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Bush Backed Spying On Americans

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the no-privacy-in-the-constitution-means-free-for-all dept.

Privacy 1092

jb.hl.com writes "President Bush allowed security agents to eavesdrop on people inside the U.S. without court approval after 9/11, the New York Times has reported. The report says that under a 2002 presidential order, the National Security Agency has been unconstitutionally and illegally monitoring international communications of hundreds in the U.S. When asked about the programme on U.S. TV, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said, 'The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken.'"

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Palpatine loses one (4, Informative)

beforewisdom (729725) | about 9 years ago | (#14274173)

Palpatine loses one:
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10496539/ [msn.com]

Re:Palpatine loses one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274215)

Funny, I don't see any mention of Senator Lieberman in that article...

Re:Palpatine loses one (1, Flamebait)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | about 9 years ago | (#14274252)

Jeez, as soon as a Democrat stops marching in complete lock-step with the Party, all the little rats really turn on him, eh?

Re:Palpatine loses one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274285)

I'm referring mostly to the resemblance in physical appearance between Lieberman and Palpatine, and the way he force-fed the "phantom menace" of voluntary video-game ratings into the retail sales environment. OT for this story, though.

Re:Palpatine loses one (1)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | about 9 years ago | (#14274339)

All right, fair enough. Although most people who've been comparing Lieberman to evil dictators lately have had a less kind intent.

Re:Palpatine loses one (1)

slash-tard (689130) | about 9 years ago | (#14274297)

Probably more a reference to looks than actions.

Re:Palpatine loses one (1)

Kafka_Canada (106443) | about 9 years ago | (#14274373)

Looks like you're right (I figured it was a bit of both). There've been simliar occurences, e.g. Judy Miller, or most other comments on Joe Lieberman.

Well... (2, Funny)

j0nkatz (315168) | about 9 years ago | (#14274175)

Who gives a shit?
All I want to know is where the fuck Gaim 2.0 beta is????

Well, that's a big shocker. (0, Flamebait)

sulli (195030) | about 9 years ago | (#14274176)

Bush breaks the law to infringe on Americans' rights.

Where are Dubya's defenders now? Do you, GOP fans, want the NSA reading your email?

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274222)

Actually, I think the NSA has better things to do than look at Amazon.com spam and Borders coupons.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274225)

Do you, GOP fans, want the NSA reading your email?

Sure. Maybe they can make something out of the 1000s of 'approved mortgage' and 'p3nis 3nlarger' messages.

I hope so (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 years ago | (#14274375)

My bet is, that there are encoded messages amongst that. One of the best ways to hide something is to place it in all the noise rather than trying to encrypt with lots of security.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274244)

Good, good.. FISA was set up under Carter. Where are the Carter defenders now?!!!

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274248)

Do you, GOP fans, want the NSA reading your email?
- If they are interested in V14gra or to help some poor nigerian fellow then sure!

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (1)

thiophene (216836) | about 9 years ago | (#14274251)

"I have nothing to hide" etc, etc...

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (1)

thiophene (216836) | about 9 years ago | (#14274277)

On second thought I should have probably put sarcasm tags around that. Before someone takes that the wrong way and jumps down my throat, I, in no way, endorse this sort of policy.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#14274270)

Just playing devils advocate for a moment (since it appears that Slashthink(TM) is in full force), but isn't this EXACTLY the type of thing that the Patriot Act made legal? I'm not saying that I like the Patriot Act, but it did get passed by a majority of the house and senate.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (1)

Concertina (183807) | about 9 years ago | (#14274327)

Legal for the FBI, I think. Not so legal for the NSA. Someone care to confirm?

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274344)

Just playing devils advocate for a moment (since it appears that Slashthink(TM) is in full force), but isn't this EXACTLY the type of thing that the Patriot Act made legal?

Would you like to cite specific sections of the Act or is your advocacy limited to 'well, it could be that type of thing, you never know'

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | about 9 years ago | (#14274287)

Do you, GOP fans, want the NSA reading your email?

