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View Full Version : ACLU sues the DOD to expose government spying on Iraq war opponents


jAZ
06-15-2006, 10:41 PM
http://www.wired.com/news/wireservice/0,71160-0.html?tw=rss.index

Reuters 18:15 PM Jun, 14, 2006

PHILADELPHIA -- The American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. Defense Department Wednesday to demand information it says the government has collected on groups opposed to the war in Iraq.

The group says the Pentagon has been monitoring antiwar groups and individuals and has compiled lists on people it sees as potential threats but who the ACLU says are exercising their free-speech rights.

The suit was the ACLU's first attempt to force the Pentagon to disclose domestic surveillance and followed similar suits by the organization against the FBI and the Justice Department.

"It's absolutely improper for the U.S. military to keep databases on lawful First Amendment activities," said ACLU attorney Ben Wizner. "These are peaceful, law-abiding groups and individuals that oppose U.S. war policy but pose no threat to the military."

The ACLU said the Defense Department shared the information with other government agencies through the database, known as the Threat and Local Observation Notice, or Talon.

A Pentagon spokeswoman said the Defense Department never commented on pending lawsuits.

In April, the Pentagon said a review found it had collected data on U.S. peace activists and discovered that about 260 entries in the Talon database should not have been kept there or should have been removed.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for eastern Pennsylvania, charges the Pentagon is refusing to comply with requests by the ACLU to declare who had been monitored.

The ACLU filed the requests after learning through an NBC News report of Pentagon surveillance of peace groups.

The ACLU has also challenged President Bush's order authorizing the National Security Agency to tap into private phone calls without court permission.

The latest suit is filed on behalf of some 30 groups, including the Americans Friends Service Committee, also known as the Quakers.

stevieray
06-15-2006, 10:51 PM
The US sucks! get on board, before it's too late!

Logical
06-15-2006, 11:02 PM
The US sucks! get on board, before it's too late!

Sarcasm is better when the issue is less serious. While you may not be concerned about spying on our own citizens many people take it seriously and not just as paranoia.

Pitt Gorilla
06-15-2006, 11:38 PM
Sarcasm is better when the issue is less serious. While you may not be concerned about spying on our own citizens many people take it seriously and not just as paranoia.He's not worried about his privacy; he has nothing to hide.

stevieray
06-15-2006, 11:50 PM
He's not worried about his privacy; he has nothing to hide.

STFU

Pitt Gorilla
06-15-2006, 11:53 PM
STFU
ROFL

stevieray
06-15-2006, 11:54 PM
Sarcasm is better when the issue is less serious. While you may not be concerned about spying on our own citizens many people take it seriously and not just as paranoia.

I'll be more concerned about "spying" when americans stop giving them a reason to.

stevieray
06-15-2006, 11:54 PM
ROFL


weak

Logical
06-16-2006, 12:45 AM
I'll be more concerned about "spying" when americans stop giving them a reason to.

Just curious, do you believe vocal protestors deserve to be spied upon, given no other cause?

jAZ
06-16-2006, 12:55 AM
...when americans stop giving them a reason to.
God forbid your object to and then publicly protest the Iraq war.

Taco John
06-16-2006, 02:10 AM
The US sucks! get on board, before it's too late!



Translated: The Constitution Sucks! Let's let the government piss on it as much as they want because I believe Jesus is coming soon anyway to take me to a magical place where I don't have to worry about yew libbies!

the Talking Can
06-16-2006, 06:19 AM
I'll be more concerned about "spying" when americans stop giving them a reason to.

****...that is a scary response....adios freedoms, adios privacy...long live the King

Radar Chief
06-16-2006, 06:56 AM
Just curious, do you believe vocal protestors deserve to be spied upon, given no other cause?

Are you sure thatís the case here?
All we have so far is this one article makeín the claims. :shrug:
I personally donít have a problem with the ďwire tapínĒ as long as justifiable cause can be established.
I also donít have a problem with the ACLU takeín the gubment to task over it.

