The Politically Incorrect Mom

THE OPINIONATED RANTINGS OF A CONSERVATIVE MOM

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Privilege of Being a Terrorist

According to this article, a number of groups are suing President Bush, the head of the National Security Agency and the heads of other government agencies because they believe the government “eavesdropping” program is in violation of their constitutional rights.

Big surprise that this one is headed up by the ACLU and their communist/terrorist affiliates. The most interesting part of this article, to me at least, is that there are actually attorneys coming forward and suggesting that this “spying” has violated their attorney-client privilege. Mind you, the attorneys making this suggestion are representing alleged terrorists. So what they are really suggesting here is that it’s not lawful for our government to intercept communications made by alleged terrorists, simply because they’ve retained attorneys.

I’ve addressed this subject in the past and I will say what I always say…

If I were in a country where there was genuine, legitimate reason to believe that Americans were plotting terrorist attacks – I would do what ever was necessary, including allowing the government to listen in on my conversations to Aunt Betty, so that they would know that I have nothing to hide.

I find it both insulting and frightening that one of the plaintiffs in this case is the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

HELLO!

Of course I’m not suggesting that every person of Islamic descent is a terrorist, but if they have nothing to hide, what’s the problem here? Do you want to be a part of this country – or not? I’m of the opinion that if you do, you must agree to abide by the rules the rest of us abide by and that includes being open to scrutiny if it’s necessary. Since when do those not born in this country get to make the rules? It's an absolute outrage to think we are assigning any sort of "privilege" to suspected terrorists.

I’ve said it before – the government doesn’t give a rats you-know-what about cousin Martha’s cookie recipes. They have better things to do than listen in on Fred and Barney setting up a bowling night. If there were no suspicion to begin with, there would be no reason for the wire taps. These are not your plain old, white bread, run of the mill neighbors, folks. These people are suspected of something!

This is a slippery slope and if it’s not kyboshed soon, our government will not be allowed to intercept terrorist communications at all…leaving us open to one terrorist attack after another. Perhaps when the liberals are walking around with rags on their heads with their wives under a veil, singing (forcibly), “praise be to Allah” somebody will wake up and see where this was headed. We’ll see how many rights we all have then.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve got to call Aunt Betty and get that recipe. Feel free to listen in.

15 Comments:

  • At 8:11 AM, January 18, 2006, Blogger Neo-Con Tastic said…

    No matter what Bush does, he is wrong. I don't get it. Does everyoone realize that this 'eavesdropping' has occured during both Clinton and H. Bush's tenures as well.

    'Blame Bush' is getting old.

     
  • At 10:01 PM, January 18, 2006, Anonymous Rights, Bill of said…

    Wait a second, neo-con...If your use of "eavesdropping" is referring to the same thing as PIMom's use of "eavesdropping" in her first paragraph, then you're completely wrong.

    The program against which these lawsuits are filed wasn't even created until after September 11, 2001.
    Sure, there has been 'eavesdropping' by the government before 2001 (otherwise they wouldn't have had to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)).

    In case you've missed the point, let me give you a quick recap...

    1) The government, in response to allegations over spying, passes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. In the act, if the government wants to electronically surveil (or physically search) any person "engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power," they can do that...All they have to do is go to a special court and ask for a warrant.

    2) A warrant??? Now we've all seen the TV shows where the bad guy gets away while the police are trying to get a warrant. It isn't hard to get a FISA warrant. The FISA court only rejected 4 requests from 1979 to 2004. To make it even easier, the PATRIOT Act even granted an extension to allow the government to eavestrop on a subject for 72 hours before securing a warrant.

    Of course, let's not forget that all this information applies only to foreign nationals that are on US soil. That's how the NSA works. They can spy on any and every foreign national they choose, as long as they are located outside our borders, but the NSA is specifically prohibited from spying within the US (except in rare circumstances, like to execute FISA warrants).

    So here's the rub...President Bush's program uses the NSA to perform electronic surveillance ("eavesdropping") without securing a warrant!

    You're probably sitting there saying, "This is a bunch of partisan BS." Well, you don't have to take my word for it...I point you to page 2 of the Congressional Research Service's Analysis of Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance. In this document, you'll see that it clearly states that the program "allegedly began after the President issued a secret order in 2002.

    Or, I'd point you to President Bush's New Year's visit to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas. In his speech he says, "And on September the 11th, 2001, our nation was attacked. And after that day, I vowed to use all the resources at my disposal, within the law, to protect the American people, which is what I have been doing, and will continue to do."

