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  1. #1
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    Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    This is not my work, I found this and it seems to answer questions raised in this forum. The entire article can be read at http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20051230.html
    I hope that works.


    George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon: Both Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably;
    Both Claimed That a President May Violate Congress' Laws to Protect National Security
    By JOHN W. DEAN
    ----
    Friday, Dec. 30, 2005

    On Friday, December 16, the New York Times published a major scoop by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau: They reported that Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans without warrants, ignoring the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    It was a long story loaded with astonishing information of lawbreaking at the White House. It reported that sometime in 2002, Bush issued an executive order authorizing NSA to track and intercept international telephone and/or email exchanges coming into, or out of, the U.S. - when one party was believed to have direct or indirect ties with al Qaeda.



    Initially, Bush and the White House stonewalled, neither confirming nor denying the president had ignored the law. Bush refused to discuss it in his interview with Jim Lehrer.

    Then, on Saturday, December 17, in his radio broadcast, Bush admitted that the New York Times was correct - and thus conceded he had committed an impeachable offense.

    There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable. After all, Nixon was charged in Article II of his bill of impeachment with illegal wiretapping for what he, too, claimed were national security reasons.

    These parallel violations underscore the continuing, disturbing parallels between this Administration and the Nixon Administration - parallels I also discussed in a prior column.

    Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope. First reports indicated that NSA was only monitoring foreign calls, originating either in the USA or abroad, and that no more than 500 calls were being covered at any given time. But later reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.

    In sum, this is big-time, Big Brother electronic surveillance.



    Back to me now, seems like he knows what he's talking about to me.

  2. #2
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    But has it not been proven that the initial authorization was approved during the Reagan years and was even used by the Clinton Admininstration.

    I do not believe any law to have been broken here. If you do a careful research of history and see what war time Presidents have authorized I guess you would probably want to impeach them all. I personally understand the necessities in a time of war and therefore am not bothered by the fact that conversations were recorded without warrant between Al Qaeda operatives and US terrorist sympathizers.

  3. #3
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    As mentioned in the article, Nixon had wire-tapped, specifically targeted, individuals without the proper warrants. Basically, listening in on their phone calls without authorization.

    It is stated that the Bush administration has monitored up to 500 international calls at any given time and that it is quite possible that data-mining is taking place regarding millions of calls.

    Differences:

    Nixon - Targeted wire-tapping... hitting a specific individual's communications.

    Bush - Anonymous monitoring through call-hubs... possibly listening in for 'key-words' or phrases (as implied by the volume mentioned in the article) using a random sampling method.

    Question:

    How are these two similar? In the Nixon case specific individuals are involved... not so in the Bush case. How are the two cases alike?


    Paul
    Last edited by PaulM; 01-02-2006 at 03:16 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Paul,

    The other key difference is that Nixon was taping domestic to domestic calls. While Bush was collecting data from foriegn to domestic, domesitic to foreign, and foriegn to foreign calls and e-mails.

    It is easy to convict someone based on violating laws if you try to find laws that apply to the crime you have alledged without looking at the laws that may have or did allow the activity to take place.

    Late Term Abortion is an example. It has been legal to abort babies up until the time they where delivered, so just prior to delivery doctors would terminate the pregnancy. This baby would have lived had it been allowed to be born. If it where killed after it left the birth canal it would be called Murder. Before it leaves the birth canal it is called abortion.

    Same results, baby is dead. One is breaking a law and one is not, but only because of which law you decide to look to first.
    Last edited by RegulationE; 01-02-2006 at 04:03 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by jmclaughtx
    But has it not been proven that the initial authorization was approved during the Reagan years and was even used by the Clinton Admininstration.

    I do not believe any law to have been broken here. If you do a careful research of history and see what war time Presidents have authorized I guess you would probably want to impeach them all. I personally understand the necessities in a time of war and therefore am not bothered by the fact that conversations were recorded without warrant between Al Qaeda operatives and US terrorist sympathizers.
    I'm glad your "comfortable" with your government declaring to have the power to spy on it's own citizens without a court order during a time when it is engaged in hostilities in an undeclared war they themselves have said might last for decades to come.

    Me, I'm not so "comfortable" with that.

    In fact, I think it's heinous. But, hey, we're both entitled to our opinions, right?

  6. #6
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Bush targeted known Al Qaeda members, PaulM perhaps you want to rethink your post?

    jmclaughtx this started after 9/11, what on earth are you talking about Reagan and Clinton for, put down the pipe, float back down to earth and rethink your post.

  7. #7
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM
    Question:

    How are these two similar? In the Nixon case specific individuals are involved... not so in the Bush case. How are the two cases alike?
    They're alike because in both cases the president ordered illegal wiretapping of US citizens.

    Oh, strike "illegal" from that sentence. I forgot:

    "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal." -- Richard M. Nixon, referring to his illegal surveillance of American citizens.

  8. #8
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    The fact is that very little is known about the precise methodology and the extent to which The Bush Regime's clandestine tentacles are deployed.

