This time on FISA:
A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the “exclusive” means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.
The judge, Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge for the Northern District of California, made his findings in a ruling on a lawsuit brought by an Oregon charity. The group says it has evidence of an illegal wiretap used against it by the National Security Agency under the secret surveillance program established by President Bush after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Again, you all know what you get when I even get within a mile of an attempt at legal analysis, but this ruling would seem to dovetail nicely with yesterday’s Greenwald post in which he stated that FISA has no expiration date and there is no need for the FISA bill we have been fighting about for months. The willingness of this judge to recognize and adhere to the existing authority as laid out under the current FISA law would seem to back up that claim to me.
As a side note, this seems to be yet another example of the Bush administration simply doing whatever the hell they want anddaring someone to tell them no. This time, someone did. Only took seven years.
Been napping John? Surely you remember the advent of the fRightWing call to battle “Activist Judge.”
The judiciary has been smacking bAdmin. on the nose for years. bAdmin. has been sticking its fingers in its ears and chanting “La la la I can’t heeeear yoooo!” for years.
So it’s nice that another judge has told Bush he’s full of shit, but it ain’t new.
Hi John. I’ll be posting tonight on the topic of “the Bush administration simply doing whatever the hell they want and daring someone to tell them no.” Mind if I send you an email when it’s up?
Problem is, once someone takes up the dare and tells Bush to stop doing illegal stuff, Bush just keeps on doing it and basically issues another dare for someone to make him stop. Bush is like the neighbor who you don’t dare argue with because you know they don’t have limits to what they’ll do if you piss them off. All you can do is hope they fuck up bad enough to wind up in jail. Bush has definitely fucked up to that level and has buckets of blood on his hands but, unless he goes overseas after his presidency, no one will ever actually bust him for it. I hope that he winds up in The Hague someday.
Is it just me, or is this about as close as we’re going to see the Judicary branch announcing that Bush explicitly, purposefully, and brazenly broke the law?
If this doesn’t at least spark some impeachment talk (yes, I know the actual action of it is a non-starter) amongst the pundits, I’d be stunned.
does tell them “no”, they just keep on doing whatever the hell they want, anyway. Assholes.
Heh. I can just imagine Spain (I think they’re a universal jurisdiction country) sending Bush a offer to accept an award/prize through some dummy corporation and arresting them like those felons that get caught in the mail-out scams the police occasionally do. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.
Cheney, OTOH, would never fall for that. After January, I fuly expect him to retreat to an undisclosed lair, never to be seen again, where he will be attended by a staff that has been surgically blinded and deafened so they can never discover the awesome secret that jerks off to bombing footage and films of “enhanced interrogations” 24/7.
And Congress is like that neighborhood cop or school teacher who confronts every conflict with the assumption that both sides have a legitimate problem, both sides are equally to blame, and writing up a ticket would result in so much paper work that… you know… why bother?
Do you think he might try to sneak up to Canada to shoot at animals that weren’t raised in cages, or is the satisfaction of just killing the animal enough that he doesn’t care about the hunting part of it?
The Moar You Know
Well, let’s run this through the Republitard spin machine.
Cycle’s done! Let’s see what we have:
And you will never hear one word about impeachment from the “liberal” media. I guarantee it.
I’m sure Congressional Democrats will write a sternly worded letter to G-dub and then they’ll hurry up and pass the FISA bill which will dismiss the case Walker made his ruling in.
I’m sure Senator Obama will boldly and bravely vote “present”
Greenwald has it exactly right, the 1978 FISA legislation never expired. The majority Dems and their standard bearer are seeking to change existing FISA to conform with the admin’s NSA warrantless wiretapping program.
This is a program when it first came to light scared the shit out of the “Bring ‘Em On” horse-fearing cowboy president. Like a spoiled brat who had been caught, at a press conference soon after Bush said it was treasonous to even talk about this program. Even used the treason word.
This is a program that AG AG was asked why hadn’t the admin gone to Congress for enabling legislation. AG said that was considered first, but they didn’t think they could get it through Congress. Savor that. That would be a Republican controlled Congress in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and they didn’t think their own freedom fries guys would go for it. Must be one hell of a program in its implementation.
This is a program that noted civil liberties champion John Ashcroft refused to re-certify even when pushed to do so on his hospital bed. The same John Ashcroft who had DOJ lawyers prepare for an opportune moment Patriot Act II with a swell provision that could have made your citizenship null and void if he or The Decider decided. But the NSA program went too far for this guy.
But apparently not for the Dems. The anti-rubberstamper Bush rubberstampers. What the Republicans didn’t try to get through during their six years of control, the “change-agents” are now taking up the cause.
And their standard bearer? Spin it anyway you want (brilliant secret plan is my fave), Obama is either engaging in a gutless capitulation perceived to be in his self interest, or he believes it’s important to continue the Bush legacy of the unitary executive for the benefit of the country. Gotta love that change you can believe in thingy.
You would think continually getting outsmarted and out-maneuvered by Bush and his merry band of sub-28%ers would be embarrassing. Outsmarted by Bush, really, that takes some doing. But no, you have Hoyer proclaiming victory in this latest capitulation, and really smart people like Olbermann pontificating it’s likely some “sublime” plan Obama helped create that the Republicans haven’t yet figured out. Amazing.
Corrected for IQfailure.
Corrected for IQfailure.
One of their skills while knowingly breaking the law is gaming the court system in every way possible to prevent adverse rulings. Yet another reason why Kennedy stuck it to them on the habeus ruling rather than remanding to the DC Court for further proceedings.
Just so everybody gets it, Judge Walker dismissed the plaintiff’s suit since the evidence they say they need to prove their case isn’t available. If anybody had bothered to read Judge Walker’s opinion, a panel of the 9th Circuit has already deemed that the “sealed document” remain classified for national security reasons. So the plaintiffs have 30 days with which to appeal (to the 9th Circuit), without the benefit of any evidence.
Also, this lawsuit is against the government, not a private entity (like the telecoms). Whatever is done here is immaterial in regards to those telecom lawsuits. And if the FISA updates get passed (and I hope they do), Judge Walker will dismiss those 40 lawsuits.
Get over it.
…or is the satisfaction of just killing our rights enough that SteveIL doesn’t care about the constitutional part of it?
I think the first paragraph of SteveIL’s summary is accurate. Targets of apparently illegal surveillance accidentally get their hands on evidence of its having happened, but are prevented from using that evidence in court. Poof! The crime goes away. I wish I could classify stuff. . .
Worth noting that Judge Walker was a Republican appointee (Reagan, I believe) and might be the most conservative federal judge you’ll find outside of the former slave states. Walker was the one who thought it was just fine for cops to rub pepper spray directly into the eyes of non-violent demonstrators (he was overruled).
Anything Walker says that goes against the Bushies, you can take to the bank. If he says something for them, well then….
Fun backstory to this: I believe that Vaughn Walker and George Bush are distant cousins. (They share the same ancestor for whom George Herbert Walker Bush was named.)