I don't think it's particuarly relevant exactly who does it, and it's already been ruled [out-law.com] that looking at email doesn't violate laws against wire-tapping. IOW, from a legal viewpoint, your email is already fair game in any case.

If you honestly care, I'd consider something like PGP or gpg.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (2, Informative)

thiophene (216836) | about 9 years ago | (#14274348)

I only wish more people used gpg/pgp. Unfortunately, I know only one other person that I regularly correspond with that also uses it. Unfortunately, it's my fianceé and I kind of forced it on her. Though it does give me hope that given a proper setup, she's able to use it easily and fairly seamlessly. Perhaps someday more people will catch on.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (-1, Troll)

sexyrexy (793497) | about 9 years ago | (#14274295)

Why do I care if a) some very large computer or b) some lowly desk jocky with a reference manual on "terrorist keywords" is parsing my e-mails? How does it affect me personally? It doesn't. And if you don't have anything to hide, then it doesn't affect you either. Your e-mail will come and go through the system and you won't ever know.

The person reading your e-mail gives less of a shit about who you are or what you have to say than the coffee they picked up on the way to their office that morning - you are less to them than a customer through the WalMart line is to the cashier.

Clinging to a principle for no practical reason is fanaticism, it's just that when it's YOUR principle, suddenly it's all about morality and your rights. Right?

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (2, Insightful)

ak3ldama (554026) | about 9 years ago | (#14274353)

I'll cling to the principle that the government cannot intrude on my privacy for a very long time, and you deserve to lose yours for beliefs like that.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (0, Troll)

DigitalSoldierX (858265) | about 9 years ago | (#14274329)

Bush can't arbitrarily decide to spy on people. There is a legal process in place that includes consulting with certain members of Congress, and getting the go ahead from a judge. My advice to you commie's is to learn the process and get all the facts before you begin regurgitating incorrect new stories from the main stream media.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | about 9 years ago | (#14274358)

Do you, GOP fans, want the NSA reading your email?

You don't think that didn't happen with the presidents "offical" aproval? Let's not get out of hand here.

But we already know what will happen, the Dems will take the presidents office in 2008 maybe and the same crap will be pulled but instead we'll just have the other half saving the same thing...

Washington is not going to change until you get some real competition in there and that means a third party. If we don't get motivated to throw another party into the mix and force parties to do more than lie and smile we're just going to have the same thing again and again, a new Waco, a new 9/11, a new Watergate, a new infringement somewhere somehow and the finger pointing will continue and so will business as usual.

You don't seriously think a Democrat is any more forthright than a Republican? Hell, they feed off each other and at the same time use each other as crutches. They know and accept this business deal. They know people accept them as the only game in town.

Re:Well, that's a big shocker. (1, Informative)

chinadrum (848282) | about 9 years ago | (#14274401)

i'll just paste this chunk from Michelle Malkin.

"Those who actually read the piece will note that the paper must grudgingly acknowledge that it is talking about the NSA's monitoring of international communications (e-mails, cellphone calls, etc.) only; the agency still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

And not until the 16th paragraph, some 1,110 words into the massive piece, does the paper tell you the important context in which the program was created and used:
What the agency calls a "special collection program" began soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, as it looked for new tools to attack terrorism. The program accelerated in early 2002 after the Central Intelligence Agency started capturing top Qaeda operatives overseas, including Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002. The C.I.A. seized the terrorists' computers, cellphones and personal phone directories, said the officials familiar with the program. The N.S.A. surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible, the officials said. In addition to eavesdropping on those numbers and reading e-mail messages to and from the Qaeda figures, the N.S.A. began monitoring others linked to them, creating an expanding chain. While most of the numbers and addresses were overseas, hundreds were in the United States, the officials said.

As a result of the NSA program, buried down in the 11th paragraph, we learn that the terrorist plot involving convicted al Qaeda operative Iyman Faris was uncovered--possibly saving untold lives, not to mention New York bridges and possibly Washington, D.C. trains."

Last I checked they won't be finding my contact info in some AQ member's phone, nor do I call anyone internationally, let alone one that would be listed.

