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  • It would work and is a good idea as written

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  • It is a good idea but refining to make it work

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  • It is a good idea but will work

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Thread: Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

  1. #1
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    Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

    So, as every one should now know, the government is collecting a vast amount of phone data from, well, every one. Leaving aside whether this is a good idea, whose program it is, who is responsible, and even whether it is constitutional, it does raise an interesting question in light of that last one, namely...who determines whether a secret program(ie one no one but the government knows about) is legal or constitutional? It isn't like people can file suit, since no one knows about it, it is secret. I was thinking about this aspect today while out wandering the yard picking up dog poop(reason # 2,354,646,574,321 why I hate dogs), and as my mind wandered I started thinking how oversite could be applied to such programs.

    For oversight to work, you would need a panel of people from both ends of the political spectrum. They would have to rule in confidence, obviously. Congress would have to have some level of oversite. This is what I came up with.

    1. The house Judiciary committee would draft a set of nominees, 3 selected by the majority party, 3 selected by the minority party, each can veto any of the other parties nominations
    2. The Senate Judiciary committee would vote on each nominee. If any candidate is voted down, the house Judiciary committee would pick another
    3. The panel would serve 2 year terms.
    4. The panel would consider each and every secret program before such a program is implemented. They will consider whether the program is both constitutional and legal outside of the constitution. That is the only aspects they consider, not whether it is a good program, not whether they think it is a good idea, just legality and constitutionality.
    5. The panel would vote on each program, with a requirement of 4 out of 6 panelists voting yes for the program to be implemented(2/3 yes vote).
    6. The government could if it disagrees with the panel appeal once, straight to the Supreme Court. Supreme court ruling would be final
    7. All rulings would, for obvious reasons, be secret.


    The idea here is for there to be oversite, for it to be politically neutral as much as possible, for secrets to be kept secret, and still have a way to ensure that no administration, republican or democrat or both, secretly violates the laws or constitution.

    So the poll question...would this work, and is it a good idea, and are there issues with my proposal I have not properly considered.
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  2. #2
    Sage

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    Re: Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

    I've read a lot about the Verizon and Prism programs and it seems to me that there is already a great deal of oversight by all three branches of government. Your plan would certainly add another level of Congressional oversight, but I don't see how it would be much different from the current House and Senate intelligence committees that have a balance of Democrats and Republicans already. I guess the difference would be that they are specifically determining the constitutionality and legality of the programs. Even then, though, I don't trust Congress to be honest.

    In truth, the problem, to me, is not that there is a lack oversight within the government, but that there is no oversight that includes the public.

    This is obviously a problem if we're to have "top secret" national security programs, but I just do not trust the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to operate in secret with each other. If these leaks have shown me anything, it's that the most important check to government power is the public and that executive, legislative and judicial checks are not enough on their own without public oversight.

    With that in mind, I would prefer that there be restrictions on the types of programs that can be private, that there be limits on the amount of time the government can hold on to broad collections of data and that there be an increase of public oversight. For instance, I do not think that such broad data gathering should be allowed in secret (with some exceptions). If the government wants so much data from so many innocent people, it needs to make its case to the public for approval. I also believe that the data collected in such wide reaching programs should be deleted after a specified amount of time. Even further, I believe that when a program must be done in secret, it must be made public soon after its mission is completed so that we can evaluate it.

    At the end of the day, if the NSA can't even manage to be secure and responsible enough to keep its own information private, then I can't trust it to keep my information private. Therefore, I need a lot more than the government saying, "trust me." I need to be involved.

  3. #3
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    Re: Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

    Why aren't the intelligence committees involved?
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

    They are secretive for a reason, and they are approved by judges for a reason, therefore they are constitutional and all this hoopla is stupid.
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    Re: Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    So, as every one should now know, the government is collecting a vast amount of phone data from, well, every one. Leaving aside whether this is a good idea, whose program it is, who is responsible, and even whether it is constitutional, it does raise an interesting question in light of that last one, namely...who determines whether a secret program(ie one no one but the government knows about) is legal or constitutional? It isn't like people can file suit, since no one knows about it, it is secret. I was thinking about this aspect today while out wandering the yard picking up dog poop(reason # 2,354,646,574,321 why I hate dogs), and as my mind wandered I started thinking how oversite could be applied to such programs.
    Sorry I truncated your post, but I do want to point out that the secret dog poop program is working. Why, just look at what it's prompted here.

  6. #6
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    Re: Proposal For Confidential Government Program Oversite

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    So, as every one should now know, the government is collecting a vast amount of phone data from, well, every one. Leaving aside whether this is a good idea, whose program it is, who is responsible, and even whether it is constitutional, it does raise an interesting question in light of that last one, namely...who determines whether a secret program(ie one no one but the government knows about) is legal or constitutional? It isn't like people can file suit, since no one knows about it, it is secret. I was thinking about this aspect today while out wandering the yard picking up dog poop(reason # 2,354,646,574,321 why I hate dogs), and as my mind wandered I started thinking how oversite could be applied to such programs.

    For oversight to work, you would need a panel of people from both ends of the political spectrum. They would have to rule in confidence, obviously. Congress would have to have some level of oversite. This is what I came up with.

    1. The house Judiciary committee would draft a set of nominees, 3 selected by the majority party, 3 selected by the minority party, each can veto any of the other parties nominations
    2. The Senate Judiciary committee would vote on each nominee. If any candidate is voted down, the house Judiciary committee would pick another
    3. The panel would serve 2 year terms.
    4. The panel would consider each and every secret program before such a program is implemented. They will consider whether the program is both constitutional and legal outside of the constitution. That is the only aspects they consider, not whether it is a good program, not whether they think it is a good idea, just legality and constitutionality.
    5. The panel would vote on each program, with a requirement of 4 out of 6 panelists voting yes for the program to be implemented(2/3 yes vote).
    6. The government could if it disagrees with the panel appeal once, straight to the Supreme Court. Supreme court ruling would be final
    7. All rulings would, for obvious reasons, be secret.


    The idea here is for there to be oversite, for it to be politically neutral as much as possible, for secrets to be kept secret, and still have a way to ensure that no administration, republican or democrat or both, secretly violates the laws or constitution.

    So the poll question...would this work, and is it a good idea, and are there issues with my proposal I have not properly considered.

    I am going to have to say the idea sucks donkey balls.Because they only thing I see happening is them selecting 3 democrats and 3 republicans who agree with all the unconstitutional **** they are doing staying secret. You are basically asking these same offenders to police themselves. Its like making a panel of convicted child molesters to watch the other child molesters or a panel of convicted bank robbers to watch what the other other bank robbers are doing.If anything it should be made explicitly clear what can and can not be classified.Over time I am beginning to think that our employees have absolutely no business hiding anything from we their employers. I would be willing to compromise and say any critical over seas troop movements during a time of actual war should be classified.Anything else should not be classified.Government is a necessary evil and it should be treated as such, that means it should be heavily restricted in what it can and can't do.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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