September 28, 2007

Big: Old FISA Law Delayed Hunt For Kidnappers Of American Soldiers
Update: Video Report Added

— Ace

Video: Now at Hot Air.

I'll just bulletpoint:

Last May, Iraqi terrorists kidnapped three American soldiers.

American intelligence officials searched for cyber-signals about the kidnapping... and actually found them. They found the kidnappers talking to each other on-line.

However, they had to stop listening because the signals were passing through an American-based server and under the law that meant there could be no eavesdropping without a warrant.

So they stopped listening in on foreign terrorists holding kidnapped American soldiers.

For ten hours, officials worked to get "emergency authorization" to resume eavesdropping.

This then required the personal okay of AG Gonzales, who couldn't be reached for two hours.

So a 12 hour gap after the kidnappers had been discovered.

The law has been changed to expressly permit eavesdropping in this situation, and some Democrats such as Rep. Reyes (D) are arguing for a rollback to the previous rule.

One of those kidnapped soldiers, I'm told, was later found dead and mutilated. Whether the gap in eavesdropping may have averted this I don't know, and perhaps no one will ever know.

Two of the kidnapped soldiers, Larwyn tells me, are still unaccounted for. Again: What might have been said in that 12 hour gap that could have tipped off US forces to their location? We don't know.

Confronted with the bad outcomes caused by their ridiculous laws, Democrats always seem to argue, basically, that people should ignore the law when necessary. They insinuated that when the DoJ determined it did not have legal cause to examine Zaccharias Moussaui's laptop without a warrant, for example: They should have just had the foresight to know they should ignore the law and search for 9/11 plots on that laptop.

This is not a tolerable view of the law nor how the law should function. True enough, there will be cases where any sane man will ignore the law when life hangs in the balance. But the Democrats just continue to pander to their paranoid BDS MoveOn voters with very restrictive and impractical laws, and then just parry criticisms of these laws away with vague insinuations that soldiers and CIA operatives ought to be brave enough to risk their careers in ignoring the laws they've made when "appropriate." "Appropriate" being defined as when it turns out, in the perfect clarity of hindsight, that their laws cost human lives.

Perhaps they should strive to craft more realistic laws that don't rely on benign lawbreaking to make them function properly.

More: From Powerline.

Seattle Slough claims that FISA allows eavesdropping to happen with a warrant applied for 72 hours later. So that should take care of it, then, he asserts.

Wrong. And when I say wrong, understand I am not 100% sure of this, but I'm pretty sure he's wrong. The old law permits the AG and the AG only (well, I guess the President too) to authorize this "emergency authorization" to permit eavedropping without court-issued warrant. However, the law requires the eavesdropping stop until this emergency authorization is approved, and furthermore, the law requires those seeking the authorization to determine all necessary facts to the extent possible (that these are foreigners not entitled to full Constitutional protections, that time is of the essence, etc.) and make a detailed case with a fully supported paper trail for later review.

So no, Seattle, I don't think it's the case you can just continue eavesdropping and take all the time you like to apply for that warrant 72 hours later. I believe the law requires extensive and time-consuming pseudo-warrant-applications just to get the emergency authorization in order to continue the eavesdropping until the warrant is actually secured.

If I'm wrong, I'll eat it with an admission, as I usually do. But I don't think I am.

Correction: They didn't start eavesdropping and then stop; they never started at all while they filled out the paperwork for an "emergency authorization."

If something is of an "emergency" nature, is paperwork really what you want people doing?

Another print story from USAToday.

It took time (to begin the tap)," McConnell said, because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) required intelligence agents to first demonstrate to the U.S. attorney general that the target was likely an agent of a foreign power.

Surveillance of foreigners overseas does not always require such an assurance. However, many foreign calls pass through U.S. telecommunications networks, requiring the attorney general's approval.

McConnell called the requirement, which has been temporarily eliminated, "burdensome."

Thanks to Drew for putting me some fucking information.

Posted by: Ace at 04:27 PM | Comments (99)
Post contains 781 words, total size 5 kb.

1

Confronted with the bad outcomes caused by their ridiculous laws, Democrats always seem to argue, basically, that people should ignore the law when necessary


 


Right, and when the reactionaries found out about it, they'd have a field day attacking the President, the DOD nad prosocuting whoever really did ignore the law in the pursuit of saving an American soldier.


I've just about had it with the reactionary left.


Cocksuckers, every last one of them.


Posted by: N. O'Brain at September 28, 2007 01:58 PM (PmWhP)

2 "Big"

Where's the burning skull?????

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 01:59 PM (0Dt9v)

3 It's starting to look like everything the Dems do is a set-up, and they don't really give a fuck if good people have to suffer and die so long as they have a "gotcha" moment on camera.

So, basically, what N. O'Brain said.

With more suck and less cock.

Posted by: Merovign at September 28, 2007 02:02 PM (IaYDo)

4

Saw it at powerline earlier today, it looks like the delay was actually almost 4 days.  The twelve hours, is just in relation to the actual process of seeking the warrant, but it took 3 days, to look for a procedure to get the tap, and the legalisms needed to keep the tap.


They filed for the warrant almost 4 days after the initial plan was created, and didn't start tapping until they were comfortable with the legal sides, and applied.  They couldn't tap until after the application, and the court had 3 days to review. 


If some of the other "privacy issues" had been compromised on the side of the crazy left, he wouldn't have been able to tap until after the approval, meaning almost a 7 day gap.


Too many lawyers involved in things that are not their business.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:02 PM (QTv8u)

5 Didn't the old FISA law allow for post-surveillance approval?  As in you could begin surveillance and then get a warrant 72 hours after the fact.  I believe that the FISA act even allowed for an extra 15 day window to present information in a time of war.

How is this FISA's fault when situations exactly like this were contemplated by FISA and accounted for?