Wow, there's a shocker. (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | about 9 years ago | (#14274177)

Whoa, wait: President Bush abusing his power? No, you've got to be kidding me. I can't believe it. After all, this is the guy who *wanted* to help New Orleans but just couldn't because of those darn rules maybe being in the way.

That aside: Bad week for the Neocons.

First, they're not allowed to torture people anymore (not that we ever did, right? I mean, I'm sure the folks at those secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe were Geneva Convention poster boys). Then the PATRIOT act gets blocked so they have to go deal with those darn activist judges to get warrants again. Now, people are acting like the President can't override statute with an executive order! Next thing you know, people will actually want leaders who follow the Constitution. Heck, this keeps up and nobody'll want to be President of the United States anymore - we're just takin' all the fun out of it.

I personally look forward to the day when the GOP has something to do with, you know, conservatism again. "Spend responsibly" rolls off the tounge better than "constant wanton abuse of power". Still, at least it was just violation of the basic agreement that forms the basis of our government and not, you know, a blowjob. Otherwise the nation might have to sit through another impeachment.

Re:Wow, there's a shocker. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274242)


Nonsense from a liberal moonbat.

There's a shocker.

Slashdot. Leftwing, liberal and generally useless.

Bush & Co. should not be above the law (5, Insightful)

Savantissimo (893682) | about 9 years ago | (#14274262)

How many crimes does Monkeyboy have to commit before he is held to account? There isn't a single person on death row or executed in the history of the USA who has who has ordered so many killings, kidnappings and tortures. His utter contempt for the constitution and human rights is the root of the many forms of his criminality. Ordering illegal spying on thousands of Americans should by itself be enough to get him impeached, tried and sentenced to life in prison, but on the scale of his other misdeeds it barely deserves mention.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and Gonzales should be quickly tried and promptly executed as a deterrent to our future officials who might think that they can use power for their own purposes rather than as servants of the electorate. We need to put our so-called leaders in permanent mortal fear of even getting close to violating their oaths to uphold the Constitution. Until then, they will continue to think that they can rule us rather than represent us.

Re:Bush & Co. should not be above the law (2, Funny)

vk2 (753291) | about 9 years ago | (#14274397)

Pray NSA is not monitoring the network between your machine and slashdot :-)

Re:Wow, there's a shocker. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274300)

I don't understand criticizing the president for not bringing troops into New Onleans, particularly if you don't like him.

It seems to me that if you believe that Bush does habitually abuse his power, you would be especially supportive of a law that prevents him from using the military in that way.

One day the military are brought in during an emergency to serve as a temporary police force without following proper legal procedure, the next day they're brought in during an "emergency" to "gaurd" polling places.

The particular law governing the use of the military as a police force has been around since Lincoln, and for good reason.

Re:Wow, there's a shocker. (5, Insightful)

Onan (25162) | about 9 years ago | (#14274334)

First, they're not allowed to torture people anymore...
Sadly, they appear to have, at least for the moment, found a way around such onerous strictures as that expectation that we behave like human beings. McCain's bill mandates that all US interrogations conform to the methods laid out in the Army field manual.

Given that it appears to be passing unvetoably, the Pentagon has simply changed the manual. [nytimes.com]

And declared the new version classified.

Re:Wow, there's a shocker. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 9 years ago | (#14274376)

Your convientantly ignoring the part about monitoring "international" communicaitons. You really don't have an expectation of secrecy when making an international call.

Oh dear (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#14274180)

"Condoleezza Rice, said, 'The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken."
Just one thing to say to that BULLSHIT

Re:Oh dear (5, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 9 years ago | (#14274261)

"Condoleezza Rice, said, 'The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken."

I think what she means is: "Since the president defines what is legal, then what the president does, is, by definition, legal." Very much in keeping with the administration's claims of "Presidential Infalibility".

do something (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274184)

do something [impeachpac.org]

Reminder (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274187)

Your posts are being recorded and may be used against you. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the President for all his hard work in protecting us from Eastasia, at great personal gain to himself.

