Thursday, December 22, 2005
It’s Legal (For Us) To Break The Law
Ever since the days of the Nixon Presidency the radical right has been paranoid of everyone that doesn’t profess an allegiance for and adhere to their narrow minded definition of America. Over the years it has developed into a pathological state of mind that is not only consuming them but eating away at the very fabric of our society. It is no better exemplified than in their obsession to gather as much information as possible about any and everyone that they (extreme right) consider enemies. To this end they have used every means possible to enhance their intelligence gathering of those perceived enemies. It is done under the cover of darkness and secrecy then when their crimes and misdeeds come to light they first deny all, then they scream, National Security, National Security!!
Now once again the radical right finds itself exposed for breaking the law. They have already begun their denials of it wasn’t illegal but if it was it was for America’s own good. You know the drill it is the doublethink ploy of hate is love or war is peace. They use a variation for most everything they do.
One of the main defenses cited for we weren’t guilty of illegal spying on American citizens was the November 18, 2002 ruling by the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. This was an appeal by the Federal Government of a unanimous FISC ruling in May 2002 that upheld restrictions on government spying. The government was determined to undermine the law, so they filed the first appeal of a ruling under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FICA) of 1978 in 23 years and 15,000 cases. The law states that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is to pick 3 Federal judges to sit on a 3 man Court of Review. Usually the Chief Justice picks a bi-partisan court, but in this case Chief Justice Rehnquist picked 3 Republican judges that were appointed by Ronald Reagan, including the ultra right extremist Laurence Silberman who was one of the main attack dogs in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. The radical right didn’t want a majority opinion, they wanted a unanimous decision and they got it.
In their decision the Court of Review cited the case of Truong vs. the United States as supporting the Presidential power of ordering unwarranted surveillance. There is the problem that Truong was before the passage of FICA which limited government spying, but so much for facts, er, technicalities. And there still is the problem that the larger bi-partisan court originally voted unanimously (7-0) against that power.
The extreme right also has tried to use selective parts of FICA under the United States Code to justify Bush’s excesses. They site TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1802. In part it says, “Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year.” However they neglect to include the following,
“(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party.”
The radical right also has said that Congress set conditions of war and therefore that expands the President’s power. Obviously they haven’t read TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1811 which says in its entirety, “Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.”
Considering all this, is it possible that the mid-term elections might be about impeachment?
The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To
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