Cochise
06-16-2006, 09:04 AM
The ACLU claiming some clandestine conspiracy doesn't really disturb me much. They are of course a moonbat organization. They line up with NAMBLA and make all kinds of outragous claims regularly. I have a tendency to disbelieve what they say instinctively.

But the "if you aren't doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about" policy is a crock.

I'm not one of these tinfoil retards who thinks George Bush wants to keep a log of everyone's activity and shove a spy camera up everyone's ass, but you can't use the standard that only lawbreakers are in peril or eventually somewhere down the road there will be no privacy left.

No one lines up in the sane middle on this it seems.

You can't give the government all the powers it wants. But you can't throw a temper tantrum and claim police state every time the government can do ONE thing it couldn't do before.

The sane thing would be to give them new powers that they need, within reason, to give them greater ability to fight this new type of threat. With adequate Congressional and Judicial review of new laws, and periodic review once they are enacted. Let the system do its job.

Nobody seems interested in sanity though. Everyone is a chatty cathy here... some say "OMG BUSH HAS A CAMERA IN MY SHOWERZ!" and others say "OMG STFU TERRERIST!".

Is there any common sense left, or are people so polarized that common sense died with a whimper 5 years ago?

jiveturkey
06-16-2006, 09:29 AM
I am of the belief that our government could have prevented the attacks if the FBI and CIA weren't breathing through their mouths at the time. I also feel that some adjustment to the way these two agencies communicate would solve a lot of the previous problems. An increase in the number of agents assigned to this threat would also help. It will take time to change gears from the Cold War mentality to the current threat but I expect big things from my government.

A lot of the changes that have occured have been over reaching and seem to fall into the category of knee jerk.

Can anyone tell me how the Patriot Act and everything else that's been altered could have prevented the attacks?

Pitt Gorilla
06-16-2006, 11:29 AM
I personally donít have a problem with the ďwire tapínĒ as long as justifiable cause can be established.
I also donít have a problem with the ACLU takeín the gubment to task over it.I agree completely. I've never understood all of the hatred for an organization that fights for civil liberties.

patteeu
06-16-2006, 01:19 PM
Sarcasm is better when the issue is less serious. While you may not be concerned about spying on our own citizens many people take it seriously and not just as paranoia.

Is it really spying if they are collecting public domain information? I'm not saying I'm OK with this particular database as I'll have to have more information to decide, but I'm curious where you'd draw the line.

alanm
06-18-2006, 11:38 PM
I'll take the DOD and the points.

stevieray
06-19-2006, 08:41 AM
The sane thing would be to give them new powers that they need, within reason, to give them greater ability to fight this new type of threat. With adequate Congressional and Judicial review of new laws, and periodic review once they are enacted. Let the system do its job.


I agree.

stevieray
06-19-2006, 08:49 AM
****...that is a scary response....adios freedoms, adios privacy...long live the King

We've been losing freedoms for quite sometime. Are you free to board an airplane without going through metal detectors? Having your luggage x-rayed? Are you free to go shopping without being watched? Free to pump your gas without paying first? Free to apply for certain employment without being drug tested?

Logical
06-19-2006, 09:36 AM
We've been losing freedoms for quite sometime. Are you free to board an airplane without going through metal detectors? Having your luggage x-rayed? Are you free to go shopping without being watched? Free to pump your gas without paying first? Free to apply for certain employment without being drug tested?

Is this post supposed to reassure us?ROFL

Logical
06-19-2006, 09:37 AM
Is it really spying if they are collecting public domain information? I'm not saying I'm OK with this particular database as I'll have to have more information to decide, but I'm curious where you'd draw the line.When you are the NSA everything is public domain.;)

stevieray
06-19-2006, 09:40 AM
Is this post supposed to reassure us?ROFL


nothing can reassure those who are looking for someone to blame.