Re:Reminder (5, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#14274304)

You seem to be mistaken...Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.

Eastasia is our staunchest ally.

Please report to the nearest reeducation center. Thank You.

Dont Fuck with US man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274188)

Dont Fuck with US man! That's all there is to say

But the problem is... (5, Insightful)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | about 9 years ago | (#14274191)

lawfully != ethically

With congressional and judicial oversight... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274192)

I love the way this is portrayed as some super-secret thing that Bush and Bush alone was involved in.

In related news.. (4, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 9 years ago | (#14274193)

The senate recently rejected [yahoo.com] extensions to the patriot act.

Great quote (5, Interesting)

Josh Coalson (538042) | about 9 years ago | (#14274238)

from here [yahoo.com]

"God forbid that there be a terrorist attack that could have been prevented by the Patriot Act after it has expired," said Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican.

Hell, why stop there, let's wipe with the constitution a little more and go straight to a Police State Act, then Sen. Kyl can argue "God forbid that there be a terrorist attack that could have been prevented by the Police State Act before it was passed." Yeah, a prison could be real safe too.

If 47 senators are so for it, maybe they should just "opt-in" to giving up their rights, instead of passing another odious law that will apply to them too? Oh yeah, that's because it won't apply to them. They are elite. Their names will never be on a no-fly list. Their personal information will never be stored at a company like ChoicePoint (if you ran ChoicePoint, the first thing you'd do is create a blacklist so that no one who could mess with your business model could be affected by a scam). But they're oh-so-ready to shackle the common man to keep him safe.

Re:Great quote (1)

VP (32928) | about 9 years ago | (#14274343)

47 senators were against it, that was enough to prevent the termination of discussion, and therefore prevent bringing it to a vote...

Why does Bush hate Our Freedom? (1)

helpslipfrank (883556) | about 9 years ago | (#14274194)

*dons flame retardant suit*

Because he's Republican (1)

mozumder (178398) | about 9 years ago | (#14274352)

/filling up the tank with gasoline //pouring it on discussion forum ///lighting match .. 3.. 2.. 1..

Re:Why does Bush hate Our Freedom? (-1, Troll)

Squeezer (132342) | about 9 years ago | (#14274359)

I think the correct question should be, why don't democrats like our freedom? Democrats don't seem to be interested in protecting it. I.E. Weak on terrorism.

bleh (1)

know1 (854868) | about 9 years ago | (#14274196)

is anyone surprised?
you would be a fool for thinking this didn't go on

None of this is tied a book release, oh no. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274197)

Thanks, Drudge Report. [drudgereport.com]

I've just been watching... (1)

IdleTime (561841) | about 9 years ago | (#14274201)

All the Presidents Men and the similarities are striking in many ways... Maybe some of our journalists should have re-screening of the movie or even better, re-read the book?

This guy is Shilling his book (1, Informative)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 9 years ago | (#14274202)

http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&p id=518822 [simonsays.com]

The NY Times failed to reveal the conflict of interest. Additionally this stuff has been known to congress and the federal court involved.

Re:This guy is Shilling his book (2, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | about 9 years ago | (#14274231)

Oh, gee, if there's a *book* about it, then that makes it all better.

Re:This guy is Shilling his book (1)

Concertina (183807) | about 9 years ago | (#14274363)

Additionally this stuff has been known to congress and the federal court involved.


Re:This guy is Shilling his book (2, Insightful)

vontrotsky (667853) | about 9 years ago | (#14274372)

Um, his book looks like it's about the CIA. TFA is about the NSA. This is a new and different way in which the government has been infringing the rights of people.

Anyhow, why would it matter if he had written about it in his book. Wonton abuse of power is still news worthy, even if it is reported multiple times.

Support the President! (1)

lawpoop (604919) | about 9 years ago | (#14274210)

Hey, Bush WON, and he can do WHATEVER HE WANTS. He is the PRESIDENT, and we HAVE TO SUPPORT HIM.

I was going to make a sarcasm tag, but slashdot is stripping my fake tag apparently. What gives? Anyways, impeach this fucker now. He's screwing EVERYTHING up.

