The Ever Changing Position Of Showbama
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 15 years ago
This is interesting, first Showbama wants to do everything he can to "End The Assault On Our Liberties" by calling for Congressional hearings on warrantless wiretaps:

But regardless, I am certain that we can do the intelligence gathering we need to do without eroding the civil liberties our founding fathers intended

Obama: No warrantless wiretaps if you elect me

Then he willingly goes along with legislation proposed by GWB to expand expand the so-called "Domestic Spying Powers" and provide legal protection to the companies involved in the program.

Obama's wiretapping stand enrages many supporters

During the Democratic primary campaign, Obama vowed to fight such legislation to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. But he has switched positions and now supports a compromise hammered out between the White House and the Democratic congressional leadership.


BTW, maybe this will satisfy Gunnar and bring Rick back into the Political discussions here.

[This message has been edited by Kyle L. Varnell (edited 7/2/2008).]
Posted by Bob L. (+5095) 15 years ago
Oh, brother.

Here's a task for you, wing-nut...ERRRRRRR.....Kyle.

Please Google "McCain flip flop"

Guess what? You'll get about 2,000,000 results.

IMHO, "McSame" has flip flopped much more often than "Showbama." Of course, this is to be expected as he has been a public figure for much longer.

Conclusion: Politicians change their positions. McCain and Obama are politicians.
Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 15 years ago
From Obama
""Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance - making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act."

Have you actually read both the original bill and the revised one that they passed? They are drastically different beasts. If he manages to get the immunity piece stripped in the Senate like he intends then this will be a spectacular political coup de grace on his part. If he can't get that part stripped, then he'll at least brought FISA back into the picture and he has at the minimum 4 years to get this changed to his liking.

This is really a step in the right direction. The bill doesn't support warrantless wiretaps and brings accountability back into the picture.

You want to talk flip-flop, how about McCain PRAISING and trying to connect himself to the authors of a bill that he OPPOSED after it was passed overwhelmingly by Congress. A bill to help support our troops no less. The Audacity of desperation.. ugh. That's not flip-flopping, that's borderline contempt for American intelligence.

Posted by Hal Neumann (+10381) 15 years ago
Let Kyle spend his time posting links, print out 4 or 5 of these and hand them out . . . come November I'm betting votes will beat his links ;-)

US Election Assistance Commission, National Mail Voter Registration Form:

The form can be used to register to vote in all 50 states & DC - or to report a change of name, report a change of address or register with a political party.

Here's some info for Military personnel (& their families) and other citizens living overseas:
Posted by Stone (+1596) 15 years ago
Just another example of McCain's flip flop.

"If you like President Bush's trade policies that ship U.S. jobs
overseas, you'll love John McCain's. This July 4 weekend, the
Republican presidential candidate is stumping in Colombia--yes
Colombia, the deadliest nation in the world for trade
unionists--drumming up support for Bush's pet trade deal, the
Colombia Free Trade Agreement. No surprise though: According to
news reports, many of McCain's top advisers and funders have
actively lobbied for the Colombian government and corporations
in support of the trade deal."
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 15 years ago
"The bill doesn't support warrantless wiretaps"

Sadly, this is incorrect.

FISA is a direct enabler for warrentless wiretaps. This is because the FISA rules allow the tap to take place prior to any contact with the court (up to 72 hours), and also because the attorney general, who is not a judge, can make the decision w/o a warrant, no probable cause, and free of the requirement of oath or affirmation.

If the court doesn't approve (unlikely, but that's a separate issue) and the A/G doesn't decide the data is worth keeping, then they're supposed to "ignore" the data from the tap. Which is similar to telling jurors to "un-hear" something the defendant just said. IOW, it's nonsense. You've already been wiretapped.

Just so we're clear: FISA is, in and of itself, a direct violation of the fourth amendment.

Here is the relevant portion of the FISA rules:

"...procedures that require that no
contents of any communication to which a United States person
is a party shall be disclosed, disseminated, or used for any
purpose or retained for longer than 72 hours unless a court
order under section 1805 of this title is obtained or unless
the Attorney General determines that the information indicates
a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person."

