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Thread: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    I made no claim that there is a consensus You are the one who said "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional" without presenting a shred of evidence.
    The evidence is not a single person- federal judges all, with no fear of losing their jobs and part of no administration- who had the opportunity to put a kibosh on this for over a decade, did so.

    They all were and are legal minds that dwarf any here. And they all allowed it as constitutional. There's not much more to say.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
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    Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    These secret programs can be considered legal and constitutional because one FISA judge, hearing evidence from the government only, ruled that they are. Even the Supreme Court has been known to reverse its own wrong decisions, so that is not very convincing evidence of constitutionality in my view.
    If congress doesn't like it have them change FISA...until then they're constitutional.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    The evidence is not a single person- federal judges all, with no fear of losing their jobs and part of no administration- who had the opportunity to put a kibosh on this for over a decade, did so.........
    One FISA judge didn't like the situation:

    On December 16, 2005, The New York Times reported that the Bush administration had been conducting surveillance against U.S. citizens without the knowledge of the court since 2002.[9] On December 20, 2005, Judge James Robertson resigned his position with the court, apparently in protest of the secret surveillance,[10] and later, in the wake of the Snowden leaks of 2013, criticized the court-sanctioned expansion of the scope of government surveillance and its being allowed to craft a secret body of law.[11] The government's apparent circumvention of the court started prior to the increase in court-ordered modifications to warrant requests.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    One FISA judge didn't like the situation:

    On December 16, 2005, The New York Times reported that the Bush administration had been conducting surveillance against U.S. citizens without the knowledge of the court since 2002.[9] On December 20, 2005, Judge James Robertson resigned his position with the court, apparently in protest of the secret surveillance,[10] and later, in the wake of the Snowden leaks of 2013, criticized the court-sanctioned expansion of the scope of government surveillance and its being allowed to craft a secret body of law.[11] The government's apparent circumvention of the court started prior to the increase in court-ordered modifications to warrant requests.
    Excellent! I was hoping you'd go that route! This would imply the majority think it's constitutional, wouldn't it*? Which is what I initially said. You're going to have to come to terms with the idea that many experts disagree with you. It's not at all the black and white issue so many here would like to believe.

    *we don't know why he resigned, though. That's simply supposition. But let's assume it was, because that supports my position that the majority are fine with this. Which is what you refused to accept.
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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    Excellent! I was hoping you'd go that route! This would imply the majority think it's constitutional, wouldn't it*? Which is what I initially said. You're going to have to come to terms with the idea that many experts disagree with you. It's not at all the black and white issue so many here would like to believe.

    *we don't know why he resigned, though. That's simply supposition. But let's assume it was, because that supports my position that the majority are fine with this. Which is what you refused to accept.
    I never denied that the majority of the FISA judges, after hearing presentations from the government only, approve of most of the recent surveillance activity. Presumably only one judge had to approve the recently publicly revealed practice of collecting virtually every resident of the USA's telephone and internet data, so we don't know if they all consider it constitutional. That may be a reasonable assumption since none of them have resigned or spoken out. I do not accept the argument that these judges are impartial. They do not hear presentations from anyone opposing surveillance and they are well entrenched in the intelligence/surveillance establishment.

    There is still no evidence that the claim "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional" is true.
    Last edited by Hard Truth; 08-06-13 at 09:21 PM.

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    Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Intel isn't white or black- it's grey.

    The American people want safety and liberty, and while a delicate balance must exist, one must also accept the protocols needed to ensure that liberty.

    As a nation we've tasked the various branches of government with executing on that mission; you may not all like how it's done, you may question the methods and morality of such, but at the end of it all, that blanket of freedom is preserved by the methods you question.

    No doubt that abuses could exist; after all such mission is carried out by humans, but to call for a complete tear down of the system because in theory something could go wrong is naive and dangerous.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    I don't recall anyone calling for a complete tear down of our national security systems. Rather, we want these efforts to be limited by the constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and we want as much transparency and accountability as practical. If keeping the government from violating our rights means a couple more attacks, I'll accept it. Because without a government that respects our human rights there is nothing left to protect, our enemies will have already won.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    I never denied that the majority of the FISA judges, after hearing presentations from the government only, approve of most of the recent surveillance activity. Presumably only one judge had to approve the recently publicly revealed practice of collecting virtually every resident of the USA's telephone and internet data, so we don't know if they all consider it constitutional. That may be a reasonable assumption since none of them have resigned or spoken out. I do not accept the argument that these judges are impartial. They do not hear presentations from anyone opposing surveillance and they are well entrenched in the intelligence/surveillance establishment.

