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Another Enemy of the People? Mark Graber
I am posting the below with the permission of Professor Walter F. Murphy, emeritus of Princeton University. For those who do not know, Professor Murphy is easily the most distinguished scholar of public law in political science. His works on both constitutional theory and judicial behavior are classics in the field... "On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton University, designed to focus on my latest scholarly book, Constitutional Democracy...
"When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list...
More bush Police State criminality...
FBI Provided Inaccurate Data for Surveillance Warrants
FBI agents repeatedly provided inaccurate information to win secret court approval of surveillance warrants in terrorism and espionage cases, prompting officials to tighten controls on the way the bureau uses that powerful anti-terrorism tool, according to Justice Department and FBI officials. The errors were pervasive enough that the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, wrote the Justice Department in December 2005 to complain...
In this clip, former AT&T technician Mark Klein discusses his investigation of a secret room built in conjunction with the National Security Agency through which all customer information was routed. Watch this.
By Agence France-Presse
US officials failed to sideline dozens of domestic spying lawsuits on Tuesday as a federal judge ordered the war on terror-connected cases to proceed despite a pending appeal.
San Francisco District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker issued a brief written ruling that allowed evidence-gathering to commence conditionally despite protests by government lawyers.
By Jim Dwyer
The New York Times
Friday 16 February 2007
In a rebuke of a surveillance practice greatly expanded by the New York Police Department after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled yesterday that the police must stop the routine videotaping of people at public gatherings unless there is an indication that unlawful activity may occur.
Twenty two members of House Judiciary Committee demand NSA spy docs
By RAW STORY
Twenty two Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday demanding that he turned over documents pertaining to the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program, RAW STORY has learned. To date, only two Committee members have received access to the documents.
Justice to Release Spy Program Details to Senators
By Lara Jakes Jordan, Associated Press
Washington - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday he will turn over secret documents detailing the government's domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects.
"It's never been the case where we said we would never provide access," Gonzales told reporters.
The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed.
Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press
The Bush administration sought on Thursday to drop its appeal of a federal court ruling that concluded the government's domestic spying program is unconstitutional, saying the entire issue is moot since the surveillance now is monitored by a secret court.
Responding, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union said they would continue to push for their day in court since President Bush retains authority to continue the warrantless spying program.
By Aziz Huq, www.tompaine.com
Aziz Huq directs the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice. He is co-author of Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in Times of Terror (New Press, 2007), and recipient of a 2006 Carnegie Scholars Fellowship.
At first it was hailed as a victory for civil liberties. But last week’s announcement that warrantless domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency has come to an end means less than it first appears.
By David Johnston and Scott Shane, New York Times
Washington - Lawmakers demanded more information on new rules for governing a domestic surveillance program on Thursday, a day after the Bush administration announced that it had placed the National Security Agency eavesdropping under court supervision.
Senators from both parties who had long criticized the eavesdropping without court warrants said at a Judiciary Committee hearing that they welcomed the change but wanted details. They said they wanted to be sure that the new rules adequately protected Americans' privacy.
By James Rowley and Robert Schmidt, Bloomberg
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Senators peppered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales with complaints that the Bush administration paid scant attention to civil liberties and made overreaching claims of presidential power during its five-year war on terror.
During his first appearance before a Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales was questioned repeatedly about why President George W. Bush didn't act sooner to put electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists under court supervision.
By Jonathan Springston, Atlanta Progressive News
(APN) ATLANTA -- The Bush Administration announced yesterday it will abandon the warrantless surveillance program operated by the National Security Agency (NSA), Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
The reversal comes just one day before US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was to begin testifying before the new Democratic-majority Congress on the illegal program.
By Dave Lindorff, www.thiscantbehappening.net
In at least one area, President Bush is on the run.
Congress should run him to ground.
The issue, which should be of concern to Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, is illegal spying on Americans by the National Security Agency.
Back in 2005, the New York Times (after unconscionably holding the story for a full year) exposed the fact that Bush, in late 2001, had authorized the NSA to illegally begin a wide-ranging program of monitoring the phone calls and internet communications of Americans in direct and blatant violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). That act had been passed by Congress in 1978 precisely because of a similar spying program authorized by President Richard Nixon. It had turned out Nixon was using the NSA illegally to spy on political opponents both outside and inside his own administration.
By Peter Baker, Washington Post
Allowing court's role in surveillance is latest step back.
President Bush's decision to submit his warrantless-surveillance program to the jurisdiction of a special intelligence court represents the latest step back from the expansive interpretation of executive power he has asserted since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Under pressure from Congress and the courts, Bush in the past six months has closed secret overseas CIA prisons, transferred previously unidentified detainees to regular military custody, negotiated congressional approval for tribunals to try foreign terrorism suspects and accepted at least some regulation of how harshly such prisoners could be interrogated.
