Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You people are not even close to being ready for this.

I'll write more about this later as I don't have time right now.


Anonymous said...

Grim reading....

Kingfish said...

When we captured one of Bin Ladens main commanders in Pakistan a few years ago, he had 300 American phone numbers in his cellphone.

The dupes in our country, including the JFP, want a damn warrant for intercepting a phone call from a known terrorist who has attacked us to someone in this counrty while the terrorist is overseas. Never mind he could be calling in the code word to initiate an attack.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the same people want teachers and students to be defenseless in classrooms. Don't mind arming a teacher, tell him or her to use, get this, A CHAIR to defend the students with. That is just asinine.

I used to think that it would just take one bad event to prove to people, but, those events keep happening and the left-wingers can't get it through their thick skulls. So, I'm left asking this: What's it going to take?


Anonymous said...

I used to think that it would just take one bad event to prove to people, but, those events keep happening and the left-wingers can't get it through their thick skulls.

I'm convinced that they won't get it until we have more mass death here in the states. Unfortunately for them -- the left-wingers and JFP dupes -- then will be too late because when that day arrives the American people will readily trade some rights for increased security even if the trade-off is steep. Those trades will be far in excess of the price that we should be paying today for prevention.

But, you know, that is what makes them dupes.

Kingfish said...

That is Newt's point in that clip I posted in December: No one takes it seriously and then when we lose a city, you think you've seen a loss of civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

I read all the article I could stand but what about the killing of children one or two at a time by the other side of the coin? Its just as demeaning and cuts one to the very core when even a single child is killed off and its put in ones face that its being covered-up. Its even said that the Christian so-called god took your son because he was going to do something bad. What’s that bullshit all about? It doesn’t make much difference if 20 or 1 child is killed off if that 1 is your child!

Tom Head said...

'Fish, I can't speak for the JFP--as has become particularly obvious this week!--but what I'm asking for, and what I think the ACLU is asking for, is not prior warrants. It's retroactive warrants.

What this means: DoJ begins surveillance, goes to FISA within 45 days to get approval. If it fails to get approval, surveillance is cancelled and evidence gained from surveillance is inadmissible in court.

What this doesn't mean: DoJ wants to begin surveillance, but can't because it doesn't have a warrant.

These are substantive issues. Everybody with a brain is trying to balance essential law enforcement needs with civil liberties, whether it's Newt Gingrich or Anthony Romero. This is not a case of two sides; this is a case of one spectrum.

And from issue to issue, you'll have disagreement. John McCain, for example, is fine with the surveillance but opposes torture. You will find some people on the libertarian right who are fine with torture but oppose the surveillance.

I'm just glad this conversation is being had, and is being taken seriously by all parties. We need to be having a substantive national policy discussion on issues like these--not just waiting until the next time reality forces us to confront these issues again.

Tom Head said...

And I would offer up this question: What liberties could we have given up that would have prevented the 9/11 attacks?

The liberty to travel without massive security-related delays, for starters. We gave up that liberty. Now folks are wanting it back.

That, to me, is a much more substantive concern from a preventing-future-attacks standpoint than the FISA issue.

Kingfish said...

1. FISA required that the warrant be filed with the court within 72 HOURS of initiating the intercept. The application was THREE INCHES thick. You grab a cellphone of an Al Qaida operative in Qatar that has 600 numbers and you have to spend all weekend filling out applications? that is nuts.

2. You have NO right to privacy at the border. They can search the mail. They can search your body and possessions at the border. That also means you have no right to privacy on phone calls that leave this country. It also means that the national security interests of the government outweight the privacy interests at the border under the president's war and national security powers and thus the intercept is not unreasonable and no warrant is needed.

3. Modern technology makes the warrant requirement ridiculous if one party is outside of the country. Two parties can be overseas and speak to each other on the phones, however, due to modern technology, the packets are routed through the US even though the two parties are overseas. Some judges have already indicated such calls are subject to the warrant requirement, which is ridiculous.

4. As usual Ladd doesn't know what the hell she is talking about on national security issues. All she focuses on is government spying, ignoring the fact it is at the damn border. Once again I will say it, you have NO right to privacy at the border.

Tom Head said...

'Fish, the communication doesn't take place at the border. It takes place at two places simultaneously: Within the United States, where one has full privacy rights, and outside of the United States, where one does not. One does not leave the United States to make an international call.

With respect to FISA, the 72-hour window is being revised by the current legislation to a 45-day window, if I'm not mistaken, precisely because of the difficulty involved in filling out the requisite paperwork in the amount of time required. This is the sort of practical revision that one can make to accommodate growing law enforcement needs without throwing out the whole process of judicial review, which is neither necessary nor wise.

We already know that the surveillance is not being limited to terrorism-related activities. If we need to hire more people just to handle the FISA paperwork, then fine, but let's not give the executive branch a general warrant to monitor international calls without so much as a retroactive judicial review by a secret court. That's a slippery slope, and it's not even something that we really need to do from a national security standpoint.

Anonymous said...

"And I would offer up this question: What liberties could we have given up that would have prevented the 9/11 attacks?"

Hmm... well, for starters, we could give up the feel good policies of liberal nannystaters that wouldn't allow the pilots to be armed, because.... well, because someone could have gotten hurt on those flights.

Tom Head said...

There's more to it than getting hurt, LC; most pilots aren't trained to handle firearms, and shooting through the wall of a pressurized cabin is a great way to crash an airplane. There's also the concern that an untrained pilot's firearm could end up in the hands of terrorists on the plane (remember how the terrorists got into the 9/11 cockpits to begin with).

This is why the idea of air marshals was seen as a good compromise--it has armed personnel on flights that terrorists can't identify and therefore can't disarm. I have nothing in principle against a properly trained pilot carrying firearms, but I think an expansion of the air marshal program--putting an air marshal on every flight--would make much more sense.

Kingfish said...

1. The president does not need a warrant under his national security and war powers to intercept a phone call from terrorists overseas.

2. An target that is overseas is exempt from the warrant requirement. There is no law or Supreme Court holding that says if one of the two ends of the conversation is exempt from warrant requirements that the other end needs a warrant regardless.

3. The question of whether it would have anything to do with keeping 9/11 from taking place is irrelevant as the issue is how to give the President the appropriate tools to prevent all terrorist attacks, not 9/11.

4. What you forget is that the intercepts are not used for law enforcement purposes. The expectation of privacy is balanced against the government's national security interest as well as the reasonableness of the search. The overwhelming compelling interest of the governmnet to prevent terrorist attacks outweighs the expectation of privacy for someone speaking on the phone to a terrorist overseas.

You show your ignorance of the law. THe pilots first had to complete firearms training and most pilots are former military personnel. There are special bullets sky marshals use that do not penetrate the walls of the cabin.

Anonymous said...

We trust a pilot to fly 100+ people around in a big metal pringles can, with 10,000's of moving parts, yet we somehow think that they are incapable of handling a firearm, with oh, 13 moving parts?

Shooting through a pressurized cabin will not cause a catastrophic result. That has been demonstrated before. It would cause a depressurization, but it wouldn't start sucking people out like the *surprise!* movies told us it would.

Frangible bullets are available, and are used. This means that they will nicely go through flesh and other soft targets, but disintegrate upon meeting resistance.

Tom Head said...

I'm not an expert on firearms. Obviously if there are bullets that can be used that don't penetrate the cabin, then that changes the context of this considerably.

With respect to the surveillance issue, one party is outside of the country, not protected by the Fourth Amendment, and the other is inside the country, and therefore receives full Fourth Amendment protection. Hence the need for FISA.

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