    There is still no evidence that the claim "many (most, frankly) legal experts don't think this is unconstitutional" is true.
    Yes, there is.

    I don't know why you think just one judge approved this. It's been approved and re-approved for quite some time now. The only legal experts that know all of it believe it is constitutional, save possibly one. That's a majority.

    I'm sure you'd like to cast the net much wider, but...well, you can't. So we're forced to accept the conclusion. I'm very sorry.
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
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    Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    I don't recall anyone calling for a complete tear down of our national security systems. Rather, we want these efforts to be limited by the constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and we want as much transparency and accountability as practical. If keeping the government from violating our rights means a couple more attacks, I'll accept it. Because without a government that respects our human rights there is nothing left to protect, our enemies will have already won.
    You've missed many posts by others then.. I suppose in theory you're willing to accept more attacks to preserve your view of liberty and that's fine, it's your opinion- everyone says that but when the shyt hits the fan reality hits. This is why after all the huffing and puffing Congress supports the laws these programs are based on; they don't want to be the ones who failed the American People on that safety promise.

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    Re: Greenwald says 'low-level' NSA workers can tap into phone, Internet records

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    1. Thank you very much - that is a powerful compliment and I want you to know that I understand and appreciate it.
    You have earned it.

    2. I wish I could give you that reassurance directly, but all we are really allowed to speak as people who might have access (members of the military, intelligence community, government, etc) to is what is already in the public sphere and, in many cases, not even to that. The particulars, though, would have been pretty closely held within the NSA, even if some of the broad outlines were more publicly available, because of the scrutiny with which any intelligence on American citizens receives. If you get Intel that mentions an American person, it never (in the general community, that I have seen) gives identifying information on that person. It will just say "An American Person vacationing in UngaBungaLand was contacted by WeHateAmericaYayJihad (WHAYJ) at grid coordinates xxxxx-xxxxx....", etc. Only those who were read in would have had the kind of access that is potentially worrisome.
    While I never worked directly for the NSA I was, well, I won't say. I fed them, how is that? Everyone in the NSA I ever had dealings with was honorable. I am not concerned in the least about the people I knew to be there when I was active. Times change. Now we are spying on Americans based on general warrants. We fought the world's greatest superpower to stop it.

    3. I will say that the program gives me pause. It seems that unless protected by strong safeguards it could lend itself to incredible abuse. I think that the unwillingness on the part of Congress to take a more active role than that which was basically forced upon it by the Executive is more than lamentable, it is potentially dangerous.
    There are no safeguards that are strong enough. Those who build the police state apparatus, no matter how well intentioned, are dangerous to our liberties.

    4. That being said, I am not convinced that this program violates the Constitution - electronically it seems to be the equivalent of you writing a "To" and a "From" address on your mail envelope. Nobody at the NSA opens your mail unless you put the electronic equivalent of "Mr Gee Had, 911 Pakistan Lane" in your "To" block, or have it in the "From" block when you receive it.
    I see things more broadly. The IRS has ALL of my financial data. The NSA has all of my email data, my text message data, my photos sent via cell phone, all of my internet usage, my search queries, my phone calls...everything. And now they want my medical records.

    "Yes sir. I will do whatever you tell me so that you do not use the combination of things you know about me against me. I will be as compliant as you want. Oh, you need a fifth vote for Obamacare. No problem Sir!"

    Of such things very hard tyrannies are created.

    The ability to open our mail (electronic, voice, physical, you name it) could lend itself to powerful abuse in the hands of unchecked actors. So can the ability to deploy the military, or federalize the National Guard. That is why I focus in on the degree to which these programs have oversight from all three branches of government.

    and that's about the best I can do. It's not a panacea. It probably has helped save lives. It is probably also potentially dangerous - just like Government (like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master, as the man said).
    You remain an honorable man. I believe you are on the wrong side of history. I still admire you. I hope you will eventually change your mind.

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