Re:Support the President! (2, Informative)

bersl2 (689221) | about 9 years ago | (#14274267)

Use < and >

Re:Support the President! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274331)

Hey, Bush WON, and he can do WHATEVER HE WANTS. He is the PRESIDENT, and we HAVE TO SUPPORT HIM.

"We recognized, once again, that we can't love our country and hate
our government."

-The President of the United States
  Weekly Radio Address

...I would like to say something to [those of you] who believe the
greatest threat to America comes not from terrorists from ... beyond
our borders, but from our own government.

I believe you have every right, indeed you have the responsibility, to
question our government when you disagree with its policies. And I
will do everything in my power to protect your right to do so.

But I also know there have been lawbreakers among those who espouse
your philosophy....

...The people who came to the United States to bomb the World Trade
Center were wrong....

...How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in

...[T]here is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or
pretending that you can love your country but despise your

-The President of the United States
  Michigan State University

From TFS... (2, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 9 years ago | (#14274211)

"The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken." [emphasis added]

But is it still legal when the steps are combined? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Re:From TFS... (1)

Biff Stu (654099) | about 9 years ago | (#14274272)

Lawfully as defined by Ashcroft and Gonzales.

NYT shills - no surprise here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274276)

Newspaper fails to inform readers "news break" is tied to book publication

On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States... without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

But now comes word James Risen's article is only one of many "explosive newsbreaking" stories that can be found -- in his upcoming book -- which he turned in 3 months ago!

The paper failed to reveal the urgent story was tied to a book release and sale.

"STATE OF WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" is to be published by FREE PRESS in the coming weeks, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

Carisa Hays, VP, Director of Publicity FREE PRESS, confirms the book is being published.

The book editor of Bush critic Richard Clarke [AGAINST ALL ENEMIES] signed Risen to FREE PRESS.

Re:From TFS... (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#14274281)

" It will be interesting to see how this plays out."
I hear Iran's president recently brought up some anti-Semitic stuff and is trying to push the Nuclear program .. or so the propaganda says.
This appears to be a nice rug for them to sweep it under , also gives them a lot more oil.

Re:From TFS... (1)

susano_otter (123650) | about 9 years ago | (#14274351)

I think that in this case, there was only one step involved: He signed an order instructing the NSA to eavesdrop on certain international calls originating from the U.S., something the NSA actually has the legal authority to do. My understanding is that the presidential order was used to expedite the approval process, something that the President has the legal authority to do.

Not that such eavesdropping is strictly necessary, of course. Nobody planning a terror attack would ever make contact with a compatriot outside the country.

Cue the communal orgasm of... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274216)

...all the /. Bush-bashers in five...four...three...

Sounds strangely familiar... (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#14274217)

Hmm...wasn't there another president who got in trouble for spying on other americans? Watershed...waterfall...waterbed...definitely water-something...

Oh yeah! Here [wikipedia.org] it is!

And this is just the latest of Dubya and Company's shocking assaults against their own nation...sadly, an offence that would have been considered grounds for immediate impeachment (not to mention additional criminal prosecution) thirty years ago hardly raises an eyebrow today. Apparently, we're used to this sort of thing by now.

I'm pretty sure that this is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they fought and died so that we might have a nation free from tyranny.

The truly amazing part is that we elected him... (1)

mmell (832646) | about 9 years ago | (#14274325)

not just once, but twice.

I think our government crashed about twenty years ago; nobody noticed because the rest of the system stayed up (the economy, most outward-facing services, etc.).

Re:The truly amazing part is that we elected him.. (1, Flamebait)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#14274399)

No...we elected him once. The first time he took office, he was appointed by the Supreme Court (a national first, not to mention thoroughly unconstitutional and illegal.

Action should have been taken there and then to stop this malignancy from spreading, but we chose to sit on our hands instead.

In the long run, everybody gets the kind of government they deserve. Americans are living proof of that...we've turned into a global cautionary tale.

The Patriot Act is a moot point. (1)

Biff Stu (654099) | about 9 years ago | (#14274218)

Bush will just do what he wants to whether it's legal or not.