Posted by: seattle slough at September 28, 2007 02:02 PM (H5l9d)

6 SS I think old fisa allows for surveillence during review, so you can't actually do the tap until you applied, and you had as much as 72 hours to operate, while the process is being reviewed.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:05 PM (QTv8u)

7 Ain't seen you in a while seattle.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:05 PM (QTv8u)

8 Yeah, this convenient, -I'm sure they could just ignore the law in that situation- rationalizing we keep hearing from the left is complete bullshit.  It's pretending there are rainbows and lollipops where there are none.

Posted by: z ryan at September 28, 2007 02:06 PM (PDeVA)

9

BULL FUCKING SHIT!


I could honestly shoot the people responsible for this shit!


Posted by: Entropy at September 28, 2007 02:07 PM (HgAV0)

10 OK -- so Clinton wiretapped the ever important details of Lady Di and of course this program has existed for many admins and the Dems just leaked because they desperately needed some leverage for elections and probably to cover for their gross negligence wrt Gorelick's wall.

Disgusting. I've been saying for a while that if a Democrat gets elected they will reinstate these same programs they leaked because they know they are vital and do not want another 9-11 on their watch and they'll just repackage it and their fuckards nuts will all rejoice in the Dems brilliance and congratulate themselves for having saved terror wiretapping - only they're fucktards and they won't know what they are celebrating.

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 02:12 PM (0Dt9v)

11 I think Ace had something a long time ago, linking the number of fisa applications, and rejections, and since bush became pres, the percentages of rejected skyrocketed.  Bush also made a shitload more applications, and pretty much the only thing that can explain it, is that bush actually followed the rules, and pretty much every other president didn't.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:15 PM (QTv8u)

12 Yeah, I think it was ONE FISA application from Clinton was rejected and they reject many many more from Bush.

Posted by: z ryan at September 28, 2007 02:18 PM (PDeVA)

13 The president is the AG's boss.  The matter should have been escalated to the white house instantly with notification to Pelosi since she's 3rd in line and I believe it would be very educational for her to see this dysfunctional system in action potentially killing our guys in a concrete example.

Someone here needs to grow a pair and recognize when to escalate. 

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 28, 2007 02:20 PM (iuG/e)

14 Then get me the g-d president, asswipe.

Posted by: Editors at September 28, 2007 02:24 PM (1AOJB)

15 btw, that's not a dig at anyone here.  That was just what should have been said by who was trying to get it through.

Posted by: Editors at September 28, 2007 02:24 PM (1AOJB)

16 Christ.
First a JAG won't let us kill Mullah Omar

Now the dems get these troops tortured and murdered

If it weren't for the lawyers on our own side we might be able to win this war

Posted by: Paul in Iowa at September 28, 2007 02:27 PM (tOQXA)

17

I think one of the arguments made is that the application had to be formaly filed, rather announced for filing.


So, just running into fisc and saying "yo bitches, got a request coming in a few hours, gonna start now, catchya in a bit."  cuz in legal terms, "emergency" means, after having clerks and paralegals take care of all the mintuae while the lawyers are looking for excuses, then re-reads, and corrections and re-writes, and then final drafts forwarded to the AG and Pres, then sent to fisc.


I prefer "notice" being of the "yo bitches" type, it's a lot more efficient.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:29 PM (QTv8u)

18 I was refering to old applications to fisa, not this one, there ain't much information flyging around right now on this one.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:30 PM (QTv8u)

19 oh, they're wary...

The top U.S. spy agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, sent Congress a timeline detailing the wiretap effort as the Bush administration makes its case to wary Democrats for a permanent expansion of its authority to eavesdrop on the foreign communications of terrorism suspects

Makes the blood boil. But they support the troops!

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 02:33 PM (0Dt9v)

20 I can't wait for Gabriel Malor to weigh in -- he has a porn-like fetish for The Law, all else be damned.

Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at September 28, 2007 02:33 PM (uOvAE)

21 Problem is, if the rules are even a bit unclear, the no-load lawyers at "Justice" will be sure to default to the safer course, and by safer I mean as regards their careers, not the lives of troops serving in Iraq. 

Posted by: holdfast at September 28, 2007 02:33 PM (Gzb30)

22 After this much resistance to wiretaps of terrorists period, what exactly are Democrats protecting?

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 02:35 PM (0Dt9v)

23 seattle slough,

Aside from the fact McConnell says that's not the case (and that even in an emergency situation a proffer of probable cause has to be made), why in the world are constitutional protections being afforded to people who are not within the borders of the US?  Is the fact that two people outside the US are communicating over servers that are located in the US really a sufficient nexus to trigger 4th Amendment protections?  Funny I always thought that was limited to you know 'the people' and not servers or switchers. And personally, I never thought of Iraqis or foreign terrorists as part of 'the people' the Constitution protected.

You fucking liberals are going to get a lot of people killed with this shit.



Posted by: Drew at September 28, 2007 02:47 PM (hlYel)

24 Again I don't purport to be an expert here, but warrantless searches happen all the time.  Yes, they are unconstitutional and yes, therefore, the evidence improperly gathered is not admissible in a court of law. 

Something tells me we weren't looking for evidence to gather against these guys to use in court.  When actual lives are in imminent harm, who cares about the admissibility of evidence? 

PLUS, the fact that there were hostages in peril should have eliminated (or at least ameliorated) any warrant requirement in the first place.  You don't need a search warrant to enter a house if you have reason to suspect there is a hostage inside. 

Its why the fire department doesn't need a warrant to break your door down when the house is on fire. 

This story claims that they were already listening in and then stopped?  Because of FISA?  Doesn't sound plausible to me.  And this happened last

Posted by: seattle slough at September 28, 2007 02:48 PM (H5l9d)

25 sloug,

The issue isn't admissibility. McConnell says he can't make the NSA do it without a warrant. The Director doesn't want to go to jail or screw his agency for conducting an illegal intercept. Given the Democrats preening on this issue, it's not an unreasonable position.