     
  • At 10:42 PM, January 18, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    Bill - looks like you know everything. Well almost, that is. Do yourself a favor - google "Clinton Echelon" and then "Clinton Carnivore" and educate yourself a little more. Then come back and tell us all about it.

    The question is "do you want to be safe - or not?".

    Some people just hate President Bush more than they want to be safe (or better put...more than they love America). That's a real shame.

     
  • At 11:37 PM, January 18, 2006, Anonymous GotGoogle said…

    Thanks for telling me about Google. Hadn't used it before, but once I was able to wade through the factually incorrect missives on random blogs I was able to find an article by ComputerUser.com that explains why your Clinton defense is a sham. As a 2000 article states:

    Thought to have been created in the 1940s by the United States and UK governments, the system is now known to monitor most voice and data traffic circulating in most West countries.

    Reports suggests that it can legally do this by side-stepping national anti-surveillance legislation by requiring, for example, the U.S. government's National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor UK comms traffic, and, similarly, using the UK's security agencies to monitor U.S. comms traffic.


    The UKUSA agreement - -which involves America, Great Britain, Australia and others -- put each nation's electronic eavesdropping technology at the disposal of the other nations in the agreement, thus circumventing U.S. legislation against invasion of privacy in each of the host countries.

    I'd actually suggest that you learn more about Echelon before using it as justification for illegal eavesdropping. As Bill stated the "NSA is specifically prohibited from spying within the US (except in rare circumstances, like to execute FISA warrants)." So, here's some more info about Echelon.

    By the way, trying to make this a partisan dispute is pathetic. This is about American's right to privacy ... wasn't it conservatives that declared that they didn't want The Government snooping in their business?

    So, if you don't mind I'm going to agree with former AG Ashcroft and ask that the NSA stop listening to you and Aunt Betty and actually follow Executive Order 12333.

     
  • At 12:06 AM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous Rights, Bill of said…

    PIMom - I guess you really do know everything. Well almost, that is.

    It is funny, when I read the lawsuits filed in court yesterday, I didn't see any mention of Carnivore or Echelon...Now, based on my knowledge of the two projects, neither of them are the same as the program that President Bush authorized.


    Carnivore -- Carnivore was an FBI system designed to execute "content wiretaps" on the internet. More precisely, it was a system that was plugged into the network at an ISP and then sniffed and captured internet traffic in compliance with a properly executed warrant.

    Echelon -- I trust you are referring to the NSA system that allegedly "reads" all our e-mails, phone calls, and maybe even your blog. Interestingly, Echelon is just an outgrowth for the WWII SigInt systems. In fact, we share Echelon information with other countries in exchange for hosting installations, etc. (Maybe you should do yourself a favor and google "UKUSA alliance"). So what's the difference? Well, Echelon was designed to target international communications (specifically of foreign nationals). Any intercepted communication involving a US citizen required that their name (and identifying information) be redacted and replaced with the wording "US Citizen" because the NSA cannot operate against US Citizens. Did Echelon operate against US citizens? That is a good question, one which we may never fully know the answer to. There were reports that information was leaked about European businesses (namely Airbus) to domestic companies, While I would still condemn those acts, technically, that is still spying on foreign nationals outside US borders.

    With regards to your question, "Do you want to be safe - or not?"

    Here, in America, we are governed by laws. Residing in the birthplace of our nation, you should know that from the very day the Constitution was first signed, those laws have served as a solid foundation for our federal government. Those documents protect everything from your right to tell me I'm wrong, to my write to vote, to our right against unreasonable search, to carry guns, and our right to a fair trial. For the past 217 years, every action undertaken by our leaders has been (and rightfully should be) judged against the guiding principles of those fine documents.
    For 217 years, those documents have changed us from a band of rowdy pilgrims to the greatest nation on the face of this earth. Do I want to be safe? Absolutely. Do I want to be safe at the cost of the freedoms granted to me by the US Constitution? No Thanks.

     
  • At 6:49 AM, January 19, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    Aw shucks, guys. Thanks for the history lessons. Bill - have it your way. As for me, I am going to continue to fight for my right to be safe from terrorists, because as you libs always so conveniently overlook, there will be no Constitution to worry about if this country heads in the direction you would like it to.
    Let's not forget that the government isn't interested in listening in on what you have to say unless you are involved in something illegal. I maintain my position that suspected terrorists and those who help them should not be protected by ANYTHING.
    All of those things you mentioned are SECONDARY to my safety and the safety of my family.

