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View Diary: The Emerging Story Behind the Wiretaps UPDATED (169 comments)

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  •  Some emerging thought... (4.00)
    As presented by Stirling Newberry a couple of days ago - is that the fact that they had Bush himself come out swinging on this shows that they believe that this is potentially very damaging.  This is one of the few things, in all the scandals, that may show people that they are personally affected by this decision.  They have no recourse before the law now and have to totally rely on the benevolance of Dear Leader.  Has America become too complacent to even care that their rights are determined by an individual and not the Constitution - time will tell.

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 02:53:37 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  People (4.00)
      need to understand that this is just part of a much larger issue. This post sums it up quite well from a standpoint that might get some traction with groups that don't normally agree with too many of us here on a lot of things.
      Read it.
      We have no more rights.

      Listen, buddy, if I could tell you in a minute what I did, it wouldn't be worth the Nobel Prize. -Richard Feynman

      by justme on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 03:40:59 PM PST

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      •  Agreed (none)
        That is the point we need to make in order to get through to these people.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 04:35:05 PM PST

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      •  Brilliant. (n/t) (none)

        Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

        by soyinkafan on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:04:04 PM PST

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      •  the suspension of Habeas Corpus (none)
        as evidenced by Padilla and Hamdi was where we lost our most precious rights, but I think that people could rationalize it by thinking they were bad people. However it seems extremely unlikely to me that either one was really a threat to Americans.  Since Hamdi supposedly fought against American troops in Afghanistan, it seems like there are crimes for which he could be convicted.  Padilla's situation is probably more cut and dried, I doubt they have a case worth talking prosecuting.  

        In either case, the Bush administration doesn't trust an American jury to do the right thing, or else they know they have nothing to prosecute.  I'm not sure which is more offensive, but what is offensive is that they choose to ignore the constitution.

    •  How many are personally affected? (none)
      If it turns out that what we're really talking about is a massive data mining program--like Carnivore or Echelon, but bigger, more state-of-the-art and more invasive--the list of targets could include most Americans.

      Think about it. How many Americans have visited made overseas calls or engaged in electronic communications with other countries? At first, folks might assume this covers only Arabs e-mailing Riyadh. In fact, it might include senior couples booking anniversary trips to England...right-wing bloggers checking up on Al Jezeera...bank customers transferred to call centers in Bangalore...who knows?

      The panic suggests the net was cast very broadly indeed. If it weren't, they'd be rushing to leak the identities of the targets, whether the revelations compromised security or not.

      •  RE: how many people? (none)
        NYT says that under the program, the NSA spied on "up to 500 people at a time"... at a time. there could have been several batches of people [tinfoil hat firmly on]

        the bolton numbers are 10,000...

        i doubt we'll ever know the names or exact numbers though... the WH certainly isn't going to give them away, and if there's an investigation with suppeona power, they'll probably fight and say that the people on the list are terrorists, and that revealing their names would give them away or some such. anyways, this is all just speculation at this point, we're going to have to wait until an actual comittee is formed to investigate this scandal. which i suspect it will be.

        Looking for weekly columnists for The Daily Background. Drop me a line if interested: removeoffice@gmail.com

        by remove office on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 04:25:47 PM PST

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      •  Panopticon (none)
        This is the core issue.  Reading between the lines of the Rockefeller letter, it is clear that this program was a substitute for Poindexter's TIA.  EVERYBODY was a possible target.  No international communication is immune - email, letter, phone, telex, fax...

        We are all under suspicion and any expectation of privacy is a pipe dream.

        Solar is Civil Defense

        by gmoke on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:56:16 PM PST

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      •  Really interesting question (none)
        I'm not a conspiracy theorist but if you look at the mundane details of my life in a new light, I believe I could easily have been spied on:  I'm a leftwing activist in a leftwing city who calls a Central American country with a leftwing president at least once a month to talk to my dad who is a former highly placed government official (now retired).  Oh, and I've posted highly critical remarks about the current administration.

        What happens if every Kossack files an FOIA request with FISA?  I mean beyond overwhelming the agency. Would we be surprised that they've spied on bloggers?

        •  While this may be true (4.00)
          it presumes two things:

          that Bush actually cares about protecting America against terrorists, or amwerican lives in danger and two and that they would do something to stop it.

          Now one word: Katrina.

          Katrina proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people do not care one whit about the lives of innocent Americans. What thwey do care about however is power.

          Unrestrained, unending perpetual power.

          Who are their political enemies?
          Who's lives do they care most about saving?

          Their political enemies are the targets of their little secret operation. They lives they are hell bent on saving are their own.

          Anyone else they tap into without oversight is just for the fucking fun of it.

          I've never felt so sure of anything in my life. These people have proved their incompetency in all things except one: politics.

          •  A subtext (none)
            I haven't seen it put that way....of course many people must get that on some level.  Katrina did show that this government doesn't care about Americans, so why bother to protect us.  It's about perpetuation of power.
          •  Too simple (none)
            They care about SOME Americans - those that will vote for them.  Poor African Americans in metropolitan New Orleans aren't exactly the Republican "base".

            Hence we get to watch this doofus play guitar while people are looting for drinkable water and dodging gunfire.

    •  Look we can trust Bush (none)
      I know I went to elementary school
      with him.

      (ok, I admit I am a shameless blog whore)

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