Author Topic: I don't intend to back down from a Pres. who wants Americans to cower in fear!!  (Read 5497 times)

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Offline Dig

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Intel chair to Bush on FISA: I will not back down to you
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Intel_chair_to_Bush_on_FISA_0214.html
RAW STORY Published: Thursday February 14, 2008



Congressman Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, sent a letter to President Bush regarding the ongoing battle over warrantless wiretapping.

Text of the letter follows below.
#

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The Preamble to our Constitution states that one of our highest duties as public officials is to "provide for the common defence." As an elected Member of Congress, a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I work everyday to ensure that our defense and intelligence capabilities remain strong in the face of serious threats to our national security.

Because I care so deeply about protecting our country, I take strong offense to your suggestion in recent days that the country will be vulnerable to terrorist attack unless Congress immediately enacts legislation giving you broader powers to conduct warrantless surveillance of Americans' communications and provides legal immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in the Administration's warrantless surveillance program.

Today, the National Security Agency (NSA) has authority to conduct surveillance in at least three different ways, all of which provide strong capability to monitor the communications of possible terrorists.

First, NSA can use its authority under Executive Order 12333 to conduct surveillance abroad of any known or suspected terrorist. There is no requirement for a warrant. There is no requirement for probable cause. Most of NSA's collection occurs under this authority.

Second, NSA can use its authority under the Protect America Act, enacted last August, to conduct surveillance here in the U.S of any foreign target. This authority does not "expire" on Saturday, as you have stated. Under the PAA, orders authorizing surveillance may last for one year – until at least August 2008. These orders may cover every terrorist group without limitation. If a new member of the group is identified, or if a new phone number or email address is identified, the NSA may add it to the existing orders, and surveillance can begin immediately. We will not "go dark."

Third, in the remote possibility that a new terrorist organization emerges that we have never previously identified, the NSA could use existing authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor those communications. Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the FISA Court has approved nearly every application for a warrant from the Department of Justice. In an emergency, NSA or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may begin surveillance immediately, and a FISA Court order does not have to be obtained for three days. The former head of FISA operations for the Department of Justice has testified publicly that emergency authorization may be granted in a matter of minutes.

As you know, the 1978 FISA law, which has been modernized and updated numerous times since 9/11, was instrumental in disrupting the terrorist plot in Germany last summer. Those who say that FISA is outdated do not understand the strength of this important tool.

If our nation is left vulnerable in the coming months, it will not be because we don't have enough domestic spying powers. It will be because your Administration has not done enough to defeat terrorist organizations – including al Qaeda -- that have gained strength since 9/11. We do not have nearly enough linguists to translate the reams of information we currently collect. We do not have enough intelligence officers who can penetrate the hardest targets, such as al Qaeda. We have surged so many intelligence resources into Iraq that we have taken our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result, you have allowed al Qaeda to reconstitute itself on your watch.

You have also suggested that Congress must grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. As someone who has been briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past actions of telecommunications companies are immunized.

The issue of telecom liability should be carefully considered based on a full review of the documents that your Administration withheld from Congress for eight months. However, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to say that we will be vulnerable unless we grant immunity for actions that happened years ago.

Congress has not been sitting on its hands. Last November, the House passed responsible legislation to authorize the NSA to conduct surveillance of foreign terrorists and to provide clarity and legal protection to our private sector partners who assist in that surveillance.

The proper course is now to conference the House bill with the Senate bill that was passed on Tuesday. There are significant differences between these two bills and a conference, in regular order, is the appropriate mechanism to resolve the differences between these two bills. I urge you, Mr. President, to put partisanship aside and allow Republicans in Congress to arrive at a compromise that will protect America and protect our Constitution.

I, for one, do not intend to back down – not to the terrorists and not to anyone, including a President, who wants Americans to cower in fear.

We are a strong nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be scared into suspending the Constitution. If we do that, we might as well call the terrorists and tell them that they have won.