This story claims that they were already listening in and then
stopped?  Because of FISA?  Doesn't sound plausible to me.  And this
happened last

This story says they couldn't start for 12 hours and this time-line shows the delay. It never got underway because by the time they jumped through the hoops, it wasn't useful.

Thanks Democrats!

Posted by: Drew at September 28, 2007 02:58 PM (hlYel)

26

I think the powerline article says that therre were delays because of legalisms, not a start stop.  I think ace got that part wrong.


I am also tired of thise "unconstitutional" shit when it comes to foreign policy and the ability of the executive to excercise authority over operations.  It isn't unconstitutional, it's inherint in the authority of the Command In Chief, of United States Armed Forces, which IS in the consitutional, and the individuals who's "rights" are being violated, have no access to constitutional authority, because they are extraconstitutional in the actions.


Illegal aliens, are extraconstitutional, enemies of every stripe who are not US Citizens, are extra constitutional.   Unless the argument is that the computer servers have rights.


Which might be possible, since Pixy went through a number of revolts some time ago, or were they "protests?"


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 02:59 PM (QTv8u)

27 Something tells me we weren't looking for evidence to gather against these guys to use in court. When actual lives are in imminent harm, who cares about the admissibility of evidence?

riiight...nice try at cya. Despicable.

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 03:01 PM (0Dt9v)

28

Well,


Theres the civil suits, the loss of income because your ass will get fired, the inability to excercise your practiced trade, because your ass got fired, and you have to keep taking time off for the civil suits, there's the near terror, that the person filing the civil suit, doesn't think they are gonna win, will realize that you are unemployed, and unemployable, and that you are broke, and can't afford any realistic security making you worried for yourself and your family at all times until you die.  There is john murtha saying your name on the floor of house, and accusing you of mccarthy like villainization of innocent persons, while engaging in nixonian cover-ups, just to please your masters like a foolish puppy.


WHAT COULD POSSIBLY go wrong SS?


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 03:07 PM (QTv8u)

29 So, according to the Democrats, I guess a terrorist could go into Nancy Pelosi's office, ask to use the phone, call up another terrorist in Suckassistan and have a long conversation planning an attack on the USA, and nobody could listen in?

Posted by: eman at September 28, 2007 03:14 PM (hc1YY)

30 OK, maybe I am an idiot . . .

This just looks like incompetence.

According to the timeline Drew posted, the FISA court is nowhere involved in this.  They didn't even ask the FISA disk at DOJ about it until 5:15 (via telephone call, not via pleadings, affidavits, and declarations) and they didn't actually get an acting attorney general on the phone until about two hours after that.  Gonzalez (not the FISA court) gives telephonic approval at 7:18 and they are intercepting communications 20 minutes later. 

My read on the timeline says NSA wants to do something.  They think they need approval from DOJ.  DOJ (not FISA) takes ten hours to get the AG on the phone.  Twenty minutes later they are conducting the surveillance. 





Posted by: seattle slough at September 28, 2007 03:17 PM (H5l9d)

31 Bingo. Extra bingo, in fact. Pelosi's office is off limits under any circumstance (Rep. Jefferson).

Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at September 28, 2007 03:17 PM (uOvAE)

32 'desk' not 'disk' obviously.

Posted by: seattle slough at September 28, 2007 03:21 PM (H5l9d)

33 "just incompetence"

As if we'd expect anything else from a bunch of preening politicians and bureaucratic paper pushers.

Posted by: Nom de Blog at September 28, 2007 03:22 PM (6Ie+q)

34 It's incompetance if you create the problem.  It's procedure if you are dealing with problems native to the system.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 03:24 PM (QTv8u)

35
OK, maybe I am an idiot . . .

Don't sell  yourself short, you are also a lefty in the bag for Democrats and apparently have poor comprehension skills.

Read what McConnell says. You don't just call up the AG or his rep and say, 'hey can we do this? Okay? Great thanks".  You have to provide him with material that demonstrates probable cause.

"It took time (to begin the tap)," McConnell said, because the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) required intelligence agents to
first demonstrate to the U.S. attorney general that the target was
likely an agent of a foreign power.


But of course in your little world the whole intelligence community doesn't know the law and were to lazy to do what they had to do to help 3 Americans in the hands of terrorists. It had nothing to do with the climate the Democrats have created.  Nope nothing at all.



Posted by: Drew at September 28, 2007 03:27 PM (hlYel)

Posted by: Cuffy Meigs at September 28, 2007 03:30 PM (uOvAE)

37 Drew

I couldn't agree with you more...and to read that Democrats said the situation was exaggerated (1 dead mutilated soldier, 2 missing) on the one hand but then say the agents should have just broken the law-- just break it, who cares?! A law that they seek to tighten beyond AND leaked to ruin in the past in the first place is just incredible.

Incomprehensible and indefensible on so many levels.

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 03:37 PM (0Dt9v)

38 Pelosi's office is off limits under any circumstance

Damn straight.


Posted by: denny hastert at September 28, 2007 03:45 PM (dtQ3T)

39

"rules" and "guidence" is why the Presidents authority to wage war is absolute, other than funding.


"you can't rule by committee."


and . . .


DAMN! whats the quote about compromise?


BRB with it, if I can find it.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 04:05 PM (QTv8u)

40

Concluding at 12:53 p.m. EDT that requirements for emergency eavesdropping approval had been met, officials spent more than four hours debating "novel and complicated issues" in the case.


I'll concede that perhaps the necessity to cover all the bases, and their asses, required them to discuss "novel and complicated issues".  Not for four fucking hours while American lives are at stake.  Some one in that meeting needed to say, in order to focus the minds in that room, 'Fuck it.  This is what we're doing.' 