[This message has been edited by Major Pain (edited 7/2/2008).]
Posted by ABC (+381) 15 years ago

Great post!

Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 15 years ago

The fact that you have to at some point present a case of proof to validate the tap means in effect it is not warrantless, just after the fact.

This system, if governed correctly means far less intrusion since at some point you have to answer to the piper. Still far from a perfect situation but a whole lot better then what we have going on in the present.
Posted by TALBOT (+251) 15 years ago
Hey Kyle,
Obama and McCain have flip floped on alot of stuff, that's a fact. But as Bob L pointed out, they are after all POLITICIANS!
One thing neither of them have flip floped on is the WAR.
Obama wants to bring our boys home safely and McCain wants to keep sending them home in body bags.
Posted by Chuck Schott (+1284) 15 years ago
Boy TALBOT now that is a miss representation of Mccain's goals. Sending them home in body bags is the last thing John McCain wants and if you don't know that your a true idiot.

By the way Obama is starting to waffle a bit on his "pull them out now" policy, I think he is seeing that is easier said than done.

They are both politicians and there in lies the lies.

[This message has been edited by Chuck Schott (edited 7/3/2008).]
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 15 years ago
J Dubya said:

"The fact that you have to at some point present a case of proof to validate the tap means in effect it is not warrantless, just after the fact."

I'll begin by quoting the fourth amendment in its entirety:

"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."

The whole point of the 4th amendment is that the people have a right to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures."

The fourth explicitly says that right "shall not be violated". I don't think there's more than one way to read that. In this context, "shall not" means the government is forbidden to violate that right, period.

The laws in force at the time (English common law dating as far back as 1278) required that a warrant be issued to search and/or seize. That's the context that the fourth must be interpreted within. Building on that requirement, the fourth further declares:

"...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."

Look at the order. The law said you couldn't search or seize without a warrant. The fourth says that a warrant must be predicated upon probable cause, which itself depends upon oath or affirmation, and that the warrant must describe the place to be searched and any specific thing that is being searched for, or which they are looking to seize.

This carefully described order clearly defines "reasonable"; because the stated goal of the amendment is to protect people from unreasonable searches and seizures. Here it is:

Oath or affirmation leads to...
...probable legal cause, which leads to...
...oath or affirmation in front of a judge, which leads to...
...the judge issuing a warrant, which must...
...describe the things to be searched for or seized, which leads to...
...a fourth-amendment compliant, and therefore legal, search or seizure for only those things described.

The intent is not only stated (to keep people secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects), the whole design of the fourth is to achieve that goal.

Now, please consider: The fourth's orderly (and very reasonable) sequence has been dramatically and functionally altered in the FISA rules. There, the order is search, find probable cause, get warrant. Which violates the very specific requirements of the fourth.

Such an order ensures that citizens are no longer secure "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects." You can be monitored at any time, for any (or no) reason. If they find something, they get a warrant -- just a paper exercise, because they've already found it, you see? At that point, all the requirements for probable cause, oath or affirmation, and a warrant are simply window dressing, because they are guaranteed to be provided.

The whole point of the fourth is that no one should be violating your privacy unless they have good reason to assume you specifically are doing something wrong. First!

Let me demonstrate with my dress analogy:

Let us say that a lady elects to wear a skirt. Does this give us the right to look up her skirt? After all, if she didn't want us looking, she could have worn pants, is this not true?

But any reasonable person understands the privacy issue perfectly well that she is not extending anyone permission to look up her skirt just because she is wearing one. She almost certainly wishes, perfectly reasonably, to be "secure in her person", just as the fourth amendment attempts to guarantee.

But what if she is a shoplifter and is hiding merchandise up her skirt? Would this not give us the right to look up her skirt? The answer is, it would if one had knowledge that this was the case.

The constitution calls this "probable cause." The idea that a lady could hide merchandise under her skirt clearly does not translate into the right to look up all ladies' skirts - the very idea is ludicrous, is it not?