Sincerely,


Silvestre Reyes
Member of Congress
Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence


--------------------------------

Reyes is not without minor controversy, but that letter to the President is SPOT ON!
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline SuzakaDusk

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Re: FISA wakes up a Congressional Patriot!
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 07:08:58 pm »
Excellent letter, Let us hope more folks are coming to their senses regarding this issue..

There is a glimmer of hope after all :)
Words can not describe how I feel, I am exiled in the UK away from my husband and babies and I so much love and miss them, I am heartbroken about my ordeal. I am so upset and overwhelmed by it all. I am not taking anything for my depression. I'm trying to hang in there, but it is hard.

Offline UpsetBrit

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A shot over the bow of USS Endgame.  ;D
One mind at a time...

Offline Dig

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Countdown Special Comment on FISA:
President Bush Is A Liar And A Fascist

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/02/14/countdown-special-comment-on-fisa-president-bush-is-a-liar-and-a-fascist/#more-26370
By: Logan Murphy on Thursday, February 14th, 2008 at 6:45 PM - PST
   


http://www.crooksandliars.com/Media/Download/26370/1/Countdown-SC-Bushliar.wmv

Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on today’s Countdown was a scathing rebuke of President Bush for continuing to play the fear card, trying to scare the hell out of the American people and vowing to veto any FISA legislation that does not contain telecom amnesty.

You are a liar, Mr. Bush, and after showing some skill at it, you have ceased to even be a very good liar.

And your minions like John Boehner — your Republican congressional crash dummies who just happen to decide to walk out of Congress when a podium-full of microphones await them — they should just keep walking, out of Congress and if possible, out of the country.

For they — and you, sir — have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The lot of you, are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic, to whom “Freedom” is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for, when you want to get away with its opposite.

Thus, Mr. Bush, your panoramic invasion of privacy is dressed up as “protecting America.”

Full transcripts below the fold:


Democrats in the House of Representatives are closing the shop down tonight, until a week from Monday… leaving President Bush twisting slowly in a wind of his own creation.

Our third story on the Countdown: the FISA bill — and the retroactive immunity for the telecom giants that helped Mr. Bush illegally eavesdrop on Americans — will thus just sit there, unacted upon, not even a temporary extension which the Republicans and Mr. Bush refused, despite the President’s threats that if the bill isn’t passed by Saturday, there’d be a breakdown in counter-terrorism surveillance and plagues of locusts and stuff.

A Special Comment, in a moment.

First the details.

House Democrats, in essence, calling the Republicans’ bluff.

They staged a walkout at mid-day… led by John Boehner, who in one act managed the cheesy political theater, and managed to get out just as Representatives were to vote on Contempt of Congress citations against Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten.

That the Republicans just happened to walk to a stand-full of microphones… pure coincidence.

The President had started all this, with his now-daily message of fear, with what he apparently sees as a threat, to postpone his scheduled trip to Africa.

The House should not leave Washington without passing the Senate bill. I am scheduled to leave tomorrow for a long-planned trip to five African nations. Moments ago, my staff informed the House leadership that I’m prepared to delay my departure, and stay in Washington with them, if it will help them complete their work on this critical bill. The lives of countless Americans depend on our ability to monitor terrorist communications.

Having lost, he now says he’s going to Africa — another threat, or promise, unfulfilled.

Now, as promised, a Special Comment.

A part of what I will say, was said here on January 31st.

Unfortunately it is both sadder and truer now, than it was, then.

“Who’s to blame?” Mr. Bush also said this afternoon, “Look, these folks in Congress passed a good bill late last summer… The problem is, they let the bill expire. My attitude is: if the bill was good enough then, why not pass the bill again?”

You know, like The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Or Executive Order 90-66.

Or The Alien and Sedition Acts.

Or Slavery.

Mr. Bush, you say that our ability to track terrorist threats will be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger.

Yet you have weakened that ability!

You have subjected us, your citizens, to that greater danger!

This, Mr. Bush, is simple enough even for you to understand.

For the moment, at least, thanks to some true patriots in the House, and your own stubbornness, you have tabled telecom immunity, and the FISA act.

