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View Diary: Former FISA Judge Breaks Ranks (475 comments)

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    •  OK, so (0+ / 0-)

      You believe that, for example, requests made by the NSA in the course of their investigating terrorists organizations (including Bin Laden) need to made public?

      How would you go about preventing these organizations and people from using open sources to learn not only that we're on their trail, but which phone lines we plan to tap and what methods we're using to track them, what information we already have, etc.?

      Please proceed, Governor.

      by USArmyParatrooper on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:34:12 PM PDT

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      •  open courts (13+ / 0-)

        issue sealed warrants all the time.  

        You think that terrorists are that much more sophisticated than drug cartels?

        I want to see Snowden get a fair trial, an impartial jury, and the same sentence James Clapper gets for lying to Congress.

        by happymisanthropy on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:54:05 PM PDT

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        •  Some of them (0+ / 0-)
          You think that terrorists are that much more sophisticated than drug cartels?
          Some of them absolutely are. Some of them are far less sophisticated. And some of our adversaries put drug cartels to shame, including other nations such as Russia, China and North Korea. Note, I'm not referring to those countries as "enemies" in the context of war.

          In the intelligence community there is actually a word for publicly available sources of information. It's called "open source" intel. I doubt many, if any, drug cartels are dedicating resources to continually spy on the US government and our activities, like nation states and more sophisticated terrorist organizations do.

          Please proceed, Governor.

          by USArmyParatrooper on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:10:08 PM PDT

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          •  Really? (7+ / 0-)

            are you allowed to disclose the name of those terrorist networks?  Because none that I've ever heard of is.  Hell, Al-Qaida is still trying to make an underwear bomb work.  Drug cartels can requisition ordnance from military or police arsenals.

            In fact, if the Mexican drug cartels were a sovereign nation, they would qualify to be part of the G-20, ahead of Indonesia (GNP: $845 billion) and behind South Korea (GNP: $1.1 trillion). Yet, this is the cumulative sum of money that Mexican drug cartels have funneled through the U.S. economy.

            A New York Times story published last month reporting that federal authorities busted a cartel boss accused of laundering $1 million a month pales in comparison to the hundreds of billions of dollars that drug organizations have moved through U.S. banks.

            Who cares about a $12,000,000 a year operation when one American bank was found to have laundered $378,400,000,000 before it was caught? After federal prosecutors started criminal proceedings against the bank, it agreed to hand $110 million over to federal authorities, for allowing banking transactions with proven connections to drug smuggling operations. And the same bank subsequently paid the government a $50 million fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.

            I want to see Snowden get a fair trial, an impartial jury, and the same sentence James Clapper gets for lying to Congress.

            by happymisanthropy on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:25:57 PM PDT

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        •  AND.. the sealed warrants can be opened in a (8+ / 0-)

          timely manner, or reviewed by a third party impartial court unconnected to FISA work, or both.  There are dozens of mechanisms to make "secret courts" not secret and still preserve the advantage of keeping things quiet while we are in a war footing, or until the Authorization to Use Force and the Patriot Act can be repealed and replaced.

          The problem here is that the work of the FISA court is unreviewable, forever, by anyone, for anything. THAT is a BIG problem in a democracy, more than we need to keep some secrets. In the long run, everything comes out. Lets make sure the workings of this court will come out. Judges always act better when that is the case.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:17:20 PM PDT

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      •  Easy (16+ / 0-)

        You can request that documents be filed under seal.  It's done all the time for all sorts of reasons.  

        The courts and their business are generally public.  In those instances in which confidentiality is required, there are ways of accommodating those needs.  

        But a secret court that makes secret decisions after hearing only from the government is inconsistent with fundamental notions of fairness and due process.  I doubt the founders would be pleased to see a modern version of the Court of Star Chamber.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:58:14 PM PDT

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      •  Don't be silly. (9+ / 0-)

        Courts can protect classified information. But courts themselves should not be secret.

        I answered the question "So do you believe there should be no secret courts at all?" Substituting a completely different question is a dishonest way to argue.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:29:40 PM PDT

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    •  Amen! (n/t) (5+ / 0-)

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:50:51 PM PDT

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