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    Sunday, July 23, 2006

    NSA warrantless surveillance - Justice investigators denied access by Dubya

    The US Justice Department was told to investigate the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program. An embarassment to the President who claimed he was exercising his wartime powers - what did he do ? Simple. He denied access to the information the Justice Department investigators wanted - because they did not have security clearance - Yossarian thou shouldst be living at this hour.

    Bush's decision, was revealed by that legal Titan , Albert Gonzalez, in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Gonzales said that in matters involving access to classified programs, "the President of the United States makes the decision." which represents an unusually direct, unprecedented and novel White House intervention into an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the internal affairs office at Justice. It forced OPR to abandon its investigation of the role played by Justice Department officials in authorizing and monitoring the controversial NSA eavesdropping effort.

    "Since its creation some 31 years ago, OPR has conducted many highly sensitive investigations involving Executive Branch programs and has obtained access to information classified at the highest levels," chief lawyer H. Marshall Jarrett wrote in a published memorandum . "In all those years, OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation."

    President Bush personally blocked Justice Department lawyers from pursuing an internal inquiry into the administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program.” said Alberto to the Committee.

    "The president decided that protecting the secrecy and security of the program requires that a strict limit be placed on the number of persons granted access to information about the program for non-operational reasons," Gonzales wrote in a related letter sent to the committee's chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. "Every additional security clearance that is granted for the (program) increases the risk that national security might be compromised."

    However if you go back to the White House Record of the President
    President Bush: Information Sharing, Patriot Act Vital to Homeland Security
    Remarks by the President in a Conversation on the USA Patriot Act
    Kleinshans Music Hall April 2004 Buffalo, New York


    This is how he reassured the assmebled throng at Kleinshans Music Hall in Buffalo on April 20th 2004 - when of course the AT&T access to IP traffic had been in full swing for a least 2 years - if you believe Klein's testimony in Hepting, et al., v. AT&T Corporation.

    "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.

    The Patriot Act changed that. So with court order, law enforcement officials can now use what's called roving wiretaps, which will prevent a terrorist from switching cell phones in order to get a message out to one of his buddies."


    Oh No Mr President! The Patriot Act changed nothing, surveillance just carried on regardless of the law on wiretaps, because lawyers like Albert Gonzalez could stand up and attempt to justify it and your actions.

    But the President evidently believes in the Patriot Act ..
    see what he said in Buffalo ...

    " Those who criticize the Patriot Act must listen to those folks on the front line of defending America. The Patriot Act defends our liberty, is what it does, under the Constitution of the United States. (Applause.)"

    Yo! Defends our Liberty ... under the Constitution.

    However at Scotus Blog there is a handy analysis of US District Judge Walkers refusal to dismiss the
    Hepting, et al., v. AT&T Corporation case (Opinion 72 pages) PDF Alert

    In a trenchant and forthright way the Judge wrote..""While the court recognizes and respects the executive's constitutional duty to protect the nation from threats, the court also takes seriously its constitutional duty to adjudicate the disputes that come before it," ...

    Maybe George isn't out of the trees on this one yet. But don't put the increasingly costly mortgage on it.

    FURTHER NOTES

    Fiengold Blog

    FEINGOLD CALLS ON ADMINISTRATION TO RECONSIDER ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING PROGRAM FOLLOWING SUPREME COURT’S HAMDAN DECISION

    Nevada Thunder
    Specter Caves to White House Demands on NSA Bill

    Glenn Greenwald

    Huge news - Judge refuses to dismiss NSA lawsuit

    Glenn reviews the position with care and precision ..

    "Most importantly of all, the court re-affirmed one of the most basic and important principles of our system of government. That even with regard to national security, there is no such thing as a President who acts alone without interference from the other branches of government. Instead, quoting Hamdi: "Whatever power the United States Constitution envisions for the Executive in its exchanges with other nations or with enemy organizations in times of conflict, it most assuredly envisions a role for all three branches when individual liberties are at stake." That is the very opposite of the Yoo theory of executive power which has been inflicted on this country for the last five years."

    "....the administration uses concepts of national security as a game, as a selective weapon, to promote its political objectives. That is likely the primary reason why courts have decided that far more skepticism is required when it comes to this administration's assertions than was warranted for any prior administration."

    As a commentator pithily puts it ....Jeffery Faulk said...

    Great news indeed. It's nice to see some common sense prevailing in the courts. Their "State Secrets" gig is just to cover their criminal asses and it's great to see them getting called on their bushshit.


    FURTHER NOTES

    Fiengold Blog

    FEINGOLD CALLS ON ADMINISTRATION TO RECONSIDER ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING PROGRAM FOLLOWING SUPREME COURT’S HAMDAN DECISION

    Nevada Thunder
    Specter Caves to White House Demands on NSA Bill

    Glenn Greenwald

    Huge news - Judge refuses to dismiss NSA lawsuit

    Glenn reviews the position with care and precision ..

    "Most importantly of all, the court re-affirmed one of the most basic and important principles of our system of government. That even with regard to national security, there is no such thing as a President who acts alone without interference from the other branches of government. Instead, quoting Hamdi: "Whatever power the United States Constitution envisions for the Executive in its exchanges with other nations or with enemy organizations in times of conflict, it most assuredly envisions a role for all three branches when individual liberties are at stake." That is the very opposite of the Yoo theory of executive power which has been inflicted on this country for the last five years."

    "....the administration uses concepts of national security as a game, as a selective weapon, to promote its political objectives. That is likely the primary reason why courts have decided that far more skepticism is required when it comes to this administration's assertions than was warranted for any prior administration."

    As a commentator pithily puts it ....Jeffery Faulk said...

    Great news indeed. It's nice to see some common sense prevailing in the courts. Their "State Secrets" gig is just to cover their criminal asses and it's great to see them getting called on their bushshit.

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