You.

By your own terms and your definitions — you have just sided with the terrorists.

You got to have this law or we’re all going to die.

But practically speaking, you vetoed this law.

It is bad enough, sir, that you were demanding an Ex Post Facto law, which could still clear the AT&Ts and the Verizons from responsibility for their systematic, aggressive, and blatant collaboration with your illegal and unjustified spying on Americans under this flimsy guise of looking for any terrorists who are stupid enough to make a collect call or send a mass e-mail.

But when you demanded it again during the State of the Union address, you wouldn’t even confirm that they actually did anything for which they deserved to be cleared.

“The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America.” Believed?

Don’t you know?

Don’t you even have the guts Dick Cheney showed in admitting they did collaborate with you?

Does this endless presidency of loopholes and fine print extend even here?

If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business — come out and say it!

There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend.

You’re a fascist — get them to print you a t-shirt with “fascist” on it!

What else is this but fascism?

Did you see Mark Klein on this newscast last November?

Mark Klein was the AT&T Whistleblower, the one who explained in the placid, dull terms of your local neighborhood I-T desk, how he personally attached all AT&T circuits — everything — carrying every one of your phone calls, every one of your e-mails, every bit of your web browsing into a secure room, room number 641-A at the Folsom Street facility in San Francisco, where it was all copied so the government could look at it.

Not some of it, not just the international part of it, certainly not just the stuff some spy — a spy both patriotic and telepathic — might able to divine had been sent or spoken by — or to — a terrorist.

Everything!

Every time you looked at a naked picture.

Every time you bid on eBay.

Every time you phoned in a donation to a Democrat.

“My thought was,” Mr. Klein told us last November, “George Orwell’s 1984. And here I am, forced to connect the big brother machine.”

And if there’s one thing we know about Big Brother, Mr. Bush, is that he is — you are — a liar.

“This Saturday at midnight,” you said today, “legislation authorizing intelligence professionals to quickly and effectively monitor terrorist communications will expire. If Congress does not act by that time, our ability to find out who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning, will be compromised…You said that “the lives of countless Americans depend” on you getting your way.

This is crap.

And you sling it, with an audacity and a speed unrivaled even by the greatest political felons of our history.

Richard Clarke — you might remember him, sir, he was one of the counter-terror pro’s you inherited from President Clinton, before you ran the professionals out of government in favor of your unreality-based reality — Richard Clarke wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Let me be clear: Our ability to track and monitor terrorists overseas would not cease should the Protect America Act expire. If this were true, the president would not threaten to terminate any temporary extension with his veto pen. All surveillance currently occurring would continue even after legislative provisions lapsed because authorizations issued under the act are in effect up to a full year.”

You are a liar, Mr. Bush, and after showing some skill at it, you have ceased to even be a very good liar.

And your minions like John Boehner — your Republican congressional crash dummies who just happen to decide to walk out of Congress when a podium-full of microphones await them — they should just keep walking, out of Congress and if possible, out of the country.

For they — and you, sir — have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The lot of you, are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic, to whom “Freedom” is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for, when you want to get away with its opposite.

Thus, Mr. Bush, your panoramic invasion of privacy is dressed up as “protecting America.”

Thus, Mr. Bush, your indiscriminate domestic spying becomes the focused monitoring, only of “terrorist communications.”

Thus, Mr. Bush, what you and the telecom giants have done, isn’t unlawful, it’s just the kind of perfectly legal, passionately patriotic thing for which you happen to need immunity!

Richard Clarke is on the money, as usual.

That the President was willing to veto this eavesdropping, means there is no threat to the legitimate counter-terror efforts underway.

As Senator Kennedy reminded us in December:

“The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retroactive immunity.

No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he’s willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies.”

And that literally cannot be.

Even Mr. Bush could not overtly take a step that actually aids the terrorists.

I am not talking about ethics here.

I am talking about blame.

If the President seems to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it means we can safely conclude… there is no baby.