Logical
06-19-2006, 09:57 AM
nothing can reassure those who are looking for someone to blame.

Blame? I am looking to stop the erosion in our rights, establishing blame is a simple but fruitless exercise. I give the ACLU credit they are at least taking a stance that might slow the erosion though it won't halt it. IMO only getting the present administration out of office and overturning the control of all the branches of government can significantly alter the erosion of our freedoms that has steadily encroached upon us, encroachments that are not truly buying any significant safety margins.

By the way paying for gas ahead of time is a business case issue, if people did not drive off without paying that would not have happened. That policy started back in the late 70s when I was working for Quik Trip because people were driving off far to often.

stevieray
06-19-2006, 10:02 AM
Blame? I am looking to stop the erosion in our rights, establishing blame is a simple but fruitless exercise. I give the ACLU credit they are at least taking a stance that might slow the erosion though it won't halt it. IMO only getting the present administration out of office and overturning the control of all the branches of government can significantly alter the erosion of our freedoms that has steadily encroached upon us, encroachments that are not truly buying any significant safety margins.

By the way paying for gas ahead of time is a business case issue, if people did not drive off without paying that would not have happened. That policy started back in the late 70s when I was working for Quik Trip because people were driving off far to often.


our freedoms or the discontinuation of is determined by our own actions.

Mr. Laz
06-19-2006, 10:09 AM
I'll be more concerned about "spying" when americans stop giving them a reason to.
Thank you, Senator McCarthy.

stevieray
06-19-2006, 10:12 AM
Thank you, Senator McCarthy.

You're welcome, Senator Clinton.

;)

Mr. Laz
06-19-2006, 10:42 AM
You're welcome, Senator Clinton.

;)
ROFL

patteeu
06-19-2006, 10:51 AM
IMO only getting the present administration out of office and overturning the control of all the branches of government can significantly alter the erosion of our freedoms that has steadily encroached upon us, encroachments that are not truly buying any significant safety margins.

I don't think you can fall much further than that. To suggest that a government completely controlled by the party of group rights and government enforced outcomes is the answer to a loss of freedom leads me to believe you've hit rock bottom. In a way, I guess that's a silver lining. :p

Bootlegged
06-19-2006, 10:56 AM
"ACLU SUES"

Shocker.

go bowe
06-19-2006, 11:29 AM
I agree completely. I've never understood all of the hatred for an organization that fights for civil liberties.and it's the civil liberties of unpopular, even repulsive groups, because that's where the limits of free speech are most tested...

fighting for the civil liberties of any group, even those detested by the majority (or should i say especially those groups) is a noble and worthwhile endeavor...

people sometimes confuse the representation of unpopular groups with supporting the group's goals...

what the aclu is actually representing are the rights guaranteed to all by the constitution...

even though i find many of their clients to be personally repugnant, i can still appreciate and even admire the work that the aclu does on behalf of our freedoms...

go bowe
06-19-2006, 11:32 AM
Is it really spying if they are collecting public domain information? I'm not saying I'm OK with this particular database as I'll have to have more information to decide, but I'm curious where you'd draw the line.spying?

not if it's all public domain information...

but big brother(ing)?

yes, uncomfortably so...

go bowe
06-19-2006, 11:35 AM
I'll take the DOD and the points.ROFL ROFL ROFL

probably a safe bet, but you never know with all these conservative judges on the bench nowadays... :Poke:

go bowe
06-19-2006, 11:42 AM
We've been losing freedoms for quite sometime. Are you free to board an airplane without going through metal detectors? Having your luggage x-rayed? Are you free to go shopping without being watched? Free to pump your gas without paying first? Free to apply for certain employment without being drug tested?being free from reasonable legal and governmental regulation and/or private standards of conduct are not the same as "freedoms" which emante from the constitution...

free speech is a "freedom"...

doing whatever you want is not a "freedom"...

free exercise of religion is a freedom...

flying is not...

being in public without being observed and even followed by others is not... (but stalking is illegal)

not having to prepay is not...

not having to take a drug test for employment is not...

those are all conduct that is reasonably regulated within the bounds of law, but they are not freedoms per se...

