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Old 04-28-2006, 10:28 PM  
the Talking Can the Talking Can is offline
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Bush is King, part...uh, part 43,567?

Feds Drop Bomb on EFF Lawsuit

The federal government intends to invoke the rarely used "State Secrets Privilege" -- the legal equivalent of a nuclear bomb -- in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's class action lawsuit against AT&T that alleges the telecom collaborated with the government's secret spying on American citizens.

The State Secrets Privilege is a vestige from English common law that lets the executive branch step into a civil lawsuit and have it dismissed if the case might reveal information that puts national security at risk.

Today's assertion severely darkens the prospects of the EFF's lawsuit, which the organization had hoped would shine light on the extent of the Bush Administration's admitted warrantless spying on Americans.

The government is not admitting, however, that AT&T aided the National Security Agency in spying on American's phone calls and internet communications.

"[T]he fact that the United States will assert the state secrets privilege should
not be construed as a confirmation or denial of any of Plaintiffs¿ allegations, either about AT&T or the alleged surveillance activities," the filing reads. "When allegations are made about purported classified government activities or relationships, regardless of whether those allegations are accurate, the existence or non-existence of the activity or relationship is potentially a state secret."

The Justice Department has not formally invoked the privilege yet.

Today's notice was intended to inform Northern California US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker that the government was intending to assert the privilege in order to seek dismissal of the case.

The complete paperwork justifying the government's decision will be filed by May 12.

Full filing (.pdf)

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Old 04-28-2006, 10:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Talking Can
The government is not admitting, however, that AT&T aided the National Security Agency in spying on American's phone calls and internet communications.

"[T]he fact that the United States will assert the state secrets privilege should not be construed as a confirmation or denial of any of Plaintiffs allegations, either about AT&T or the alleged surveillance activities," the filing reads.


I think patteeu is working as an atty for the Bush Administration. He applies such laughable spin all the time.
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Old 04-29-2006, 09:34 AM   #3
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Who'd have ever guessed that, during a war, our government has national security secrets to protect?
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
Who'd have ever guessed that, during a war, our government has national security secrets to protect?

And who would have thought Ma Bell, er, AT&T would be in the middle of those secrets.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:12 AM   #5
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Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Article Tools

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.....etc....

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Old 04-30-2006, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
Who'd have ever guessed that, during a war, our government has national security secrets to protect?
what secrets?....the real location of the WMDs? the hotel room Osama is staying in?...or illegal warantless wire tapping of American citizens and political enemies?

I bet you believe politicians caught lying when they say "I forgot."

How much energy does it take to pretend to be this dumb? A granola bar's worth or a Chinese buffet's worth?
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:15 AM   #7
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patteeu,
We'd have to "Declare War" for the prez' to have such powers...and even then some of Bush's claims are not valid.

"War on Terror" is more like "War on Drugs" and "War on Poverty."
Bush also cited the UN Resolutions legitimizing "military action" ( peacekeeping action) as his basis for using conventional state "warfare" to fight what is not a conventional state war and which will not handle it. Technically and legally that's not "war" under our Constitution...it's "military action." He only uses the word "war" as a rhetorical device...but not in the "legal" sense.

Very slippery slope imo.
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:01 AM   #8
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If you think that all of these wars are bad then just wait a year or so until this administration declares war on the devil.
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
patteeu,
We'd have to "Declare War" for the prez' to have such powers...and even then some of Bush's claims are not valid.

"War on Terror" is more like "War on Drugs" and "War on Poverty."
Bush also cited the UN Resolutions legitimizing "military action" ( peacekeeping action) as his basis for using conventional state "warfare" to fight what is not a conventional state war and which will not handle it. Technically and legally that's not "war" under our Constitution...it's "military action." He only uses the word "war" as a rhetorical device...but not in the "legal" sense.

Very slippery slope imo.
I don't disagree with you that declarations of war should be more explicit and it's a constitutional travesty that they've been largely abandoned for the past half century, but that's not something that happened under the Bush administration. In fact, what did happen under the Bush administration is that Congress authorized "the use of force" against those who attacked us on 9/11 which is as close to a declaration of war as you can get without explicitly using those words. I'm not sure why it should be considered constitutionally inadequate. There is no requirement in the Constitution that a declaration of war use specific terms of art or take a specific form.