I'd like to see Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Nancy Pelosi on their knees begging the parents of these soldiers for forgiveness.  Never happen of course because they don't give a fuck.  Some people in the DNI's office need to be fired, right now.


Pick a team American politicians:  your countrymen or foreign terrorists.


Posted by: cranky at September 28, 2007 04:08 PM (7rKVk)

41

here's a bunch of quotes, some are good, most are almost unintelligible, none of them are what I'm looking for.


This is a good one.


"If you are not very clever, you should be conciliatory.
Author: Benjamin Disraeli"


His memory doesn't live in my mind, I keep thinking of "cream" whenever I read anything about that cat, simply because I'm a pop culture buffoon who can't keep track of that shit.


I can't find a reference to the one I was thinking of, I think it was by a brit "compromise is the failure of the ambitious due to a lack of imagination" or something like that.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 04:15 PM (QTv8u)

42 Cranky

You must remember that the justice department is comprised of Clinton holdovers (WALL) and Dem lovers -- and Bush is prohibited in firing these assholes as he tried at the first of the year because it's an impeachable offense apparently. He's stuck with them and really it's his own damn fault for thinking he could trust careerists instead of going the Clinton route and firing them all.

Additionally, this ALL the Dem's doing... the Dem party at large, has politicized and neutered our government such to the extent they can't wipe their own ass without working it out to such a point that asshole Patrick Leahy won't want a stupid hearing.

Dems created this nightmare, they OWN it.

I intend to wrap it so tightly around their necks the circulation stops.

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 04:21 PM (0Dt9v)

43 "Confronted with the bad outcomes caused by their ridiculous laws, Democrats always seem to argue, basically, that people should ignore the law when necessary"

I am not sure Democrats really understand the purpose of rule of law anyway. They're always going on about how the courts should interpret the Constitution in a flexible, progressive manner. They do not see how that undermines the predictability and certainty that people need to get along in large societies, particularly in order to get any kind of business done.

In their poorly thought out world view, there's a correct way of thinking and acting, and if we can just get everyone to that imaginary state, everything will be good.

I know this well. Used to be a liberal. Then I did some thinking.

So, no flame thread tonight?

Posted by: qrstuv at September 28, 2007 05:00 PM (Z3lex)

44

"If it weren't for the lawyers on our own side we might be able to win this war"


Actually, they're on the other side, and so are a lot of progressive liberals.


Posted by: roy at September 28, 2007 05:21 PM (MAeaH)

45

This is our future with a D Presudent. Tell me we do not need to rally behind whomever the next R Presidential candidate is, regardless of what we may not like about their individual stand on individual isses. Sorry, but I stopped voting ISSUE and started voting party long, long ago. Do I wish we had a solid, 100% conservo candiadate? HELL yes. But if we don't, and it ends up Guliana, Romney or Fred! then they have my vote, and activism. We turned the tide with W and the immigration deal, at least we have a place to start. Stay home because G is too lib on the gay marriage thing, or Fred! is not sufficiently anti-immigration then THIS is what we get. Ds, Libs and/or Progressos will move us a giant step toward societal death, DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!


 


Posted by: v at September 28, 2007 05:26 PM (uXHec)

46

If every action I have ever performed for all my life, I would have eventualy built up enough infractions to send me to prison for life.


If every action I had performed over any 4 year period were absolutely prosecuted and proved, I would spend a LOT of my life in prison.


If congress believed in the rule of law, they wouldn't make EVERY FUCKING SINGLE AMERICAN a CRIMINAL TERRIFIED about what the LAW might say about them.


One of the foundations of "law" is that it be understood, otherwise the government "of, for and by" is just a bumper sticker.


Laura Ingraham,  "ENFORCE THE (ed: fucking) LAWS!"


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 05:26 PM (QTv8u)

47

They pass laws to make themselves feel good, but they don't actually accomplish anything. 


Whats the Andrew Jackson Quote?


He was right.


The job of the congress, is to create an impossible situation for the executive, the job of the SCOTUS is to work whenever they please for whatever cause they support.


Only the CINCUSF is the one who must act, everyone else?  they can campaign, and philosophise as they please, without responsibility, cuz HEY! they ain't the fucking CINCUSF.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 28, 2007 05:50 PM (QTv8u)

48 Whats the Andrew Jackson Quote?

Wicked, you are quote alzheimers tonight.

Stay home because G is too lib on the gay marriage thing, or Fred! is not sufficiently anti-immigration then THIS is what we get.

Elections matter, vote republican...they at least have you and your son's back.

Posted by: topsecretk9 at September 28, 2007 06:31 PM (0Dt9v)

49 Bottom line: the law of the land allowed them to start surveillance immediately; they failed to do so because their own procedures and bureaucracy got in the way.  The delay was entirely the result of wingnuts not being able to get in touch with other wingnuts, or arguing with each other, or shuffling papers from one wingnut to another.  They couldn't get in touch with AG Gonzales for two hours because he was traveling; how can that possibly be the fault of the law or the Democrats?  If Gonzo had had the competence of a day-old kitten, he would have set thing up so that it was always possible to get in touch with him or someone he'd authorized to act in his place on a few minutes notice. Heck of a job, Gonzie!

It's a standard wingnut approach: claim that government works badly and then, when in power, do such a bad job of running the government that it appears you were right.

Posted by: Bob Munck at September 28, 2007 07:42 PM (n0BzT)

50 What happened?

Answer: about a year ago a FISA Court Judge (a Clinton appointee btw) EXTENDED through his decision FISA to REQUIRE a warrant for EVERY communication simply passing through ANY US Wire or service. Even if that communication is strictly foreign to foreign. Which meant that any IM, Sat Phone, or any other traffic in Iraq essentially required a warrant.

