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Author Topic: Checks and Balances  (Read 2518 times)

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Offline matrsnot

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Checks and Balances
« on: June 27, 2007, 06:58:04 PM »

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Well, it is a little late in coming and now the WH will probably refuse to comply with the subpoenas and take it to court to avoid the checks and balances system.  Arrogance enough for all three branches of our govt.  I for one am sick of this.  The patriot act was approved by congress without them even bothering to read it.  Basic suspension of the Constitution and this article clearly demonstrates that.

Senate Panel Issues Subpoenas to White House, Vice President's Office Seeking Eavesdropping Documents
Wednesday, June 27, 2007



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WASHINGTON

The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program that operated warrant-free for five years.

Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council. The four parties have until July 18 to comply, according to a statement by Leahy's office.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal disputes within the administration over the legality of the program, which Bush put under court review earlier this year.

"Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection," Leahy said in his cover letters for the subpoenas. "There is no legitimate argument for withholding the requested materials from this committee."

Echoing its response to previous congressional subpoenas to former administration officials Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor, the White House gave no indication that it would comply.

"We're aware of the committee's action and will respond appropriately," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "It's unfortunate that congressional Democrats continue to choose the route of confrontation."

The showdown between the White House and Congress could land in federal court.

Leahy's committee and its counterpart in the House have issued the subpoenas as part of a sweeping look at how much influence the White House exerts over the Justice Department and its chief, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The probe, in its sixth month, began with an investigation into whether administration officials ordered the firings of eight federal prosecutors, for political reasons. The House and Senate Judiciary committees previously had subpoenaed Miers, one-time legal counsel, and Taylor, a former political director, in that probe.

But with senators of both parties already concerned about the constitutionality of the administration's efforts to root out terrorism suspects in the United States, the committee shifted to the broader question of Gonzales' stewardship of Justice and his willingness to go along with the wiretapping program.

The Bush administration secretly launched the spy program, run by the National Security Agency, in 2001 to monitor international phone calls and e-mails to or from the United States involving people the government suspected of having terrorist links. The program, which did not require investigators to seek warrants before conducting surveillance, was revealed in December 2005.

After the program was challenged in court, Bush put it under the supervision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established in 1978. The president still claims the power to order warantless spying.

Debate continues over whether the program violates people's civil liberties, and the administration has gone to great lengths to keep it running with extensive presidential discretion.

Piquing the committee's interest was vivid testimony last month by former Deputy Attorney General James Comey about the extent of the White House's effort to override the Justice Department's objections to the program in 2004.

Comey told the Judiciary Committee that Gonzales, then-White House counsel, tried to get Attorney General John Ashcroft to reverse course and recertify the program. At the time, Ashcroft lay in intensive care, recovering form gall bladder surgery.

Ashcroft refused, as did Comey, to whom Ashcroft had temporarily shifted the power of his office during his illness.

The White House recertified the program unilaterally. Ashcroft, Comey, FBI Director Robert Mueller and their staffs prepared to resign. Bush ultimately relented and made changes to the classified program that the Justice officials had demanded, and the agency eventually recertified it.

The fight was one of the most bitter disputes of the Bush presidency and questions remain over whether the program tramples people's civil liberties. The administration says the program is crucial to preventing more terrorist attacks.

Fratto defended the surveillance program as "lawful" and "limited."

"It's specifically designed to be effective without infringing Americans' civil liberties," Fratto said. "The program is classified for a reason its purpose is to track down and stop terrorist planning. We remain steadfast in our commitment to keeping Americans safe from an enemy determined to use any means possible including the latest in technology to attack us."

Majority Democrats and some Republicans are skeptical and have sought to find out more details about the program and how it has been administered.

Leahy's panel is required to serve the subpoenas to specific people within the offices named. One is addressed to Gonzales, while the others are addressed to: David S. Addington, Cheney's chief of staff; White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, V. Phillip Lago, executive secretary of the National Security Council - or "other custodian of records" in their offices.

The subpoenas themselves seek a wide array of documents on the program from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the present. Among them are any documents that include analysis or opinions from Justice, the National Security Agency which administers the program the Defense Department, the White House, or "any entity within the Executive Branch" on the legality of the electronic surveillance program.


Offline JETECK

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 08:08:04 PM »
Who's side are you on?
An armed public are called citizens...an unarmed public are called subjects.

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 12:54:05 PM »
The side of the Constitution and this country, certainly not the side of those of BOTH parties wanting to turn this nation into a socialist model for the world.  I NEVER agreed with the Constitutionality of the patriot act.  Never will.  The govt has grown way to large and powerful in my estimation.  Hope that clarifies whose side I am on.

Offline JETECK

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 02:17:29 PM »
Just because you believe it to be unconstitutional does not make it so.  One of the basic charges of the government is national defense.  If you know of a better way to gain access to the private conversations of terrorist, let it be known.  Foreigners are not covered by the constitution.

If you are concerned about the resurgence of socialism there are far better places to combat it.  Look no farther than public education, national news mediums and many members of the democrat party. 

I,m not trying to ruffle your feathers, in fact I am not Republican or Democrat, but a strict constructionist, I disagree with much of what goes on in Washington, but the patriot act does not bother me.
An armed public are called citizens...an unarmed public are called subjects.