    The Fourth Amendment is quite clear, though. Even if Bush's lawyers could conjure up a case using some perverse interpretation of the statutes, the controlling law would then, axiomatically, be un-Constitutional.

    The funny part is that anybody who would be the likely target of these tactics would certainly know about them anyway and has found numerous ways of circumventing and defeating them.

    It could all be a charade just like the crap the commies used to pull in The Soviet Union. It's more likely a psy-ops type threat tactic, launched by Rove, to intimidate public opinion. It's far more subliminal than announcing that they're going to be tapping our phones. It's more like: See what we can do?

    It's all devolved to the point now where The Bush Regime simply writes their own laws as they go along with the imprimatur of The Minister of Torture, Al "Gonzo" Gonzales: "So we broke da law..so what? You godda problem wid dat?"
    Last edited by dante; 01-02-2006 at 04:01 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by Worried_in_the_USA
    Bush targeted known Al Qaeda members, PaulM perhaps you want to rethink your post?

    jmclaughtx this started after 9/11, what on earth are you talking about Reagan and Clinton for, put down the pipe, float back down to earth and rethink your post.
    "...Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope. First reports indicated that NSA was only monitoring foreign calls, originating either in the USA or abroad, and that no more than 500 calls were being covered at any given time. But later reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.

    In sum, this is big-time, Big Brother electronic surveillance."


    Starting at 500 calls then jumping to millions... that's a lot of "known" AQ members isn't it? I think I'll leave my post 'as is" and continue to see what else shows up.
    ------------------------------
    Thanks Reg-E... I thought as much.
    ------------------------------

    Yirmeyahu,
    "...They're alike because in both cases the president ordered illegal wiretapping of US citizens."
    When was the indictment handed down? Oops, I forgot... this is a media trial.

    strike that last remark.

    Paul

  10. #10
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    I keep seeing people in this forum use this logic: "Gee, an indictment wasn't handed down" or "Well, no court convicted anyone of a crime" and so therefore no crime was committed.

    I don't know why I should have to keep pointing out the apparent fallacy of this logic, but I do so once again.

    People should try reading their country's Constitution sometime, for starters, when they claim that their government wiretapping Americans without a court order is "legal".

    You don't need any indictment on hand to see that this is patently unconstitutional, and therefore "illegal".

    Bush claimed that his "authority" for ordering the wiretaps comes in Article II of the Constitution.

    I'd love for anyone who thinks this is "legal" to show me where in Article II he was granted the power to perform surveillance on American citizens without a court order.

    Please, I beg you, show me this "authority" he claims to have from the Law of the Land.

    :rolleyes:
    Last edited by Yirmeyahu; 01-02-2006 at 04:08 AM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Because at this point any 'crime' is strictly a matter of opinion and not one of record, regardless of how many 'sources' or 'articles' one may cite on the topic... it is still a matter of opinion and is, therefore, a 'media trial' only.

    In my opinion, 'the jury is still out'. That is, I will form my opinion when I feel I have been convinced and not before. So far... that hasn't happened.

    Paul
    Last edited by PaulM; 01-02-2006 at 04:14 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    I keep seeing people in this forum use this logic: "Gee, an indictment wasn't handed down" or "Well, no court convicted anyone of a crime" and so therefore no crime was committed.

    I don't know why I should have to keep pointing out the apparent fallacy of this logic, but I do so once again.
    It is important because there are two sides arguing here.

    Your side says that laws have been broken and the criminals sould be sentenced.

    The other side says that until the indictments and court case is heard there should be no sentencing.

    The left on here seems to think that by saying there have been no indictments or court cases, then the right is saying no crime was committed. This is not at all what is being said. At least not by most of the people opposing the lefts view here.

    We are saying, you believe the crime was committed so get your proof and get an indictment. Try these cases in a legal setting not in the media. We are not saying they have not been committed only that there is reasonable doubt as to whether what you believe is correct or not.

    I personally get tired of being called names that refer to me as someone who believe Bush can do not wrong and that I am some how brainwashed because I want the alleged crimes to be tried in court.

    Saying I want to see a trial, to see the evidence against the accused is not the same as saying the accused in innocent. But I do believe they are innocent until proven guilty while you seem to believe they are guilty until proven innocent.

    This only applies to US citizens, not for foriegn powers or their agents.

  13. #13
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulM
    Because at this point any 'crime' is strictly a matter of opinion and not one of record, regardless of how many 'sources' or 'articles' one may cite on the topic... it is still a matter of opinion and is, therefore, a 'media trial' only.

    In my opinion, 'the jury is still out'. That is, I will form my opinion when I feel I have been convinced and not before. So far... that hasn't happened.

    Paul
    Well, it's not my opinion that the Constitution guarantees certain protections against the usurpation of oppressive powers by the government, such as that court orders are required for things such as wire-tapping. That is in incontrovertable fact.

    Neither is it my opinion that the Constitution does not grant the president the authority to create his own laws or to disregard the Constitution at will. That, too, is a fact.