The Judge who made this decision knew this would happen (Justice argued so) but in his decision (parts of which have leaked out presumably by pissed off NSA folks) he noted that his interpretation of the Law mattered more than lives. Or words to that effect.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at September 28, 2007 07:46 PM (4878o)

51 my dad always said never vote for a lawyer.

Posted by: billfry at September 28, 2007 07:51 PM (dC60J)

52 Bottom line: the law of the land allowed them to start surveillance immediately

Okay, the Director of National Intelligence and the Assistant Attorney General for National Intelligence says that's not true and that they needed to satisfy probable cause requirements before starting the surveillance.

Munck  your qualifications to dispute them are what exactly? You offer what evidence to back up your assertion?

Posted by: Drew at September 28, 2007 07:52 PM (hlYel)

53 Oh and by the way Munck, riddle me this...if the law was as crystal clear as you and your idiot fellow travelers in Congress claim it was, why did they change it to say that warrants weren't required in cases where the parties aren't in the US but the tap is?

Seems kinda superfluous if it wasn't the case.

Posted by: Drew at September 28, 2007 07:55 PM (hlYel)

54 Mob Bunck hasn't any such qualifications - being a snarky self-satisfied left-wing whiner is about it. Been that way for years.

It doesn't care about facts, or ideas, or anything but the narrative its psyche hangs upon.

No doubt an interesting subject for psychological study, but with regards to policy discussions, not so much.

Posted by: Merovign at September 28, 2007 09:30 PM (IaYDo)

55 The delay was entirely the result of wingnuts not being able to get in
touch with other wingnuts, or arguing with each other, or shuffling
papers from one wingnut to another.  They couldn't get in touch with AG
Gonzales for two hours because he was traveling; how can that possibly
be the fault of the law or the Democrats?  If Gonzo had had the
competence of a day-old kitten, he would have set thing up so that it
was always possible to get in touch with him or someone he'd authorized
to act in his place on a few minutes notice. Heck of a job, Gonzie!




Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but the AG probably has to fly
commercial.  I don't think he has an Air Force 3 or whatever that
whisks him around the country.  Again, I could be wrong.  But
if he was indeed flying commercial, he'd have to turn off his cell and
other electronic devices, no?



And I'm no legal expert, but the info on the law that I've seen today
suggests that the exception would have to come straight from the AG
himself, not a subordinate.



If I'm wrong about any of these things, well, shame on me.  But if
I'm not, well, it looks like you've done a heck of a job, Munckie!

Posted by: Sean M. at September 29, 2007 12:29 AM (XFqvL)

56 From the USA Today story:

Wainstein said the law required officials to obtain enough details to
support a search warrant — either before they create the wiretap or
after if they seek retroactive approval — so they did it first.


They could either just do the wiretap and then justify it later, or justify it first and then do the wiretap.  Which did they choose to do?  D'oh!

This stinks of propaganda.  What they want is the power to wiretap without having to provide justification later.  If you're OK with that, fine, but kiss your privacy and by definition your liberty good-bye. 

Also, I am pretty sure the AG has a dedicated Gulfstream III, four stars do, and the AG outranks a four star.



Posted by: icus at September 29, 2007 03:35 AM (OTNlI)

57

When actual lives are in imminent harm, who cares about the admissibility of evidence? 


Agreed.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at September 29, 2007 03:41 AM (pzen5)

58 ottom line: the law of the land allowed them to start surveillance immediately

Hilarious.

Your ignorance is comical and embarrassing.

Posted by: Jay at September 29, 2007 04:37 AM (4svNr)

59 They could either just do the wiretap and then justify it later

How would you know?

What they want is the power to wiretap without having to provide justification later.

What is funny is that an idiot like you pretends to care. Remember, moron, they'll doctor the evidence anyway.

Posted by: Jay at September 29, 2007 04:49 AM (4svNr)

60 Here is what is required to have a warrant signed within 72 hours of the AG’s order:

a) Submission by Federal officer; approval of Attorney General; contents
Each application for an order approving electronic surveillance under this subchapter shall be made by a Federal officer in writing upon oath or affirmation to a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title. Each application shall require the approval of the Attorney General based upon his finding that it satisfies the criteria and requirements of such application as set forth in this subchapter

It shall include—
(1) the identity of the Federal officer making the application;
(2) the authority conferred on the Attorney General by the President of the United States and the approval of the Attorney General to make the application;
(3) the identity, if known, or a description of the target of the electronic surveillance;
(4) a statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant to justify his belief that—
(A) the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power; and
(B) each of the facilities or places at which the electronic surveillance is directed is being used, or is about to be used, by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
(5) a statement of the proposed minimization procedures;
(6) a detailed description of the nature of the information sought and the type of communications or activities to be subjected to the surveillance;
(7) a certification or certifications by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs or an executive branch official or officials designated by the President from among those executive officers employed in the area of national security or defense and appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate—
(A) that the certifying official deems the information sought to be foreign intelligence information;
(B) that a significant purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information;
© that such information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
(D) that designates the type of foreign intelligence information being sought according to the categories described in section 1801 (e) of this title; and
(E) including a statement of the basis for the certification that—
(i) the information sought is the type of foreign intelligence information designated; and
(ii) such information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
( a statement of the means by which the surveillance will be effected and a statement whether physical entry is required to effect the surveillance;
(9) a statement of the facts concerning all previous applications that have been made to any judge under this subchapter involving any of the persons, facilities, or places specified in the application, and the action taken on each previous application;
(10) a statement of the period of time for which the electronic surveillance is required to be maintained, and if the nature of the intelligence gathering is such that the approval of the use of electronic surveillance under this subchapter should not automatically terminate when the described type of information has first been obtained, a description of facts supporting the belief that additional information of the same type will be obtained thereafter; and
(11) whenever more than one electronic, mechanical or other surveillance device is to be used with respect to a particular proposed electronic surveillance, the coverage of the devices involved and what minimization procedures apply to information acquired by each device.

