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View Diary: Tom DeLay and Warrantless Wiretapping (103 comments)

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  •  Point taken. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rincewind, leveymg, drational

    Except, since virtually nothing is known of the 'TSP', other than what GWB has 'revealed', much less of other activities authorized by the blanket EO, nor do we know of any findings (50 USC 413a) which may have been issued by the president (which would be classified), there is really no way you or I can conclusively determine whether 50 USC 413b does or does not apply.

    Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

    by wgard on Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 07:31:38 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  findings are for covert actions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leveymg, wgard

      Findings are required to justify covert actions. They are not required to justify intelligence gathering. The law clearly defines covert actions, it is not the dictionary definition:

      As used in this subchapter, the term "covert action" means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include -

         (1) activities the primary purpose of which is to acquire intelligence, traditional counterintelligence activities, traditional activities to improve or maintain the operational security of United States Government programs, or administrative activities;

         (2) traditional diplomatic or military activities or routine support to such activities;

         (3) traditional law enforcement activities conducted by United States Government law enforcement agencies or routine support to such activities; or

         (4) activities to provide routine support to the overt activities (other than activities described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3)) of other United States Government agencies abroad.

      Emphasis mine.

      I know we don't have all the info, but there really isn't any way I can see that the wiretapping program would fall under covert action. And there is also this tidbit:

      (5) A finding may not authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.

      •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Politburo

        I agree re the TSP (or what we know of it), but the 'notification' may well have addressed an overarching program of which the TSP was only one component... in fact, courtesy of DNI McConnell, we do know that to be the case.

        I am well aware of the distinctions regarding covert action in the title.  All I was pointing out is that we do not know the 'notification' was limited to the TSP and did not include a presidential finding as to covert action.  The fact that the 'Group of Eight' was notified versus the full committees is in itself some indication that the overall 'program' either did or does include some covert action component.  But of course, that is speculative.

        Life is not a 'dress rehearsal'!

        by wgard on Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 08:21:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The operative term here is "abroad" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drational

        By definition, there are no legal covert operations conducted inside the U.S. - that's law enforcement, counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, etc.

        As used in this subchapter, the term "covert action" means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad,

        The central problem with TSP (and in this Comey agrees) is that it's being handled as a covert operation - without regard to law.  It is simply illegal, a crime that can't be fixed retroactively by legislation.

        The President on down, those who authorized this have to be indicted, some should go to jail.  There can be no pardon for domestic covert operations.

        We need to let our Representatives know what we think about this.  

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