    If it is your "opinion" that this is otherwise, please, as I requested before, show me where Article II of the Constitution grants this alleged "authority" upon the office of the president.

  14. #14
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by RegulationE
    It is important because there are two sides arguing here.

    Your side says that laws have been broken and the criminals sould be sentenced.

    The other side says that until the indictments and court case is heard there should be no sentencing.

    The left on here seems to think that by saying there have been no indictments or court cases, then the right is saying no crime was committed. This is not at all what is being said. At least not by most of the people opposing the lefts view here.

    We are saying, you believe the crime was committed so get your proof and get an indictment. Try these cases in a legal setting not in the media. We are not saying they have not been committed only that there is reasonable doubt as to whether what you believe is correct or not.

    I personally get tired of being called names that refer to me as someone who believe Bush can do not wrong and that I am some how brainwashed because I want the alleged crimes to be tried in court.

    Saying I want to see a trial, to see the evidence against the accused is not the same as saying the accused in innocent. But I do believe they are innocent until proven guilty while you seem to believe they are guilty until proven innocent.

    This only applies to US citizens, not for foriegn powers or their agents.
    I have spoken nothing of sentencing. That, as you rightfully suggest, is for the courts to decide.

    But anyone can see for themselves when a crime has been committed. It's ludicrous to suggest that you need the courts to point it out to you.

    Don't think it's ludicrous? Just follow through with the logic. Gee, I just watched that little old lady get mugged. Oh, but no "crime" has been committed, because no "court" has issued an indictment or a sentencing.

    This is absurd. I shouldn't have to keep pointing this out.

    Nobody's saying the man should be executed for mugging the old lady, but to say no crime has been committed because no court has declared this to be so is just downright ridiculous.

  15. #15
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    I have spoken nothing of sentencing. That, as you rightfully suggest, is for the courts to decide.

    But anyone can see for themselves when a crime has been committed. It's ludicrous to suggest that you need the courts to point it out to you.

    Don't think it's ludicrous? Just follow through with the logic. Gee, I just watched that little old lady get mugged. Oh, but no "crime" has been committed, because no "court" has issued an indictment or a sentencing.

    This is absurd. I shouldn't have to keep pointing this out.

    Nobody's saying the man should be executed for mugging the old lady, but to say no crime has been committed because no court has declared this to be so is just downright ridiculous.
    Yirmeyahu,

    While you have not spoken of sentencing...the left has already determined what the sentence should be. That is what I am referring to.

    Let's take you little old lady example.

    If I see this take place I can do four things (at least)

    1. Ignore it and go about my day.
    2. Call the police and let them handle it.
    3. Make a citizens arrest.
    4. Call the media and go on TV outraged but not really doing anything about the problem.

    In the case of the President you have those same four options.

    The fourth option is the one that drive me nuts. Do something about it, don't just thump your chest and then though out more accusations.

    The Media has provided information that has lead some to believe the President has committed crimes and should be impeached then imprisoned.

    I read your posts, I look at your "evidence" and I read through the written law and the resolutions and even legal scholars who discuss them. You form one opinion and I form another.

    I could easy say you are a mindless zombie who follows whatever Micheal Moore spews forth. Or what ever John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy or any other left wing liberal democrat spews forth. They are after all saying the same type of things as you are one this forum.

    After all, I am convicted of being a mindless follower of Bush simply because my opinion differs from oppinions of dchristie/dante for example.

    The truth is that you probably really do researcha nd believe in your own findings. I really do research and believe in my findings. I doubt seriously that either of us simply follows someone elses comments with out due dilligence. We just see things different.

  16. #16
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    Re: Proof that Bush broke the law? You decide

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    Well, it's not my opinion that the Constitution guarantees certain protections against the usurpation of oppressive powers by the government, such as that court orders are required for things such as wire-tapping. That is in incontrovertable fact.
    I never disputed this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    Neither is it my opinion that the Constitution does not grant the president the authority to create his own laws or to disregard the Constitution at will. That, too, is a fact.
    Nor have I disputed this

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirmeyahu
    If it is your "opinion" that this is otherwise, please, as I requested before, show me where Article II of the Constitution grants this alleged "authority" upon the office of the president.
    Likewise... I never stated my opinion was otherwise.
    **************************************
    Please read carefully... At no time have I stated that a crime was not committed. In like manner... at no time have I stated that one was.

    What I did state is that no matter what documentation we bring into the discussion our interpretation of that documentation is opinion only and reduces this discussion to a 'trial by media', which by it's very nature is inappropriate at best.
    Posting news items and articles is informative. However, when they are employed to convict ANYONE without due process then they are worthless.

    You say there is evidence... that's great... bring it on... but do so in a court of law. If it means impeachment proceedings... fine... bring it on. Get this out in the open and have it decided legally. Not in the 'court of public opinion'.

    Back to the original topic:
    The article in the initial post cited major differences between the Nixon and Bush events. I would like to see those differences reconciled before I consider an opinion on the issue.

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