------------------------

Also:
50 U.S.C. Sec. 1805(f):

If the Attorney General authorizes such emergency employment of electronic surveillance, he shall require that the minimization procedures required by this subchapter for the issuance of a judicial order be followed. In the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance, the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the expiration of 72 hours from the time of authorization by the Attorney General, whichever is earliest. In the event that such application for approval is denied, or in any other case where the electronic surveillance is terminated and no order is issued approving the surveillance, no information obtained or evidence derived from such surveillance shall be received in evidence or otherwise disclosed in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, office, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the United States, a State, or political subdivision thereof

Posted by: Jay at September 29, 2007 05:03 AM (4svNr)

61 Wow... Slough, Munck, and Icus all in the same thread?  How much density can a comment thread take before it collapses on itself and becomes a black hole (of leftist idiocy)?

Posted by: zetetic at September 29, 2007 08:09 AM (ukuxx)

62 This stinks of propaganda.

Yeah. When the fruits of your ignorant opposition come to light it's propaganda.

You sound like a pathetic truther.

Posted by: Topsecretk9 at September 29, 2007 08:18 AM (0Dt9v)

63

This stinks of propaganda.


And the corpses of American Servicemen.


Posted by: ushie at September 29, 2007 09:34 AM (8nB5X)

64 Jay made it very clear with his quote of
50 U.S.C. Sec. 1805(f):




If the Attorney General authorizes such emergency employment of
electronic surveillance, he shall require that the minimization
procedures required by this subchapter for the issuance of a judicial
order be followed.
In
the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance,
the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is
obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the
expiration of 72 hours from the time of authorization by the Attorney
General, whichever is earliest
.

In other words, they had 72 hours after beginning surveillance to obtain approval. They actually took 12 hours to get it, so were a solid 2 1/2 days ahead of the deadline.  Unfortunately, they stupidly didn't even start the surveillance until after this 12-hour period, and -- possibly because of this late start -- it failed to provide any useful information. That's the problem with having morons running the government.

They did take 2 of the 12 hours to get in touch with Gonzales, and wouldn't have been able to start until they had his go-ahead.  USA Today said:

"It seems like an issue of command," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes,
D-Texas, the panel
[House Intelligence Committee] chairman. Getting approval for such emergency
wiretaps should take "only a few minutes" and "one phone call," Reyes
said, citing Harvard University law professor James Baker, a former
Justice Department surveillance specialist.

Of course, if Gonzales had been a competent and responsible AG, he would have never put himself in a position where it would take two hours to reach him, or he would have appointed an Acting AG with the authority to make the decision.  Didn't he learn anything from the whole Ashcroft/hospital bed thing?

Who am I kidding? Bushies never learn from their mistakes. They just try to blame them on someone else, as is the case here. 

Posted by: Bob Munck at September 29, 2007 09:43 AM (n0BzT)

65 Here's the current story:

But new details released this week portray a more complicated picture of the delay, which actually lasted about 9 1/2 hours and was caused primarily by legal wrangling between the Justice Department and intelligence officials over whether authorities had probable cause to begin the surveillance.

Justice officials also spent nearly two hours trying to reach then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to authorize the emergency wiretap. He was in Texasappearing before a gathering of U.S. attorneys.

Someone said above that I was disputing the Director of National Intelligence. I guess I was; turns out he lied to Congress about the situation. Actually, it was easy to tell that he was lying; he was a Republican and his lips were moving.

Posted by: Bob Munck at September 29, 2007 10:02 AM (n0BzT)

66 But new details released this week
portray a more complicated picture of the delay, which actually lasted
about 9 1/2 hours and was caused primarily by legal wrangling between
the
Justice Department and intelligence officials over whether authorities had probable cause to begin the surveillance.

Here's the point moron, there should be no doubt that probable cause is not remotely an issue when the people to be surveiled aren't in the US. Who has muddied this water? Democrats.

Again, answer me this, if the law was as crystal clear as you and the terrorist enablers in Congress claim, why did the Democrats change the law after this case to reflect what anyone with a modicum of brains knows it should be?

Posted by: Wesley Clark at September 29, 2007 10:21 AM (hlYel)

67 Ah shit, I left that jackasses name on.

Posted by: Drew at September 29, 2007 10:22 AM (hlYel)

68

This has to be the most fornicated war when a rescue operation in theater has to be vetted past the lawyers.


Do any of these people know (1) "exigent circumstances" and (2) "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission"?  I learned (1) that first year in law school and (2) my first year working post-high school for a city government.


Or is 'Dirty Harry' verboten in the US?


Posted by: Richard Stengal, TIME Magazine at September 29, 2007 01:20 PM (kAnhF)

69

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Democrats' new tactic to defeat the FISA legislation - a Plan B, so to speak.  They want to eliminate immunity for telecom companies, so they will be afraid to participate with the government in pursing wiretap info.


If immunity isn't added, the telecoms could go bankrupt because of civil litigation. And it has to be retroactively enacted.


Posted by: ConservativeBelle at September 29, 2007 03:08 PM (/v6Id)

70

Good job guys, You are lawyering shit.


"Bottom line: the law of the land allowed them to start surveillance immediately "


WRONG! retard.


I'm sorry, but you are wrong so wrong that a twice dropout, 1 time court-martialed fool knows that you are so wrong, that if wrong had a bitch, you would be that bitch.


 


Really, it takes a lot of effort to be that stupid, and to be the wrong.


Posted by: Wickedpinto at September 30, 2007 12:10 AM (QTv8u)

71 Really, I don't know how its "conservative" to allow the government to spy on everyone's communications without having to justify it even after the fact, and come up with a manipulative and false story to try to sell it.

A lot of this is just cowardice: you're so frightened of the scary terrists that you'll give up the Bill of Rights to "conserve" your sorry asses.