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 02:25:51 PM »
Illegal wiretapping is just one item.  I enjoy these kind of constructive conversations.  Just think about the "Free Speech Zones" set up during this current administration.  Think about designating US Citizens as "enemy combatants" and locking them up without counsel or charges.  Then changing the charges.  Think about theft under color of law (New Orleans) and posse comitatus being violated, again in New Orleans as we discuss this.  Remember the National Guard is an arm of the FEDERAL Government now.  Think about the militarizatioin of police forces across the US.  Think of the concentration camps already set up in this country.  Read Operation GardenPlot.  My belief that it IS Unconstitutional does make it so in my mind.  You are a construtionist so look at and read the Constitution and then look at the bastardized laws included in this "act"

Offline crazy horse

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 03:03:09 PM »
What part of the 4th amendment does it NOT violate? I believe history will show it (The Patriot Act) to be one of those great breaches in our Bill Of Rights and more and more abusive with time. Hopefully it will be done away with in the future.

Offline JETECK

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 03:23:09 PM »
You have raised many different topics, lets talk about them one at a time.

Operation Garden plot

I would agree that at first glance it looks terrifying.  However if one reads it and analyzes it,  it amounts to nothing more than a contengentcy plan to restore order where local law enforcement refuses or is unable to do so.
An armed public are called citizens...an unarmed public are called subjects.

Offline JETECK

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 03:39:19 PM »
The 4th amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizure's.  Here we are at war against international terrorist.  What is unreasonable about listening in on a phone call to or from such a terrorist.
An armed public are called citizens...an unarmed public are called subjects.

Offline crazy horse

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 05:06:10 PM »
I agree, if we knew it would ONLY be used as such; however it is merely a matter of time until a corrupt or over-zealous cop or prosecutor abuses it. As you know, many laws with good intent (at the time) are later abused and misused. It is my belief that said patriot act has the potential for gross abuses to our citizens later (possibly now). You know, when this war is over, an amendment can be made to use this for domestic purposes, and as well...how broad will the definition of terrorists be expanded.

Offline JETECK

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2007, 06:01:50 PM »
I agree that it could become a slippery slope.  But if we keep our eyes and ears open, which is self evident by our participation here in this forum,  then we can keep that from happening.

Mean while I think the program has been a successful part of keeping one step ahead of these barbaric people.
An armed public are called citizens...an unarmed public are called subjects.

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2007, 08:07:20 PM »
Yes Gardenplot is a contingency plan designed to incarcerate any and all who disagree with the status quo.  One of those camps exists right on Ft. Wood.  I firmly do not believe this illegal wiretapping has served to stop anything.  What will stop these barbaric people as you called them is to meet them with the one thing they understand.  Ruthlessness and death. Preferably THEIRS.  The Patriot Act may have meant well, but think on it.  Who wrote it to start with and WHEN?  Congress got that one through in days with no debate and nobody even read it.  THAT would have required someone in congress to work.  The sad part is with anyone voting against the act was labeled and UnAmerican.  I fully disagree with the patriot act and I am certainly more in love with our Republic than any of the critters in Congress.  All they seem to be interested in is lining their pockets.  The people on this forum are a minute minority.  Not even all here could agree on this subject.  Most peopel in this country (sheep) are happy as long as they have their computers and play stations.  They don't seem to comprehend what is happening.   Enough rant for now.

Offline fish

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2007, 12:47:34 AM »
 the patriot act is unnecessary. knock down the wall the dems built preventing the cia and fbi from sharing information. Those agencies should be able to get the necessary information legally with the means already at their disposal. Those means are guided by the constituition for us citizens. 

Offline JETECK

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2007, 01:46:56 PM »
This is not what Garden plot is for, it is for putting down rioters and insurgentcies.  It is not to be used against people whom are assembled and protesting peacefully and have followed the law by obtaining a permit to do so.
Yes Gardenplot is a contingency plan designed to incarcerate any and all who disagree with the status quo. 
An armed public are called citizens...an unarmed public are called subjects.

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2007, 03:03:44 PM »
Uh Huh.  I have some great farm land in southern Arizona for sale too.  Just WHO do you think would be the rioters once the constitution is suspended?  WHO would become the insurgents when the military is being used to quell the citizens of this country?  Look closely.  The sheep will fall in line very easily.  Others will be watering the Tree of Liberty.  Allegiance is NOT to our Government, but to the Country and God and our way of life.  NO permit is required to peaceably assemble.  READ the Constitution and comprehend the words and their meaning.  I don't have to ask permission to meet with other people be it in public or private.  See also Rex 84

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/camps.html

Offline fish

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Re: Checks and Balances
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2007, 01:00:03 AM »
 I believe we should trust the gov't. Not 100% but we do have to trust it too a certain extent. Kinda like Reagan with the soviets;trust but verify.

What kind of time line do you think those events will occur matrs? I don't think they should be ignored, but I don't believe we are in an impending coup by the gov't either. But I always have something loaded and close,just in case of emergency.

Many gov't takeover theories have abounded over the years. Guns are easier too buy in missouri,we are able too defend our homes without being prosecuted. Those are pluses and I am sure there may be negatives, but I haven't seen them or had my freedoms reduced.