about the legal rationale for a program of eavesdropping without warrants, one government official said. Mr. Mueller asked senior administration officials about "whether the program had a proper legal foundation," but deferred to Justice Department legal opinions, the official said.

    President Bush has characterized the eavesdropping program as a "vital tool" against terrorism; Vice President Dick Cheney has said it has saved "thousands of lives."
    But the results of the program look very different to some officials charged with tracking terrorism in the United States. More than a dozen current and former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, including some in the small circle who knew of the secret program and how it played out at the F.B.I., said the torrent of tips led them to few potential terrorists inside the country they did not know of from other sources and diverted agents from counterterrorism work they viewed as more productive.
  2. good news fer them trial lawyers, witch they gut em a cuple more lawsuits thanks to the spyin – Two Groups Planning to Sue Over Federal Eavesdropping:
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - Two leading civil rights groups plan to file lawsuits Tuesday against the Bush administration over its domestic spying program to determine whether the operation was used to monitor 10 defense lawyers, journalists, scholars, political activists and other Americans with ties to the Middle East.

    The two lawsuits, which are being filed separately by the American Civil Liberties Union in Federal District Court in Detroit and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Federal District Court in Manhattan, are the first major court challenges to the eavesdropping program.

    Both groups are seeking to have the courts order an immediate end to the program, which the groups say is illegal and unconstitutional. The Bush administration has strongly defended the legality and necessity of the surveillance program, and officials said the Justice Department would probably oppose the lawsuits on national security grounds.
  3. finely, they dun flushed al gore outta hidin with the hep of an ole enemy, bob barr! – (1) Gore Says Bush Broke the Law With Spying;
    (2) Transcript: Former Vice President Gore's Speech on Constitutional Issues:
    The FBI privately labeled [Martin Luther] King[, Jr.] the -- and I quote -- "the most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country" and vowed to -- again, I quote -- "take him off his pedestal."

    The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and tried to blackmail him into committing suicide. This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder.

    The discovery that the FBI conducted this long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life was instrumental in helping to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.

    And one result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act, often called FISA, which was enacted expressly to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance would be presented to an impartial judge to verify that there was indeed a sufficient cause for the surveillance.

    It included ample flexibility and an ability for the executive to move with as much speed as desired.

    I voted for that law during my first term in Congress. And, for almost 30 years, the system has proven a valuable and workable means of affording a level of protection for American citizens while permitting foreign surveillance to continue whenever it is necessary.

    And yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that, in spite of this long-settled law, the executive branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on -- and I quote the report -- "large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages and other Internet traffic inside the United States."

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