     
  • At 10:18 AM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous devining_h2o said…

    Let's not forget that the government isn't interested in listening in on what you have to say unless you are involved in something illegal.

    Sorry, maybe I'm missing something ... but how would they know if you are "involved in something illegal" unless they listen to your conversation? Or are you just suggesting that every Muslim be wiretapped because they're a terrorist? Oh wait, maybe they have divine inspiration or extrasensory perception and that's how they know that you're doing something illegal.

     
  • At 5:45 PM, January 19, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    If you think listening in on people's conversations is the only way the government has the ability to put someone on a "watch" list, you're naive. And if you read the original post you would know that I am not suggesting every Muslim is a terrorist.

     
  • At 7:21 PM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous Rights, Bill of said…

    Oh, PIMom, I don't even know where to begin...In response to your comments, what do you mean there will be no Constitution if the country heads in the direction I'd like it to? Having re-read your post, and my comments, it seems to be that I'm the only one defending the Constitution!

    In your post, you stated, "Do you want to be a part of this country – or not? I’m of the opinion that if you do, you must agree to abide by the rules the rest of us abide by and that includes being open to scrutiny if it’s necessary." You're arguing that, if you have nothing to hide, then you should have no problem allowing your phone call with Aunt Betty to be tapped, recorded, transcripted, and analyzed. And that's cool that you don't mind allowing them to listen in on your call, but you have a right to be able to communicate with Aunt Betty without anyone listening in. I refer you to Amendment 4 of the US Constitution which states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    That's what I'm defending here. I'm defending your right to have a conversation without fear of the police, FBI, or NSA listening (without probable cause).

    You said, "...my position that suspected terrorists and those who help them should not be protected by ANYTHING." If they're American citizens, then they are protected by SOMETHING. They are protected by our US Constitution. See, those are the rules to which I agreed. I was given a choice, I could stay here in America, and agree to the principles set forth by the Constitution and codified in the United States Code, or I could have moved to a foreign land where the laws matched my beliefs. I chose to stay here because I believe that a person should be assumed innocent until proven guilty. I believe that a person has the right to a fair and speedy trial. And I believe in the prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. And I believe that all these rights should be afforded to all US Citizens. If that citizen is a suspected terrorist, then I must put my faith in our legal system that it will investigate and prosecute that suspected terrorist, within the confines of the laws that we have created.

    So, PIMom, why don't you believe in the Constitution?

     
  • At 9:10 PM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous Lyle Richie said…

    I find it both insulting and frightening that one of the plaintiffs in this case is the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

    HELLO!

    Of course I'm not suggesting that every person of Islamic descent is a terrorist, but if they have nothing to hide, what's the problem here? Do you want to be a part of this country -- or not? I'm of the opinion that if you do, you must agree to abide by the rules the rest of us abide by and that includes being open to scrutiny if it's necessary.


    Hello, is it me you're looking for? Well, if not, I'm still glad I found the blog, just wanted to ask:

    Why would you want to just willy-nilly concede your rights under our Constitution?

    You write "[o]f course I'm not suggesting that every person of Islamic descent is a terrorist," but then follow that with a conditional statement in which you declare "but if they have nothing to hide, what's the problem here?" The problem is that our laws presume that everybody is innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the State, not the individual. For a refresher on this fundamental right of ours see your post from December 10th, it has a link to the Wikipedia entry for the U.S. Code.

    You also wrote "I find it both insulting and frightening that one of the plaintiffs in this case is the Council on American-Islamic Relations" (CAIR), but in fact, CAIR seeks to empower the American Muslim community and encourage their participation in political and social activism. In case you missed the important part there, here it is again: the American Muslim community. As American Muslims they do abide by the same rules the rest of us abide by, it's called the U.S. Consititution and they're exercising their right to petition our government for redress. You touched on this in your post regarding Secretary Rice in August.

    We live in the greatest democratic country in the world and at the core of our nation is the laws that protect our freedoms. Remember we don't have to live in fear that a vicious dictator may have his thugs storm into my home and steal my daughters. Oh wait, that's right you wrote that in November, maybe you should go back and read how thankful you were about the freedoms we have in our country.

    I for one agree with you and realize that by giving up our rights we disgrace all of the lives that have been lost fighting to ensure our freedoms and, our rule of law, all of which make our country a wonderful place to live.