Logical
06-19-2006, 11:46 AM
our freedoms or the discontinuation of is determined by our own actions.
Stevieray what is up with your sudden turn to slogan-eering. It seems mostly pointless and if you truly believe we can stop the erosion why don't you give some examples of how you personally have done so. I am sure we would all like to know your secret.

patteeu
06-19-2006, 11:48 AM
spying?

not if it's all public domain information...

but big brother(ing)?

yes, uncomfortably so...

I tend to agree with that although where to draw the line is always the difficult part. Obviously, we wouldn't prevent DOD personell from monitoring the newspapers. Allowing them to compile a database might be over the line although that's exactly what Able Danger was about and some are critical because we didn't pay enough attention to that program to stop 9/11. (Most of those critics seem to be on the right though IIRC).

penchief
06-19-2006, 12:05 PM
our freedoms or the discontinuation of is determined by our own actions.

Exactly. And if we lay down and roll over like some people are willing to do this goverment will continue to take our rights and our prosperity away. It's not about blaming others; it's about standing up when you believe something isn't right.

It's obvious that some people have been well indoctrinated into the con school of thought and distortion. But, you can't have it both ways. Those who exercise their free speech rights are not looking for someone else to blame, they are doing their civic duty. They are not whining, they are trying to prevent the inevitable results that lay at the end of this road that the administration has eagerly taken us down.

I think you are contradicting yourself by criticizing those of us who speak out against what this administration has done and then turn around and say that it is our own fault that we're letting them get away with it. Well, some of us are trying to do something about it. Do you suggest armed insurrection? What is your point?

I didn't fly an airplane into the Twin Towers so I don't know why the hell I have to give up all my freedoms and my privacy while bin Laden is still living large. Do you think I should cede my constitutional rights just because a bunch of business-suits who financed their way into power want to turn our democracy into their own little operation? I don't have to buy their line of bullshit like some of you have.

So which is it? Are those Americans who are speaking out against the erosion of our civil liberties a bunch of whiners looking to blame someone else or are they at fault for sitting back and allowing this administration to trample the consitution, our freedom & privacy, and the checks and balances that have guarded our democracy thus far?

penchief
06-19-2006, 04:19 PM
and it's the civil liberties of unpopular, even repulsive groups, because that's where the limits of free speech are most tested...

fighting for the civil liberties of any group, even those detested by the majority (or should i say especially those groups) is a noble and worthwhile endeavor...

people sometimes confuse the representation of unpopular groups with supporting the group's goals...

what the aclu is actually representing are the rights guaranteed to all by the constitution...

even though i find many of their clients to be personally repugnant, i can still appreciate and even admire the work that the aclu does on behalf of our freedoms...

Well stated. I personally find Rush Limbaugh repugnant for making his living off the slurring of other people. However, my dislike for someone should not override my regard for justice or fairness.

IMO, this is why your comments are right on the money. The ACLU stands by a principle that cannot give a precedence to prejudice. It must treat the merit of all cases as equal without regard to the client's name or reputation. If they didn't, they would be undermining their own fundamental beliefs. Therefore, they are an easy target for those who like to use morality, emotional ploys, and prejudice to dishonestly paint their advesaries in a negative light.

I'll take the ACLU over Rush Limbaugh anyday. On one hand, we have Rush who from the start badmouthed or pissed on the ACLU for his own personal gain but didn't hesitate to solicit their help when he needed them. On the other hand, we have the ACLU that gets badmouthed and pissed on by an ignorant schmuck who makes a living off of badmouthing and pissing on people, AND YET, the ACLU defends him without hesitation.

It's not hard to see which one has class and which one is a hypocritical weasel when looking at that situation.