Yet the US government is telling us that the reason they are justified in looking at everyone's email and phone conversations and other activity with FISA and the like is because these activities could "enable" illicit activity.

This is precisely the same kind of reasoning we just disposed of with skirts; the only time the government should be looking at any communication is when (a) they have probable cause, (b) supported by oath or affirmation, to think that those communications are of a criminal nature, (c) they have obtained a warrant that (d) specifically describes the communications to be searched. In that order.

The argument has been made (by the government, and by some citizens) that they "need" this power in order to "save us from the terrorists."

OK. If the government really feels that they need this power, then the authors of the constitution were prescient enough to provide a legitimate means for them to attempt to get it. Nice, eh?

This is laid out in article V, "Amendment." In this case, what they'd be asking for isn't something they'd be all that likely to get, and I respectfully submit that this is likely one of the primary reasons they illegitimately took this power rather than attempting to obtain proper constitutional authority for it.

So when you say " is not warrantless, just after the fact", I assert this is a distinction without a difference. Wiretapping without a warrant and getting one later is still wiretapping without a warrant. Time runs in the same direction for the government as it does for the people. The protections and specifications of the fourth amendment have not themselves been amended; therefore, the government's actions under FISA are entirely unconstitutional, by definition.
Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 15 years ago
"J Dubya said:"

You're fairly new to this forum so let me clue you in on one thing about me.

I hate George Bush. Like, I severely loathe him as an object. There are maybe 2 people I feel that intensely about in a negative manner and he by far tops the list.

I hate FISA and I hate the Patriot act and I agree with 95% of what you just posted, however... The only way we are going to get back to where we were at one time is 1 yard at a time. The current change voted on is 5-6 yards in the direction I want us going in. Far from a perfect resolution but we have to work within the reality of the situation and not a pipe dream that has no possibility of seeing the light of day.

You have to examine the intent of the warrant process, which is oversight. Warrants before or warrants after, both provide oversight. If that oversight is attached to consequences then the system can work, but both the reasons for and the consequences attached must be extremely severe.

I don't like it anymore then the next guy but you have to work with what you got. Until America wakes up and stops voting for people who enable this type of legislation we are forced to adapt to the political environment and win what battles we can. It's like a kid in a candy store. No matter how bad they stomp their feet and cry they are still not going to get what they want.

[This message has been edited by J. Dyba (edited 7/3/2008).]
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 15 years ago
"You're fairly new to this forum..."

Well, no, not really. It's just that I only registered recently. I've been reading for quite some time. One day a particular comment pushed me over the hump, that's all.

"we have to work within the reality of the situation and not a pipe dream that has no possibility of seeing the light of day."

If I accept, or even tolerate, the systematic destruction of the constitution, then... I become part of the problem. I won't do that. Can't.

Excuses for the current federal lawbreaking or "explanations" of how it can be accepted strike me as an entirely dangerous (and downhill) tack to take, not to mention being wrong in the technical sense.

I put it to you that tolerance in the matter of FISA is inherently pathological.

If applying pressure to return to the intent of the constitution is a "pipe dream", then we have lost our constitutional republic, and I didn't sign on for that. The fact is, I don't think it is a pipe dream. I'm really sorry to hear that you do.
Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 15 years ago
The "J.Dubya" struck me as some sort of shrub fan association. I'm pretty sure anyone who has read these forums for a bit knows exactly my burning hatred for that imbecile.

The pipe dream is undoing all the damage Bush has done in one fell swoop. It's going to take several bills making smaller dents in the problems to get us back.

I, like most of my closest friends, dream of the day we can prosecute this administration for their crimes and return the country to the ideas it was founded on.
Posted by Major Pain (+201) 15 years ago
I hear that.
Posted by howdy (+4944) 15 years ago
As Ben Franklin walked out of the First Continental Congress a lady asked him what kind of government he had given them..Franklin told her " a republic madam, if you can keep it". This is indeed a slippery slope we are all on.
Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 15 years ago
Still no sign of Rick K.?
Posted by howdy (+4944) 15 years ago
No doubt he is in an "undisclosed location". Maybe having a beer with Cheney.