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 Post subject: GOP Hits Back at Gore on Wiretapping
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:20 am 
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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006 1:43 a.m. EST
GOP Hits Back at Gore on Wiretapping


Former Vice President Al Gore's assertion that President Bush "repeatedly and persistently" broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without a court warrant did not fall on deaf ears in Washington, D.C.

In fact, the Republican National Committee swiftly reacted to the loser of the 2000 presidential election, with RNC press secretary Tracey Schmitt stating:

"Al Gore's incessant need to insert himself in the headline of the day is almost as glaring as his lack of understanding of the threats facing America. While the president works to protect Americans from terrorists, Democrats deliver no solutions of their own, only diatribes laden with inaccuracies and anger."

The RNC then showed why Gore's comments are hard to swallow, providing these insightful reminders:


Once Upon A Time, Gore Talked Tough About Cracking Down On Terrorists:
In 1999, Vice President Gore Declared: "Hear Me Well - We Will Fight The Reckless Violence Of Terrorism And We Will Never Yield To Terrorism, Ever." (Joe Carroll, "Clinton Exhorts Parties to Surmount Last Hurdle," The Irish Times, 3/18/99)

At A 1996 Counter-Terrorism Event Gore Said: "The Bottom Line Is That President Clinton And I And The Members Of This Commission Have Pledged To The Families Of The Victims Of Terrorism That We're Going To Take The Strongest Measures Possible To Reduce The Risk Of Another Tragedy In The Future." (Al Gore, White House Briefing, 9/5/96)


Clinton/Gore Administration Used Warrantless Searches:
Clinton Administration Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick: "(T)he Department Of Justice Believes, And The Case Law Supports, That The President Has Inherent Authority To Conduct Warrantless Physical Searches For Foreign Intelligence Purposes And That The President May, As Has Been Done, Delegate This Authority To The Attorney General." (Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 7/14/94)

In 1994, President Clinton Expanded The Use Of Warrantless Searches To Entirely Domestic Situations With No Foreign Intelligence Value Whatsoever. In A Radio Address Promoting A Crime- Fighting Bill, Mr. Clinton Discussed A New Policy To Conduct Warrantless Searches In Highly Violent Public Housing Projects." (Charles Hurt, "'Warrantless' Searches Not Unprecedented," The Washington Times, 12/22/05)

"One Of The Most Famous Examples Of Warrantless Searches In Recent Years Was The Investigation Of CIA Official Aldrich H. Ames, Who Ultimately Pleaded Guilty To Spying For The Former Soviet Union. That Case Was Largely Built Upon Secret Searches Of Ames' Home And Office In 1993, Conducted Without Federal Warrants." (Charles Hurt, "'Warrantless' Searches Not Unprecedented," The Washington Times, 12/22/05)

President Bill Clinton: "(T)he Attorney General Is Authorized To Approve Physical Searches, Without A Court Order, To Acquire Foreign Intelligence Information For Periods Of Up To One Year ..." (President Bill Clinton, Executive Order 12949, "Foreign Intelligence Physical Searches," 2/9/95)


Meanwhile, Polling Shows Americans Support President Bush's Decision On Wire Tapping:
"(A Rasmussen Reports Survey Found) Sixty-Four Percent (64 percent) Of Americans Believe The National Security Agency (NSA) Should Be Allowed To Intercept Telephone Conversations Between Terrorism Suspects In Other Countries And People Living In The United States … Just 23 percent Disagree." (Rasmussen Reports' Web site, http://www.rasmussenreports.com, Accessed 1/6/06)

Eighty-One Percent (81 percent) Of Republicans Believe The NSA Should Be Allowed To Listen In On Conversations Between Terror Suspects And People Living In The United States. That View Is Shared By 51 percent Of Democrats ..." (Rasmussen Reports' Web site, http://www.rasmussenreports.com, Accessed 1/6/06)


The FISA Court Does Not Provide Flexibility Needed To Fight The War On Terrorism:
President Bush: "(T)he (9/11) Commission Criticized Our Nation's Inability To Uncover Links Between Terrorists Here At Home And Terrorists Abroad. Two Of The Terrorist Hijackers Who Flew A Jet Into The Pentagon, Nawaf Al Hamzi And Khalid Al Mihdhar, Communicated While They Were In The United States To Other Members Of Al Qaeda Who Were Overseas." (President Bush, Radio Address, Washington, D.C., 12/17/05)

9/11 Commission Report: "On January 15, (2000) Hazmi And Mihdhar Arrived In Los Angeles. ... After The Pair Cleared Immigration And Customs At Los Angeles International Airport, We Do Not Know Where They Went. ... We Do Not Pick Up Their Trail Until February 1, 2000 ..." ("Final Report Of The National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States," The 9/11 Commission Report, 7/22/04)

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: "The Operators Out At NSA Tell Me That We Don't Have The Speed And The Agility That We Need, In All Circumstances, To Deal With This New Kind Of Enemy. You Have To Remember That FISA Was Passed By The Congress In 1978. There Have Been Tremendous Advances In Technology ... Since Then." (Attorney General Gonzales, Press Conference, 12/19/05)

The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol: "Remember Moussaoui? Remember August 2001? The FBI Wanted To Go To The FISA Court To Get Surveillance Capabilities Based On What They Found On His Computer, And The Justice Department Decided No. Now, The Patriot Act Did Not Change That Standard Of FISA ..." (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 12/18/05)

Kristol: "I Wish Bill Clinton Had Done This. I Wish We Had Tapped The Phones Of The People Of Mohammed Atta Here Into The United States If We Discovered Phone Calls From Afghanistan To Him. That Was Why 9/11 Happened. That's What Connecting The Dots Is." (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 12/18/05)

9/11 Commission Report: "The Agents In Minnesota Were Concerned That The U.S. Attorney's Office In Minneapolis Would Find Insufficient Probable Cause Of A Crime To Obtain A Criminal Warrant To Search Moussaoui's Laptop Computer. Agents At FBI Headquarters Believed There Was Insufficient Probable Cause. Minneapolis Therefore Sought A Special Warrant Under The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act To Conduct The Search ... FBI Headquarters Did Not Believe This Was Good Enough, And Its National Security Law Unit Declined To Submit A FISA Application." ("Final Report Of The National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States," The 9/11 Commission Report, 7/22/04)


Bush Administration's Wiretapping Authorization Has Been Successful:
"Officials Have Privately Credited The Eavesdropping With The Apprehension Of Lyman Faris, A Truck Driver Who Pleaded Guilty In 2003 To Planning To Blow Up The Brooklyn Bridge." (Peter Baker, "President Says He Ordered NSA Domestic Spying," The Washington Post, 12/18/05)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:35 pm 
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Physical searches were not covered under the FISA law until 1995.

Quote:
After Attorney General Reno authorized a secret search of CIA spy Aldrich Ames’ home and his attorney challenged it, the Clinton administration asked Congress extend FISA to authorize secret physical searches of Americans' homes and offices. The civil liberties community objected that such secret searches are unconstitutional, but the Justice Department argued that it was better to have such searches authorized by the FISA court than carried out solely on the signature of the Attorney General as had occurred in the investigation of Aldrich Ames.

http://www.cnss.org/fisa%20short.htm


As you can see, the Clinton administration asked that the FISA law be ammended to allow the FISA court to police the use of physical searches, rather than leave such under the discretion of the Attorney General. Congress changed the FISA law in 1995.


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