Posted by: icus at September 30, 2007 04:59 AM (OTNlI)

72 In other words, they had 72 hours after beginning surveillance to obtain approval

Logic much, stupid?

I bolded the part for you so it would become clear that if the AG/DOJ don't know in advance it will be approved, there is no point in engaging in the surveillance as it will be ordered to cease. Then what happens?

Well,
no information obtained or evidence derived from such surveillance shall be received in evidence or otherwise disclosed in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, office, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the United States, a State, or political subdivision thereof

Can you grasp this yet imbecile?

or he would have appointed an Acting AG with the authority to make the decision.

Uh, that would be illegal.

Nice job, dumbass.

Posted by: Jay at September 30, 2007 05:35 AM (4svNr)

73 that you'll give up the Bill of Rights

What is most comical about this idiotic statement is that every single court ruling on the matter, including ones packed with liberal justices, has said this isn't a 4th amendment issue, it's a seperation of powers one.

In other words, you're a complete ignorant moron.

SMITH v. MARYLAND, 442 U.S. 735 (1979)

We therefore conclude that petitioner in all probability entertained no actual expectation of privacy in the phone numbers he dialed, and that, even if he did, his expectation was not "legitimate." The installation and use of a pen register, [442 U.S. 735, 746] consequently, was not a "search," and no warrant was required. The judgment of the Maryland Court of Appeals is affirmed.

Posted by: Jay at September 30, 2007 05:42 AM (4svNr)

74 I bolded the part for you so it would become clear that if the AG/DOJ
don't know in advance it will be approved, there is no point in
engaging in the surveillance


If they don't know in advance that it will be approved?  That makes no sense. How could they ever know for certain that it would be approved?  You're saying that there's no point in wiretapping in the hopes of being able to free three kidnapped soldiers because there's a chance that it wouldn't be approved?  I'd think you would go ahead with the tap even if it seemed unlikely to be approved, because it's still better than doing nothing.

"or he would have appointed an Acting AG with the authority to make the decision."




Uh, that would be illegal.


It's illegal to appoint an Acting Attorney General?  Did Ashcroft know this when he appointed Comey Acting AG before going in for surgery?

Jay, you need to learn that name-calling isn't a very effective form of argument. I realize it's pretty much all you've got; your logic and grasp of the meanings of words seems pretty scanty. Wickedpinto has much the same problem, but his posts are so incoherent that it's hard to tell. Might I suggest a community college course in effective rhetoric?

Posted by: Bob Munck at September 30, 2007 06:39 AM (n0BzT)

75 t's illegal to appoint an Acting Attorney General? Did Ashcroft know this when he appointed Comey Acting AG before going in for surgery?

Nice apples to oranges comparison you illiterate jackass.

If they don't know in advance that it will be approved? That makes no sense.

Really? You think so? You mean you are shocked that a Democratic Congress would write such a statute?

I'd think you would go ahead with the tap even if it seemed unlikely to be approved, because it's still better than doing nothing.

Nice to see you on record for lawbreaking.

ay, you need to learn that name-calling isn't a very effective form of argument. I realize it's pretty much all you've got; your logic and grasp of the meanings of words seems pretty scanty.

Calling you a moron isn't "namecalling" it's a factual statement.

Posted by: Jay at September 30, 2007 07:26 AM (4svNr)

76 You're saying that there's no point in wiretapping in the hopes of being able to free three kidnapped soldiers because there's a chance that it wouldn't be approved?

No dumbass, I'm saying FISA can't encroach on the President's powers and to the extent it does, it is to be ignored. But silly idiots like you are too busy assigning blame to "wingnuts" rather than realizing the blame lies with your ignorant ideology in insisting that such laws be put into place in the first place.

Posted by: Jay at September 30, 2007 07:28 AM (4svNr)

77 I don't know how its "conservative" to allow the government to spy on everyone's communications

Icus...not "everyone's"...just people who are outside the jurisdiction of the US. They have zero, none, nada expectation of 4th Amendment protection. Just because the server their emails go through are in the US doesn't magically give these people the same rights as citizens. And computer servers and telecom switchers don't have rights...well, they didn't until a Democratic Congress gave it to them.

Nice job.

And Munck, for the 3rd time...if the law was a crystal fucking clear as you say why did the Democratic controlled Congress change it to reflect what anyone with half a brian knows it should have been all along?  If the law was as you claim there was no need to change it, was there?

I don't expect you or any  of your terrorist enabling brethren to answer that question (again) because there is no answer consistent with your position.

Posted by: Drew at September 30, 2007 08:02 AM (hlYel)

78
Nice apples to oranges comparison


Ashcroft was going to be unavailable for some period, so he appointed Comey Acting AG.  If Gonzales was going to be unavailable, he could have done likewise. There's nothing "apples and oranges" about it. Gonzales certainly knew that situations like this could arise where he would have to be reached immediately to make an authorization, but apparently he couldn't even be bothered to carry a cell phone.  It took them two hours to reach him; that's just pure irresponsible incompetence, nothing to do with what laws may or may not have existed.

why did the Democratic controlled Congress change it to reflect what
anyone with half a brian knows it should have been all along?


You claim that they changed it "to say that warrants weren't required in cases where the parties aren't in the US but the tap is." Warrants weren't a consideration in the delay; they spent all their time trying to get in touch with Gonzales and arguing about whether they had probable cause.  Soldier's lives were at stake; they should have gone ahead with the tap even if there was a possibility that they would be turned down by FISA later.  The law allowed them to do that, but they didn't. I don't know why they didn't; my guess is that they feared that they would be personally embarrassed and made to look incompetent if the court had ruled that they didn't have probable cause.  That threat weighed more heavily on them than the danger to the kidnapped soldiers.

The fact that Congress changed the law is purely a red herring on your part.  Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said that the law allowed them to begin the wiretap immediately but they chose not to do so. 