The War on Terror is a real war. In some ways, it is like the War on Drugs because the drug war does involve some military action, but it is completely unlike the War on Poverty. You might not like the label that's been attached to this war, but the label doesn't change the nature of the conflict. There are no Predator-launched air-to-surface missiles in the War on Poverty.

Where does the requirement that our enemy be a state for our actions to constitute a real war come from?
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
Very slippery slope imo.
Not really, more like brilliant propaganda for the sounbyte society we have become.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
Where does the requirement that our enemy be a state for our actions to constitute a real war come from?
Maybe the fact that waging war against an ideal, concept, or methodology?

War on Terror?

Maybe somebody should define the actual TARGET of this war. Targeting "terror" is retarded.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
I don't disagree with you that declarations of war should be more explicit and it's a constitutional travesty that they've been largely abandoned for the past half century, but that's not something that happened under the Bush administration.
Well that's true. I posted earlier this has to do with our treaty with the UN authorizing "use of force" or "military action" for global peacekeeping or police actions. Korea & Nam were done under SEATO which was under the auspices of the UN as a policekeeping action. Hence, the lack of a "declare" there as well.

It was after WWII that we ceased invoking the Constitution and declaring war. Don't know if you saw the other thread on this with the Federalist Society link in it or not?

This just drags us into internationalism and globaloney.

Believe me I don't just hold Bush accountable on this. I do feel that Congress, both sides of the aisle, have shirked their responsibility here and, as you pointed out a bad precedent was set earlier. Just as many Dems are responsible. Even Sen. Daschle (D.-S. Dak.) said he wanted to be "included, consulted, and [wants] to work with the administration"– not that the president lacks the authority unilaterally to wage war on Iraq.

Without a formal declare, and a prez deciding first, means it can also be labeled as "Bush's" war just as Nam was labeled "LBJ's." That creates a political problem for a leader. Congress will blame and doesn't have to take responsibility for it either.

However the way Bush has used this has brought it to a whole new level because we initiated the aggression against a nation, that had nothing to do with 9/11, our security and which indeed got rid of it's WMD...everything that resolution claimed. That resolution is full of false reports and lies and as such is a fraudulent document.

All these precedents have concentrated more power in the Exec branch unfortunately. Bush is upping the ante using terror to do so.

Quote:
In fact, what did happen under the Bush administration is that Congress authorized "the use of force" against those who attacked us on 9/11 which is as close to a declaration of war as you can get without explicitly using those words.
This is it right here. Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

It is still only a "resolution" though, NOT a "Declaration of War." In other words Congress has to formally "declare" that a "state of war" exists between the US and Iraq. This state did not exist. What the resolution is saying, if you read the link, is that our military is going to enforce earlier UN Resolutions. WTF? So it strengthen's the UN 's mission. It just didn't have the Security Council vote.

As a traditional conservative, not a NeoConservative, I refuse to carry out the mandates of the UN, for our men and women to die for such a corrupt organization and be it's world cop. I know it sorta tosses in our security too but it's like it has to as a second thought since that was the emotional argument used on the people.

Also, that resolution is mere formality... a feel good thing so Congress doesn't feel left out. Our UN Treaty and UN Participation act took care of that. It's not supposed to be like that. Congress is supposed to seek information from the Executive branch and debate, ponder, weigh and examine that information and it alone has the authority to decide if we are to go to war in order to allow the Executive to be the Commander in Chief to "make" war. Bush already did Congress' job. Framers specifically went back and forth on this issue, and decided it was Congress' exclusive right.

There is no such "Declaration of War" in that resolution. It calls for "Use of Military Force."

The president can lay out a case requiring a need to go to war but that's it as far as a decision goes. Once declared the Framers gave him full powers to carry it out as war is better suited to being run by a single individual than a committee.

Quote:
I'm not sure why it should be considered constitutionally inadequate. There is no requirement in the Constitution that a declaration of war use specific terms of art or take a specific form.
It calls exactly for Congress to "declare" war:
Article 1, Section8 Clause 11

One can also read the notes of the Framers at the convention which clearly supports this intepretation as their intent. There are more subsections on this pursuant to congress' role as well.

