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View Diary: Under 300 Unique Phone Metadata Searches in 2012 (43 comments)

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  •  i dont think that is sound logic (0+ / 0-)

    The government does many things without Supreme Court approval.  Just upthread I mentioned about the Iraq War - was there SC precedent that made that legal?  Was the SC precedent for the torture or whatever you want to call it?  Was there SC precedent for the infamous AT&T room 641 incident?  In the last scenario, the SC specifically declined to take on cases related to room 641A, so there is no precedent for that case.  What SC precedent informs the DOJ about their Too Big To Fail/Prosecute/Jail policy?

    Just because something is law and laws, in theory, restrain government action does not mean that in application the restraint is effective.

    In addition, Slippery Slope arguments should be given the benefit of the doubt here because of actual historical precedent that governments among men systematically and categorically obtain and abuse power.

    •  So, in all of American history, you can ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... point to three instances in which you claim that there was not an appropriate legal standard? As for the Iraq War, there is quite a lot of precedent, but everything was based on faulty (read: lying) information, so that doesn't count to your three. See, e.g., War Powers Clause, US CONST.; War Powers Act of 1941; US CONST., Art II, Sec. II (from which presidents have derived police action powers); Dellums v. Bush, 752 F. Supp. 1141 (1990) (hey, I never said we had to agree with all the case law, but it is out there).

      As for the torture matters, the Supreme Court has upheld the Geneva Convention. See e.g., Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 (2006) (Supreme Court holding that the Geneva Convention was incorporated into the Uniform Code of Military Justice).

      In the present circumstances, there is plenty of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the issue of privacy, and, in fact, the Smith v. Maryland case cited by the Government in the screengrab in the diary is directly on point. I have been citing that case for a month, so I know it applies. Additionally, there is the Fourth Amendment, and on top of that, there are the cases deailing with searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, and that may be the biggest pile of case law of all.  

      I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

      by Tortmaster on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 01:18:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beg your pardon (0+ / 0-)

        But I do not have the time nor the resources to cite every time the US Government has done something contrary to law.  Furthermore, your statement is an attempt to derail the conversation and evade answering inconvenient questions.

        Additionally, your use of the "It's legal" defense is disingenuous to say the least.  Once there were laws barring marrying between the races.  I suppose you would have been out there defending those laws based on their current legal status?

        As for the Iraq War, there is quite a lot of precedent, but everything was based on faulty (read: lying) information, so that doesn't count to your three.
        Here you actually are proving my point - I cannot imagine that you set out to do that, so I ask for further clarification.

        You have also attempted to disregard two objections, only to ignore the third.  The third objection, AT&T Room 641A you have seemed to ignore.  I am quoting a pertinent piece from the Wikipedia article that also lends credence to the slippery slope argument.

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government's and AT&T's motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward.  On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
        First a gross breach of law occurred, then Congress made it retro-actively legal, followed by the Supreme Court sitting on their hands.

        Lastly, you fail to explain the legal reasoning and precedent for not prosecuting Wall Street companies for crimes committed.  

        The "It's Legal" defense does not hold up outside of the courtroom, and this is not the courtroom.

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