Something else to trouble you: (5, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 9 years ago | (#14274219)

I'm a little more concerned about http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/12/15/torture.bil l/index.html [cnn.com] , which basically says that the Nuremburg trials are no longer valid precedents for US law.

"(It) basically says that if a person, a reasonable person, would feel that someone was acting under orders ... then it could be a defense in case of accusation,"

Re:Something else to trouble you: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274404)

Do you really think McCain would add a section that obviate the Nurenburg standards?

The analysis I heard on NPR yesterday called it a "thin" defense - it's a "minor" adjustment made to save face for the White House.

Basically, they pointed out that while you could assert that you were following orders, the standard set by the Nuremburg trials still holds.

Nothing new .. (5, Informative)

Entropy (6967) | about 9 years ago | (#14274224)

Not that I am defending Bush, but the NSA spying on Americans is nothing new. Read "The Puzzle Palace" and "Body of Secrets" by James Bamford if you want a good look inside "no such agency" .. the only things to change from the book would be the tech, not the policies, politics and yes, paranoia.

President acted lawfully (3, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 9 years ago | (#14274227)

He acted lawfully the same way that the mob boss doesn't actually "kill" someone, they just happen to know the guys that shot the victim. In the words of John Gotti, "It's good to have guns around ... but you don't want to carry a gun. You might get arrested."

Nothing new (1)

gid13 (620803) | about 9 years ago | (#14274233)

Hey, the constitution never stopped him before. Perhaps he figured there was no need to bother with passing another PATRIOT act?

In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274236)

Sales of tin foil hats skyrocket.

Thanks America!!! (1, Troll)

bigdadro (452037) | about 9 years ago | (#14274239)

Glad I didn't vote for that giant douche, i voted for turd sandwich.

I think this deserves a... (1)

Lithgon (896737) | about 9 years ago | (#14274253)


*Waits for the FBI to come and get him*

Temporary refund adjustment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274258)

The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken.

He sits when he's violating the constitution.

Status of encryped Voice-over-IP and email? (2, Interesting)

mozumder (178398) | about 9 years ago | (#14274268)

So what do we do now? Can we standardize on encrypted VoIP and email protocols now?

I wonder how long it is before they use NSA intercepts to implement other authoritarian measures, such as drug/copyright/misc law enforcement.

And, is anyone surprised that Vice President Dick "Go Fuck Yourself, we're gonna invade Iraq and torture/kidnap people for my profit" Cheney is pushing the whole spy-on-american-citizens philosophy as well? The guy is the single greatest point of all things evil in the world, and must be removed from power & influence immediately.

I'm thrilled, but... (1)

ndogg (158021) | about 9 years ago | (#14274279)

Bush admitting to going to war under faulty intelligence, and now this? I'm not unhappy about it (in fact, I'm thrilled), but when did the ball drop? When did he change his mind and decide to take the blame? How did this all happen?

Re:I'm thrilled, but... (1)

nojomofo (123944) | about 9 years ago | (#14274403)

He waited carefully until Iraq was just about to have (in his opinion successful) elections before taking the blame for Iraq. It's a calculated risk that they're taking: if the Iraq election goes well, they expect people to forget about his admission of mistakes about a week after it was made, when he can continue to claim that things are going swimmingly and according to plan in Iraq.

I am hereby moderating this entire story... (2, Insightful)

Caspian (99221) | about 9 years ago | (#14274283)

(-1, Flamebait)

Puzzle Palace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274284)

Is this really anything new? Read the Puzzle Palace, written by an ex-NSA'er, sometime...

NY times sat on this for a year (5, Interesting)

wwwrench (464274) | about 9 years ago | (#14274294)

The fact that the American government snoops on its citizens without any oversight is frightening, but perhaps not as freightening as this:

"The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted."

And how exactly is knowing that the NSA isn't under court-oversight, gonna help terrorists???? I guess Bin Laden is now gonna hold off on making all those phone calls to the States, now that he knows the NSA doesn't need to call a judge before starting the wiretap.

