Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Trouble on the Horizon

Bush better watch out for impeachment proceedings in '06 when the Dems take back the Senate.

8 Comments:

Blogger sexyretard said...

What is your alternative to searching out those who wish to kill us?

3:37 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Perhaps searching them out with a court-issued subpoena, which would have been quite easy to obtain.

The point of nearly everything the Bush administration does is to assert a view of executive branch power that is completely at odds with a *traditionalist* interpretation of the letter and spirit of the separation of powers. To put it in terms that the hawks in this group might understand: Bush may not *yet* have crossed the crucial point of no return regarding the dissolution of basic civil liberties, but many of us feel that his behavior has been so hostile to them that it's important to effect a policy of regime change immediately in order to prevent him--or other American presidents--from doing so soon, or ten years down the line.

4:27 PM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

"The point of nearly everything the Bush administration does is to assert a view of executive branch power that is completely at odds with a *traditionalist* interpretation of the letter and spirit of the separation of powers."

That's a debatable proposition. He seems to be following in the footsetps of previous chief execs.
Consider the following:


Clinton Claimed Authority to Order No-Warrant Searches
Does anyone remember that?


In a little-remembered debate from 1994, the Clinton administration argued that the president has "inherent authority" to order physical searches — including break-ins at the homes of U.S. citizens — for foreign intelligence purposes without any warrant or permission from any outside body. Even after the administration ultimately agreed with Congress's decision to place the authority to pre-approve such searches in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, President Clinton still maintained that he had sufficient authority to order such searches on his own.

"The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes," Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, "and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General."

"It is important to understand," Gorelick continued, "that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities."

Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, provides for such warrantless searches directed against "a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power."

Reporting the day after Gorelick's testimony, the Washington Post's headline — on page A-19 — read, "Administration Backing No-Warrant Spy Searches." The story began, "The Clinton administration, in a little-noticed facet of the debate on intelligence reforms, is seeking congressional authorization for U.S. spies to continue conducting clandestine searches at foreign embassies in Washington and other cities without a federal court order. The administration's quiet lobbying effort is aimed at modifying draft legislation that would require U.S. counterintelligence officials to get a court order before secretly snooping inside the homes or workplaces of suspected foreign agents or foreign powers."

In her testimony, Gorelick made clear that the president believed he had the power to order warrantless searches for the purpose of gathering intelligence, even if there was no reason to believe that the search might uncover evidence of a crime. "Intelligence is often long range, its exact targets are more difficult to identify, and its focus is less precise," Gorelick said. "Information gathering for policy making and prevention, rather than prosecution, are its primary focus."

The debate over warrantless searches came up after the case of CIA spy Aldrich Ames. Authorities had searched Ames's house without a warrant, and the Justice Department feared that Ames's lawyers would challenge the search in court. Meanwhile, Congress began discussing a measure under which the authorization for break-ins would be handled like the authorization for wiretaps, that is, by the FISA court. In her testimony, Gorelick signaled that the administration would go along a congressional decision to place such searches under the court — if, as she testified, it "does not restrict the president's ability to collect foreign intelligence necessary for the national security." In the end, Congress placed the searches under the FISA court, but the Clinton administration did not back down from its contention that the president had the authority to act when necessary.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

~~Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so.~~

By Bush's "logic," isn't he himself thus guilty of aiding the enemy by bringing even MORE attention to it? If the cunning, insidious international islamofascist terrorist network plots their moves based on media reports of current gov't counterterrorist strategies, why doesn't he just classify EVERYTHING? For example, won't publicizing (which Bush has done) that we're working to freeze terrorist assets and bank accounts just encourage the enemy to find more insidious ways to fund their operations?

The argument, if one could call alarmist fear-mongering an argument, doesn't hold up. Why haven't the terrorists hit via incoming shipping containers yet? That's been widely publicized (as far back as Kerry mentioning it in the debates, if not further) to be our most vulnerable point - despite the 9/11 commission's recommendations, they're barely spot checked.

8:49 AM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

'~~Bush claimed that “the fact that we are discussing this program is helping the enemy.” But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so.~~'

I think the idea here is something along the lines of revealing that we monitored OBM's phone calls, after which he stopped using his satellite phone. Is Bush correct in his statement? Hell if I know, but I think it is quite reasonable to presume that our enemies keep track of our keeping track of them. It may very well be the case that they are a 3 steps ahead of the media revelations vis a vis our capabilities, but that's hardly something I would state with certainty.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"He seems to be following in the footsetps of previous chief execs."

I would have been thrilled if Congress had initiated impeachment hearings against Clinton on the basis of willful violations of the express intent of the 4th Amendment (or if they had done so against Reagan, which was when the major modern assault on it by the executive branch began). It is the nature of the executive branch (Dem or Republican) to attempt to accrue more and more power to itself, which is why the principle of separation of powers is so important. As I said, I doubt they would have had any problem securing warrants (I said subpoenas, but I meant warrants), but I think the Bush administration believes in the imperial presidency, and is always looking for an opportunity to give a hearty "fuck you" to anyone who doesn't agree with them.

9:38 AM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

So Mk, lemme get this straight, you're using the Clinton Administration's acts to lend your guy legitimacy? Is that supposed to make us "Liberals" say "Ah Shucks, thanks for pointing that out, fuck it, I'm cool with Bush listening in on my calls to Europe and sniffing around my emails, fuck the "land of the free" he can do that to keep me safe cuz my hero Billie C. did it too"?

Using a Clinton example doesn't legitimize anything. So if we find out McClellan is blowing Dubya and Dubya "lies" about it, will that be ok because Clinton did it?

WTF? That's such a cop out, Americans are like deer in the headlights when it comes to fear. The real chances of any one of us dieing at the hands of a terrorist are about as good as Christ coming back with his fist in his ass.

9:58 AM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

Sigh. Jeff said Bush was doing something that was "completely at odds with a *traditionalist* interpretation of the letter and spirit of the separation of powers." So I offered a cite which shows that Bush's actions were hardly extra-ordinary. My comments did not speak to legitimacy of those actions.

Your strong reaction is interesting ,though. Does this mean you favor(ed) Clinton's impeachment?

10:55 AM  

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