Because if there were, sir, now that you have vetoed an extension of this eavesdropping, if some terrorist attack were to follow…

You would not merely be guilty of siding with the terrorists…

You would not merely be guilty of prioritizing the telecoms over the people…

You would not merely be guilty of stupidity…

You would not merely be guilty of treason, sir…

You would be personally, and eternally, responsible.

And if there is one thing we know about you, Mr. Bush, one thing that you have proved time and time again… it is that you are never responsible.

As recently ago as 2006, we spoke words like these with trepidation.

The idea that even the most cynical and untrustworthy of politicians in our history — George W. Bush — would use the literal form of terrorism against his own people — was dangerous territory. It seemed to tempt fate, to heighten fear.

We will not fear any longer.

We will not fear the international terrorists — we will thwart them.

We will not fear the recognition of the manipulation of our yearning for safety — we will call it what it is: terrorism.

We will not fear identifying the vulgar hypocrites in our government — we will name them.

And we will not fear George W. Bush.

Nor will we fear because George W. Bush wants us to fear.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline menace

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ALERT: House floating new amnesty proposal
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2008, 06:27:22 pm »

The House Democratic leadership is developing a new amnesty plan. Discussions are underway on a bill that would give illegal aliens a visa that awards legal status for five years if they have jobs, pay nominal fines, and pass background checks.

Since the visas could be renewed, it is a new plan for a permanent amnesty. By not offering a "path to citizenship"-at least not yet--the proponents think it will not engender as much opposition as the amnesty of the McCain--Kennedy comprehensive immigration bill.

The new plan attempts to lure business and Republican support by offering additional employment visas for agricultural and technical workers.

http://www.capsweb.org/

Offline Dig

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Re: ALERT: House floating new amnesty proposal
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2008, 08:15:30 pm »
ALERT! House floating new amnesty proposal to undermine SAVE Act!
http://universityproxy.com/index.php?q=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5jYXBzd2ViLm9yZy8%3D


The House Democratic leadership is developing a new amnesty plan. Discussions are underway on a bill that would give illegal aliens a visa that awards legal status for five years if they have jobs, pay nominal fines, and pass background checks.

Since the visas could be renewed, it is a new plan for a permanent amnesty. By not offering a "path to citizenship"-at least not yet--the proponents think it will not engender as much opposition as the amnesty of the McCain--Kennedy comprehensive immigration bill.

The new plan attempts to lure business and Republican support by offering additional employment visas for agricultural and technical workers.

The authors of this proposal are concerned about growing support for the SAVE Act, HR 4088. This bipartisan measure, which stresses enforcement and increases border security, now has over 130 co-sponsors.

Help us launch a pre-emptive strike against this new insidious amnesty proposal.

ACTION NEEDED

Let your Representative know that you are not fooled by this effort to undermine the true immigration reform of the SAVE Act. Send a fax or an e-mail by entering your ZIP Code and clicking "Go!" below.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

JTCoyoté

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Re: ALERT: House floating new amnesty proposal
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2008, 01:00:02 am »
It is time for there to be a moratorium called on all legislative action by both Houses of congress...

Watching the FISA situation in the House, the members were given a bill just over a week ago that is a full 14 inches thick... and the POTUS wants it passed by its sunset date, midnight tomorrow night...

Time to shut down the congress to only essential business... This FISA thing has a "Sunset window" that is open till August.  No more legislation of any kind till after the Election...

The President should sit in the oval office and write his memoirs... "How I sent dozens of unconstitutional bills to the hill and got them passed because no one had time to read them", by George Walker "Pass it, or Anthrax" Bush!

--Oldyoti

"It is natural for men, who wish to hasten the adoption of a measure,
to tell us, now is the crisis-now is the critical moment which must
be seized, or all will be lost: and to shut the door against free enquiry,
whenever conscious the thing presented has defects in it, which time
and investigation will probably discover. This has been the custom of
tyrants and their dependents in all ages."
-- Federal Farmer, 1787

Offline adissenter2

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you have done it yet again! excellent finds Sane...
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ! Molon Labe! Come and take them!