The New York Times simply cannot be stupid enough to believe that this knowledge will help terrorists. They are a bunch of sniveling, subservient, fart-catchers. They care less about informing the public, then in protecting their pathetic "access" to the powerful.

That the government removed the provision that wiretaps should be (effectively) rubber-stamped is shameful. That they kept the people in the dark about this decision is even more shameful. But that the supposed free press also kept this massive decision secret?? That's so fucked, I don't even know where to begin.

A vibrant democracy has a free press. In a democracy, you can speak your mind without fear. Your government is open, and their decisions are public and can be scrutinized. Heck, the public can even influence the decisions!

What America has is a vote every few years to choose between one of two figureheads. There are certainly places in this world, where they don't even pretend to live in a democracy, but this shouldn't give one much comfort.

America: Please. Do something. Your democracy is so shallow, it barely exists, except as some cheap idea evoked by your rulers to justify the invasion of other countries.

Why we aren't all at the barricades is beyond me.

Re:NY times sat on this for a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274382)

No what is scary is that the NYT sat on this for a year so they could release the story to coincide with a book release.

legally done (-1, Flamebait)

Squeezer (132342) | about 9 years ago | (#14274306)

Bush followed all the applicable laws, and members of congress knew about it. I don't see what the problem is.

Warning (1)

EmoryBrighton (934326) | about 9 years ago | (#14274307)

Prior to replying, I'd like to remind everyone
that making statements such as: JOHN shoud die
by mahi-mahi. Where "JOHN" is replaced with an
identifying name that represents the president
or his family, or a former president may cause
a lot of trouble. Dont even type the statement
since your words are being monitored currently

a Goddamned piece of paper, surprised? (3, Insightful)

isotope23 (210590) | about 9 years ago | (#14274309)

When Bush can say the constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper" [capitolhillblue.com]
how is anyone surprised?

BTW, for those who didnt notice, the times held the story for a YEAR.

And this guy [capitolhillblue.com] broke the story.

It sounds worse than it is (3, Insightful)

rapierian (608068) | about 9 years ago | (#14274310)

First of all, the news the article is relaying is a year old: the reporters witheld the information for a year for security reasons. Note they still released it after only removing "some" of the issues that the security people had with the article. Even the article acknowledges that since then Bush had the Department of Justice look over and revise the program. Second, the original eavesdropping was only on traffic into and out of the country, not on internal traffic. Also, the initial impetus for monitering some of this traffic was a couple of captured terrorist's cell phones and computers. The numbers that they recieved from those and several similar and related captures are the numbers that they've been monitering. Again, they've since limited their criteria even further. For an excellent view of the right-wing's side of the debate check out: http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004090.htm [michellemalkin.com]

Surveillance Breakdown (2, Funny)

dch24 (904899) | about 9 years ago | (#14274322)

From the article: "It's almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches."

It sounds like a review is needed here.

From Sneakers [imdb.com] : Gordon walks up to Bishop and shows his ID.

GORDON: National Security Agency.
BISHOP: Ah. You're the guys I hear breathing on the other end of my phone.
GORDON: No, that's the FBI. We're not chartered for domestic surveillance.
BISHOP: Oh, I see. You just overthrow governments. Set up friendly dictators.
GORDON (smiling): No, that's the CIA. We protect our government's communications, we try to break the other fella's codes. We're the good guys, Marty.
BISHOP: Gee, I can't tell you what a relief that is, Dick.

Pay attention; more to come. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274324)

Do note the last sentence on the main article. [cnn.com] I am betting that it was not a case of allowing, but a case of ordering. Big difference.

How many of you noticed that tenet was awarded the medal of freedom after he left the office. You need to ask your self why GWB would award the medal to somebody that it claims is inept.

Bush's approval ratings will go *up* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274335)

The average American, if they ever hear of this, will say "Whatever it takes to beat the terrorists! Go W!" and go back to downing their six pack.