By Lara Jakes Jordan, Associated Press
Washington - The Justice Department, easing a Bush administration policy, said Wednesday it has decided to give an independent body authority to monitor the government's controversial domestic spying program.
In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said this authority has been given to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and that it already has approved one request for monitoring the communications of a person believed to be linked to al-Qaida or an associated terror group.
By Walter Pincus, Washington Post
ACLU is questioning entries in defense deptartment system.
A Defense Department database devoted to gathering information on potential threats to military facilities and personnel, known as Talon, had 13,000 entries as of a year ago - including 2,821 reports involving American citizens, according to an internal Pentagon memo to be released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.
By Mark Mazzetti
The New York Times
Monday 15 January 2007
Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday defended efforts by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to obtain financial records of Americans suspected of terrorism or espionage, calling the practice a "perfectly legitimate activity" used partly to protect troops stationed on military bases in the United States.
By Eric Lichtblau and Mark Mazzetti
The New York Times
Sunday 14 January 2007
Washington - The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.
Senator asks Bush to explain signing statement that gives President authority to open mail without warrant
By RAW STORY
The following letter, acquired by RAW STORY, was delivered to President Bush Monday, in response to an article published in the NY Daily News which revealed that Bush had written into a "signing statement" that the President could open Americans' mail.
January 8, 2007
The Honorable [sic] George W. Bush
The White House
Officials believe White House chose new Intelligence chief in effort to darken Iran Intelligence Estimate, broaden spying
By Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story
The nomination of retired Vice Admiral John Michael "Mike" McConnell to be Director of National Intelligence is part of an effort by the Vice President to tighten the Administration’s grip on domestic intelligence and grease the wheels for a more aggressive stance towards Iran, current and former intelligence officials believe.
By NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
WASHINGTON — The Republican sponsor of a postal reform bill called Thursday on President Bush to explain why he used it to claim he can open domestic mail without a search warrant.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine questioned Bush's controversial Dec. 20 "signing statement" in which he stated if there were an emergency he wouldn't need a warrant to open letters. The bill he signed into law that day, co-sponsored by Collins, requires search warrants for mail.
Bush signing may mean government can read your mail [OR WOULD IF SIGNING STATEMENTS HAD ANY LEGAL FORCE]
Bush signing may make it legal for government to read your mail
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A signing statement attached to postal legislation by President Bush last month may have opened the way for the government to open mail without a warrant.
The White House denies any change in policy.
The law requires government agents to get warrants to open first-class letters.
But when he signed the postal reform act, Bush added a statement saying that his administration would construe that provision "in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances. ..."
By David Swanson
As Dan Ellsberg said at last night's forum (which numerous people videotaped and seem to be slow posting the clips from), one of Hitler's earlier moves was to give himself the right to read anyone's mail. Guess what Bush has just done?
W pushes envelope on U.S. spying
New postal law lets Bush peek through your mail
BY JAMES GORDON MEEK, DAILY NEWS
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
BY JAMES GORDON MEEK
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU
Thursday, January 4th, 2007
WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned.
By Gregory D. Kesich, Portland Press Herald (Maine)
It was a short retirement for James "Doug" Cowie.
Months after he ended an 18-year career with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, much of it spent looking into telecommunications customers' complaints, Cowie filed one of his own.
James "Doug" Cowie, 75, is using state laws and state agencies to try to bring accountability to what the National Security Agency is doing with warrantless wiretapping. (Staff photo by John Patriquin)
By Ellen Nakashima and Del Quentin Wilber, Washington Post
Passengers weren't told that brokers provided data to screening program in '04.
Secure Flight, the U.S. government's stalled program to screen domestic air passengers against terrorism watch lists, violated federal law during a crucial test phase, according to a report to be issued today by the Homeland Security Department's privacy office.
On the Necessity of Impeachment:
U. Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone, Georgetown U. Law Professor David Cole, and U. Massachusetts Law School Dean Lawrence Velvel - agree: “Some legal questions are hard. This one is not. Mr. Bush’s authorizing of the NSA to spy on Americans is blatantly unlawful and unconstitutional.”
By DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press
Federal agents continue to eavesdrop on Americans' electronic communications without warrants a year after President Bush confirmed the practice, and experts say a new Congress' efforts to limit the program could trigger a constitutional showdown.
High-ranking Democrats set to take control of both chambers are mulling ways to curb the program Bush secretly authorized a month after the Sept. 11 attacks. The White House argues the Constitution gives the president wartime powers to eavesdrop that he wouldn't have during times of peace.