Quote:
The War on Terror is a real war. In some ways, it is like the War on Drugs because the drug war does involve some military action, but it is completely unlike the War on Poverty. You might not like the label that's been attached to this war, but the label doesn't change the nature of the conflict. There are no Predator-launched air-to-surface missiles in the War on Poverty.
Well I did not mean it in a literal sense. I meant that it was designed to fail like the other wars...as it's against a method of fighting, or a concept like "poverty" and "drugs" none of which will end by the gov't waging a war on them. It is also vague, general and ill-defined with no end.

Other BENEFITS of a formal "Declaration of War":
• it defines a specific enemy ( as in a "who" not a concept)
• makes war a more open and shut cause of action as it's a "war" with a beginning and an end.
• The first two points make it winnable.
It's these endless no-win wars that have not had this. Of course, Rummy is saying it may never end...so this is perfect for him.

Just look at that Resolution too. Chock full o' generalities such as:
"take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations." So now we're handling all terrorists? WTF? There are over 800 terrorists groups on earth. There's no intention for this to end and such a goal is not winnable. I think we've become drunk on our Cold War success.

Quote:
Where does the requirement that our enemy be a state for our actions to constitute a real war come from?
Well, that wasn't my point with that line. My point was more that we are using conventional nation-state warfare for a hit-n'-run terrorist group which is not run or supported by a nation state. In the case of Afghanistan, the Taliban did not sponsor alQaeda but alQaeda sponsored it...so that was legit imo.

We need to abandon the "War on Terror" and refocus back on the"War with alQaeda" instead of allowing it to be hijacked with demagoguery.

Sorry to be so long. But you asked a lot of questions that I felt, took that to answer where I was coming from. Actually, you and I seem to agree on many other things. But I have never supported going into Iraq or on other aspects of the "War on Terror"...like having a Dept of Homeland Security.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unlurking
Maybe the fact that waging war against an ideal, concept, or methodology?

War on Terror?

Maybe somebody should define the actual TARGET of this war. Targeting "terror" is retarded.
It's been done numerous times. Was it hard for you to figure out who our adversaries were during the cold war?
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu
It's been done numerous times. Was it hard for you to figure out who our adversaries were during the cold war?
At least that was a well-defined "who." If it were just the idea of communism...'er collectivism ( Fabian socialism) has spread inside our country anyway, despite winning the Cold War...which resulted from our being an ally to Stalin in WWII. So even those results were mixed as it made the world, or at least eastern Europe safe for communism.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea
This is it right here. Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

It is still only a "resolution" though, NOT a "Declaration of War." In other words Congress has to formally "declare" that a "state of war" exists between the US and Iraq. This state did not exist. What the resolution is saying, if you read the link, is that our military is going to enforce earlier UN Resolutions. WTF? So it strengthen's the UN 's mission. It just didn't have the Security Council vote.

As a traditional conservative, not a NeoConservative, I refuse to carry out the mandates of the UN, for our men and women to die for such a corrupt organization and be it's world cop. I know it sorta tosses in our security too but it's like it has to as a second thought since that was the emotional argument used on the people.

Also, that resolution is mere formality... a feel good thing so Congress doesn't feel left out. Our UN Treaty and UN Participation act took care of that. It's not supposed to be like that. Congress is supposed to seek information from the Executive branch and debate, ponder, weigh and examine that information and it alone has the authority to decide if we are to go to war in order to allow the Executive to be the Commander in Chief to "make" war. Bush already did Congress' job. Framers specifically went back and forth on this issue, and decided it was Congress' exclusive right.

There is no such "Declaration of War" in that resolution. It calls for "Use of Military Force."

The president can lay out a case requiring a need to go to war but that's it as far as a decision goes. Once declared the Framers gave him full powers to carry it out as war is better suited to being run by a single individual than a committee.


It calls exactly for Congress to "declare" war:
Article 1, Section8 Clause 11

One can also read the notes of the Framers at the convention which clearly supports this intepretation as their intent. There are more subsections on this pursuant to congress' role as well.
I'm not questioning whether or not the constitution requires a declaration of war, I'm questioning whether or not a resolution authorizing the use of military force qualifies or not. I see nothing in the constitution that describes the form of a declaration of war. Absent some other contextual evidence, it seems to me that a vote of Congress on a statement of their intentions is constitutionally adequate. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?
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