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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: American Justice (tm)

“Expressing doubt that incarceration would make the defendant reform or repent, a federal judge nevertheless sentenced an antiwar campaigner on Monday to serve six months in prison for his role in damaging a military recruiting center during a protest in 2003.
‘You have obvious contempt for the laws of the U.S., and it bothers me,’ the judge, Thomas McAvoy of United States District Court, told the protester, Daniel J. Burns.”
-New York Times, January 24, 2006

“A military jury ordered a reprimand but no jail time Monday for an Army interrogator convicted of negligent homicide in the death of an Iraqi general who died after he stuffed him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sat on his chest.”
-Associated Press, January 24, 2006

“But enough of that. We know by now that protesters are held to a higher standard than those actually armed with guns. Let’s talk a little about the wiretapping again.”

“..to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons from probable cause to reasonable suspicion..”
-Bill S.2659, Submitted by Senator Mike DeWine, June 2002

“You see, the bill wanted to lower the standard of proof, and what was the response from the Executive branch of the government (you know, the one that Dubya runs)?”

“The Department of Justice has been studying Sen. DeWine's proposed legislation. Because the proposed change raises both significant legal and practical issues, the Administration at this time is not prepared to support it.”
-James A. Baker, Justice Department lawyer overseeing the DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, July 31, 2002

“See? The administration said that they didn’t want Senate permission to do exactly the thing that Dubya was already doing because of the significant legal and practical issues. I guess forbidden fruit just tastes better. Not only did they say that they didn’t want it, they also said that they didn’t need it, due to the PATRIOT Act and its increased 72 hour wiretap request window that it had made for FISA warrants. “

“The reforms in those measures (the PATRIOT Act) have affected every single application made by the Department for electronic surveillance or physical search of suspected terrorists and have enabled the government to become quicker, more flexible, and more focused in going ‘up’ on those suspected terrorists in the United States.

One simple but important change that Congress made was to lengthen the time period for us to bring to court applications in support of Attorney General-authorized emergency FISAs. This modification has allowed us to make full and effective use of FISA's pre-existing emergency provisions to ensure that the government acts swiftly to respond to terrorist threats. Again, we are grateful for the tools Congress provided us last fall for the fight against terrorism. Thank you.”
-James A. Baker, Justice Department lawyer overseeing the DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, July 31, 2002

“Why does this matter? Because the reason that General Hayden gave the other day for why they had to circumvent FISA was that the level of standard of proof was too high.”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.
‘The trigger is quicker and a bit softer,’ said General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency.
The standard laid out by General Hayden - a ‘reasonable basis to believe’ - is lower than ‘probably cause,’ the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.
Mr. Hayden said that warrantless searches were conducted when one of a ‘handful’ of senior officers at the security agency determined that there was a ‘reasonable belief’ that one party to a call between someone in America and someone overseas had a link to Al Qaeda.”
-New York Times, January 23, 2006

“Many thanks go out to Glenn Greenwald, the blogger who first broke the S.2659 story.”


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