     
  • At 9:27 PM, January 19, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    Bill - I'm not even going to address the number of times you twisted my words - frankly it's exhausting to even think about it.

    Bottom line here, folks, is that 4 years ago - you all were SCREAMING for more protection. How quickly you all forget. I happen to choose not to forget and I'm willing to make sacrifices for my and my family's safety.

    Argue all you want, but I have a feeling our founding fathers were not writing those words with 9/11 in mind.

    I should know better than to argue with liberals - as always, you hate G.W./Republicans more than you love America.

     
  • At 10:32 PM, January 19, 2006, Anonymous Rights, Bill of said…

    PIMom - Sorry to cause you headaches, but I am genuinely trying to understand your argument. I think I've hardly twisted your words. I think my line of reasoning was pretty straightforward, and made nothing but fair interpretations of your argument.

    1) I claimed that my phone calls are protected from eavesdropping by the government (based upon the prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure).
    2) I claimed that the government listening to my phone calls without a warrant (thus, probable cause) is a violation of my Fourth Amendment rights.
    3) You said that you are willing to give up your right to private phone calls, if it makes you safer.

    The question remains, if you're willing to give up the right to private phone calls, are you also willing to suspend all aspects of the Fourth Amendment? Are you willing to allow the government to search your house without a warrant? How about your person?

    You're right, our Founding Fathers probably weren't thinking about 9/11 when they penned the Fourth Amendment. (Let's be honest, airplanes hadn't been invented, and Strom Thurmond had just been elected to the Senate -- just kidding about that last one) They were probably thinking about their own fear that the British Customs Officers kicking their doors in to see if they had any items upon which they hadn't paid duties.

    On a more personal note, I find it funny that you assume that I am a liberal, just because I disagree with you. I consider myself to be a staunch conservative...but my loyalties lie with Lady Liberty. When President Bush aligned his agenda with those American ideals, I lauded him. On those rare occasions when President Clinton's actions aligned with the path of Lady Liberty, I lauded him. My loyalty lies not with the man, but with a woman's gilded torch whose light shone the path for the masses that landed on our shores with nothing but a sweet sweet dream of freedom and a firm belief in the American ideals of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

     
  • At 6:44 AM, January 20, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    Well. good on 'ya, mate.
    You pursue your version of the American way.
    And I will continue to believe that freedom isn't free and comes, at times, with sacrifices. And if one day Lady Liberty is reduced to a pile of smouldering ashes because so many staunch conservatives weren't prepared to do the same - we'll have this conversation again, ok?

     
  • At 2:16 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Rights, Bill of said…

    PIMom - I'm deeply saddened that you would seemingly categorically dismiss my comments. I really am interested in the reasoning behind your support of the NSA's domestic spying. As I said earlier, I'm basing my argument on the US Constitution. I'm curious as to what steps you are going through to arrive at your conclusion.

     
  • At 12:14 AM, January 21, 2006, Blogger P.I. Mom said…

    It's really quite simple. We are fighting a war, the likes of which America has never known. We are fighting an enemy so evil that most of us can't even comprehend it. Everyone says they want to be free and safe, but people don't seem to understand that desperite times require extreme measures. If I have to give up a few comforts during this time - so be it - if it means I am not afraid to travel with my kids.
    Again, you all are blowing this way out of proportion - anyone with reasonable intelligence and an ounce of common sense knows that the government isn't interested in listening in on what most of us are saying, but if they have to in order to get the bad guys - so be it.
    I'm not talking about throwing away the Constitution of the United States. I am talking about a government that has been working very hard and taking enormous steps, day and night...night and day...way more than most of us know, in order to insure our safety since 9/11. It's no accident that we haven't been attacked again. It's because by the grace of God we have a President and a number of government officials who place our safety above anything else. If it means they have to go to extremes - well, then we should be thanking them because we are, after all, still safe.
    G.W. Bush no doubt goes to bed every night with the safety of you and I on his mind and he wakes up with it every single morning, so that you and I can get in our rediculously priced cars, that we don't need but want and drive to our jobs so we can buy more rediculous things for ourselves and our families.
    I thank God every single day that John Kerry is not in the White House because as I have said again and again and again....lower gasoline prices and affordable healthcare is secondary to the safety of my family.
    So, you wanted to know where I'm coming from - I'm coming from the the same corner you claim to be coming from...I want life, liberty and the persuit of happiness and I am aware that it comes with a price.

     

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