How about accountability here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274347)

First, Bush accepted responsibility for taking us to war with faulty intelligence. (Although frankly I don't think he really ment that or he would have stepped down from office - getting your people killed because you jumped the gun would seem to me like one of the worst things you could admit to as commander in chief.) Great - he accepts responsibility. What do we do as a result? Are steps going to be taken to HOLD him responsible for the death and destruction that that action has caused? I haven't heard of any.

Now, the NSA is spying on Americans?? What on earth is WRONG with us?

I want to hear someone publicly remind people of what we never should have forgotten - our government is not to be trusted. EVER. Under ANY conditions. It has to be watched all the time, and continually restrained. It should get no more power than it absolutely needs, and if it's a choice between inefficient protective action or invasive government its worth paying the cost of terrorism to keep the government in line. It can't be trusted with too much power, and if some of us die in terrorist attacks because of that it's still not as bad as the consequences of a government able to turn against its own people.

We need to slap down our government by voting it out. Next election people had better vote on something more important than gay marriage bans, because otherwise they're going to get exactly what they deserve.

Deja Vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274364)

Was ./ around to comment on the stacks of FBI files that somehow turned up in the White House some years ago? I see Watergate responses, but then again, CNN wasn't really interested in that situation either.

THX 1138 (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 9 years ago | (#14274368)

Just watched THX 1138 last nite. Movie set in the future about people having no rights and everyone spying on each other in a "utopian" society. Everything in the movie was driven by money and power. Favorite part is when they are "reconditioning" the main character and there is a new guy helping and he has no idea what he is doing. The torture of the main character, while the new guy was figuring out how to brain wash the main character was classic. This de-humanization and stripping of freedoms for power seems like what Bush would love to do. I don't want to live in that world.

It is amazing... (0, Flamebait)

smitth1276 (832902) | about 9 years ago | (#14274370)

...to see how utterly simplistic a forum full of self-important, would-be intellectuals can be. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to intercept international phone calls and emails for about 500 people who are strongly suspected of being terrorists? Yes.

Would you rather have allowed terrorists to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge and killed who-knows-how-many people in the process? That is exactly what you are saying.

Most of us who are reasonable understand that protecting the rights (which arguably weren't violated, by the way) of terrorists should take a backseat to saving lives. Everyone of you who are whining and moaning are openly admitting that you prefer that the Brooklyn Bridge not exist today and that people had died in its destruction to the surveilance of a few likely terrorists.

Furthermore, every last one of you would be badmouthing Bush for letting the Brooklyn Bridge be destroyed and for not stopping it if he hadn't allowed this surveilance. You're all a bunch of small-minded hypocrites.

Why did we vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#14274374)

This never would've happened with a democrat in the white house. When will we learn?

Don't Worry... (1)

donnacha (161610) | about 9 years ago | (#14274378)

Thank God we have President Bartlett to watch out for our rights as citizens.

Let's impeach President Dummard (5, Funny)

NFNNMIDATA (449069) | about 9 years ago | (#14274379)

If treason isn't a good enough reason to be impeached, maybe we can come up some kind of blow-job scenario.

Ooh geez, I wonder (2, Interesting)

Swift Kick (240510) | about 9 years ago | (#14274388)

Could this ground-breaking article have anything to do with the upcoming release [simonsays.com] of a book written by the author of the NY Times article, which happens to deal with this exact subject matter?

Before you start lashing out against the government, notice that the article states that the monitoring activities are of individuals believed to have possible ties to terrorist networks, and no mention is made if they're even US citizens.

Of course, you can say that they could technically monitor anyone they want as long as they made it a 'national security' matter, but then again, you are probably wearing tinfoil hats and living confortably in your tempest cages, so you have nothing to worry about.

Lawfully (1)

squoozer (730327) | about 9 years ago | (#14274394)

Yes it might be lawful considering the current state of the law but was it morally right? The law is (or at least is supposed to be) a reflection of the way the people feel about given actions. I can't believe that most people would feel it was right that their conversations were being listened to. I suppose that problem is that most people think it won't happen to them.

I can understand the "it won't happen to be" brigade. I fail completely to understand the "if you've got nothing to hide" brigade though.

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