Monday, January 30, 2006

ILLEGAL WIRETAPS: NOT ONLY WRONG BUT ALSO STUPID

Bush is to deliver his State of the Union speech tonight. He will talk about his use of illegal wiretaps and spying on ordinary US citizens.

American Progress has this on the subject:

Warrantless Domestic Spying

What Bush Will Say: "The terrorist surveillance program is necessary to protect America from attack." [1/26/05]

What You Need to Know: President Bush's warrantless domestic spying program undermines the fight against terrorists and violates the law.

LAWLESS SPYING THREATENS LEGITIMATE TERRORIST INVESTIGATIONS: When laws are broken, the legal system imposes consequences. Revelations about the National Security Agency wiretapping program throw into doubt a wide range of investigations and prosecutions in the fight against terrorism. In criminal cases that can put terrorists behind bars, judges now have to worry that evidence was based on illegal wiretaps. According to several FISA judges quoted by the Washington Post, there are serious concerns that "legally suspect information" acquired through warrantless surveillance was used to obtain FISA warrants, potentially rendering the warrants illegitimate. More broadly, convicted terrorists will be emboldened to challenge their prosecutions, perhaps giving them the opportunity to operate freely once again. [Washington Post, 12/21/05]

LAWLESS SPYING WASTES VALUABLE INVESTIGATIVE RESOURCES: According to the New York Times, a massive amount of time and resources were devoted to the warrantless domestic spying program but obtained minimal results. The FBI was bombarded with long lists of phone numbers generated by the NSA program. According to a senior prosecutor: "It affected the F.B.I. in the sense that they had to devote so many resources to tracking every single one of these leads, and, in my experience, they were all dry leads." Long after 9/11, "the N.S.A. material continued to be viewed as unproductive, prompting agents to joke that a new bunch of tips meant more calls to Pizza Hut." [New York Times, 1/17/06]

LAWLESS SPYING THREATENS THE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES: The Bush Administration is claiming executive power far beyond our historical understanding. Among recent examples: the administration claims it can wiretap without a warrant in the United States, contrary to federal law (FISA); it can torture, contrary to international law and the recent McCain Anti-Torture Amendment; and it can hold a U.S. citizen in detention forever, with no judicial review, simply because the President labels the citizen an "enemy combatant." These positions constitute a direct attack by the executive branch on the checks and balances designed to protect our nation's democracy.


For the rest of what will Bush will talk about go read these: What Bush Will Say, What You Should Know and The Truth About Health Savings Accounts.

2 comments:

karena said...

I also heard that Bush is going to say that the problem with health insurance is that people use it too much. Pray it ain't so. No, actually, I hope he is stupid enough to say something that dumb. Gag, I will watch his speech because I must, but it will make me sick.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Karena,
I didn't get to watch Bush's SOTU last night...had to be up at about 2:30 am for work, which is propably a good thing 'cause I would have gotten pissed off and then not been able to sleep. Mary printed it for me though so I could read it...must do that yet.