Posted by: Bob Munck at September 30, 2007 09:53 AM (n0BzT)

79 Take it up with the NSA Munck.

By 10:52 a.m., the NSA had notified the Justice Department it would need a FISA order for some of it.

At
12:53 p.m., the NSA general counsel agreed that all the requirements
for an emergency FISA authorization existed. The attorney general makes
the authorization.

Obviously a warrant was an issue and who made it an issue? Republicans? Certainly not. Democrats did and they want to change it back!

Look at what Jerrold Nadler says about the changes in the law:

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the subcommittee on the
Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, called the effort a
troubling "charm offensive."

"Let's have some truth in
advertising. The act gives the president almost unfettered power to spy
without judicial approval -- not only on foreigners but on Americans,"
Nadler said.

Yep, the Democrats are strong, tough and responsible on security. Dream on ass.

Posted by: Drew at September 30, 2007 10:56 AM (hlYel)

80 Obviously a warrant was an issue and who made it an issue?

I said that the warrant wasn't a consideration in the delay.  After screwing around for 12 hours with their own bureaucracy, they had 72 hours after beginning the tap to get the request for a retroactive warrant into the FISA court.  If they'd had the competence to start the tap immediately, they still would have beat the FISA deadline by 60 hours. That 12-hour delay is what everybody is complaining about; they could have started the tap 12 hours earlier, and it might well have made a difference in the outcome. Your continued attempts to shift the blame to Democrats just doesn't have any basis in the facts of the case.

Posted by: Bob Munck at September 30, 2007 03:13 PM (n0BzT)

81 I said that the warrant wasn't a consideration in the delay.

Yes, I know you said that. You were wrong then and you are wrong now.

They needed to get the approval of the AG to waive the FISA requirement and start collecting within the 72 hour window. The problem is, as the USA Today article states, they still had to make a showing to the AG that they had reason to suspect these guys were relevant:

By the time officials obtained the legal permission for the tap, it was
no longer useful, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell told
the House Intelligence Committee. The officials had to show that the
target likely was a foreign agent and get the attorney general's
approval, which is why it took so long, he said.

...
"It took time (to begin the tap)," McConnell
said, because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) required
intelligence agents to first demonstrate to the U.S. attorney general
that the target was likely an agent of a foreign power.


Surveillance of foreigners overseas does not
always require such an assurance. However, many foreign calls pass
through U.S. telecommunications networks, requiring the attorney
general's approval.


McConnell called the requirement, which has been temporarily eliminated, "burdensome."



You just don't just call the AG and say, 'Hey Al is this okay?
Great, thanks.' You have to offer him some proof about who and why you
are monitoring. First, it took time to figure out if these guys triggered the FISA
requirements. Once they decided they did, they had to build a case to
present to the AG and then get a decision from him. Why is this so hard
for you to understand? Are you stupid or a shill? Granted they are not
mutually exclusive.

Look at what Nadler said, he thinks the temporary law which eliminated this BS gives intelligence agencies too much authority. You guys are simply not credible on this issue.



Posted by: Drew at September 30, 2007 04:33 PM (hlYel)

82 Munck,

Let me break this into small pieces for you.

You and the Dems keep going on about the 72 hour window before you have to get a warrant. Do you realize that doesn't mean the NSA or the CIA or the DNI can just willy nilly monitor people for 72 hours? They can't. Before the monitorinig and that clock starts ticking they have to get a waiver from the AG. You get that right?

Posted by: Drew at September 30, 2007 04:36 PM (hlYel)

83 Before the monitorinig and that clock starts ticking they have to get a waiver from the AG.

And they're all on the same team. This isn't a skeptical judge intent on defending the rule of law against overzealous prosecution. It's Gonzales; he likes wiretapping. He's going to accept the word of his subordinates and compatriots with no more than "Are you sure?"  In fact, if some of the people coming to him work for him (FBI, etc.), that's what he should do; trust his subordinates.  Again, USA Today said:

"It seems like an issue of command," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes,
D-Texas, the panel
[House Intelligence Committee] chairman. Getting approval for such emergency
wiretaps should take "only a few minutes" and "one phone call," Reyes
said, citing Harvard University law professor James Baker, a former
Justice Department surveillance specialist.

An interesting point in the AP timeline you pointed to: 

On May 15, intelligence agents met at 10 a.m. to discuss collecting
additional intelligence. By 10:52 a.m., the NSA had notified the
Justice Department it would need a FISA order for some of it.

...
[5:30pm], the OIPR attorney on duty attempted to reach the
solicitor general, Paul D. Clement, who in Gonzales' absence was acting
attorney general. Clement had left for the day. [emphasis added]


Another two hours passed when Justice Department officials had trouble
tracking down Alberto Gonzales, then the attorney general. He was
speaking at a conference of U.S. attorneys in Texas.


Nearly two hours later, at 7:18 p.m., Gonzales authorized the requested
surveillance. The FBI was notified, and at 7:28 p.m., the FBI notified
intelligence agencies and personnel of the approval. Surveillance began
at 7:38 p.m.

So they couldn't even reach the acting AG because, with three US soldiers in the hands of insurgents, he'd gone home at 5:30.  What a bunch of doofuses. Note that getting the authorization from Gonzales took no time at all once they managed to reach him.

Posted by: Bob Munck at October 01, 2007 06:02 AM (n0BzT)

84 Not surprisingly, you continue to miss the point.

You can go on and on and on (and you have) about how this should have take 8 seconds and not 9 hours but whether you like it or not, it did.  There were hurdles to jump through. So here's how you make sure that it doesn't even take 8 seconds from now on...remove any and all requirements for intelligence officials to get any legal  permissions from the AG or a court to tap the phones or monitor the internet communications of foreigners outside the jurisdiction of the US.

Problem solved. Will you join me in supporting that common sense procedure to make sure this never happens again?

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