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 Post subject: Bush's Bank Spying Shreds the Constitution
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:01 pm 
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Judge gives go-ahead to lawsuit against Bush's bank transfer spying program

A federal judge in Chicago last week rejected a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against a Belgium-based bank transfer clearinghouse that collaborated with an anti-terrorism spying program led by the US Department of Treasury. The judge's decision will allow two plaintiffs to press their case that the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) violated the Fourth Amendment and financial privacy rights of bank customers throughout the United States when it collaborated with president George W. Bush's so-called 'Terrorist Finance Tracking Program.'

"I don't think any corporate entity should be given a blank check to spy on Americans whether it's their telephone conversations or their financial transactions," said Steven Schwarz, the lead attorney for the case's two plaintiffs, in a Tuesday morning phone call with RAW STORY. "Maybe that's how they do it in other countries, but we have one set of rules, and nobody gets carte blanche to shred the Constitution."

SWIFT facilitates $6 trillion a day in financial transactions among thousands of banks in hundreds of countries. In June 26, 2006, articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, SWIFT was revealed by the media to have turned over considerable information its database to the US Department of Treasury. Schwarz alleged that the government initially had filed a more limited subpoena for information.

(Note: Counterterrorism expert Victor Comras wrote just after the revelation that the US government's monitoring of SWIFT transactions first was noted in 2002 in United Nations publications.)

Schwarz explained to RAW STORY why the action undertaken by SWIFT in assisting the government's program allowed an alarming fishing expedition to take place.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:02 am 
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along with this story cath i saw another one on olbermann last night.

kieth brought up an interesting report on gws continual use of signing statements.

basically as i understood the report, bush has possibly created another constitutional crisis by attempting to overwrite/ammend the legislation that ends up on his desk. a constitutional expert on olbermanns show last night deftly pointed out that according to law the president DOESN"T have the power to do any such thing. he has only 2 options when a bill comes to him, sign it into law OR veto it. the expert then continued to explain how in NO way does the executive branch have any power whatsoever to interperet/ammend/rewrite any piece of legislation.


but then again, what would we expect from a wanna be dictatorship/decidership. most despots throughout history have been a virtual mirror image of the current blackhouse occupant.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:20 am 
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You're so right, rooster!

Consider this:

Quote:
Presidential usage (of signing statements):

The first president to issue a signing statement was James Monroe.[5] Until the 1980s, with some exceptions, signing statements were generally triumphal, rhetorical, or political proclamations and went mostly unannounced.

Until Ronald Reagan became President, only 75 statements had been issued. Reagan and his successors George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton have produced 247 signing statements among the three of them. By the end of 2004, George W. Bush had issued over 108 signing statements containing more than 505 constitutional challenges. [6] As of October 4, 2006, he had signed 134 signing statements challenging 810 federal laws. [7]

The upswing in the use of signing statements during the Reagan administration coincides with the writing by Samuel A. Alito – then a staff attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel – of a 1986 memorandum making the case for "interpretive signing statements" as a tool to "increase the power of the Executive to shape the law." Alito proposed adding signing statements to a "reasonable number of bills" as a pilot project, but warned that "Congress is likely to resent the fact that the President will get in the last word on questions of interpretation."[8]

Did Congress resist? Not much! (my words)

A November 3, 1993 memo from the Clinton Justice Department explained the use of signing statements to object to potentially unconstitutional legislation:

If the President may properly decline to enforce a law, at least when it unconstitutionally encroaches on his powers, then it arguably follows that he may properly announce to Congress and to the public that he will not enforce a provision of an enactment he is signing. If so, then a signing statement that challenges what the President determines to be an unconstitutional encroachment on his power, or that announces the President's unwillingness to enforce (or willingness to litigate) such a provision, can be a valid and reasonable exercise of Presidential authority.[1]
This same Department of Justice memorandum observed that use of Presidential signing statements to create legislative history for the use of the courts was uncommon before the Reagan and Bush Presidencies. In 1986, Attorney General Edwin Meese III entered into an arrangement with the West Publishing Company to have Presidential signing statements published for the first time in the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News, the standard collection of legislative history.

Signing statements may be viewed as a type of executive order without congressional oversight. Other types of executive order are national security directives, homeland security presidential directives, and presidential decision directives, all of which deal with national security and defense matters.


[edit] Controversy over George W. Bush's use of signing statements
There is an ongoing controversy concerning the extensive use of signing statements to modify the meaning of laws by President George W. Bush. In July 2006, a task force of the American Bar Association described the use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws as "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers".[1]

George W. Bush's use of signing statements is controversial, both for the number of times employed (estimated at over 750 opinions) and for the apparent attempt to nullify legal restrictions on his actions through claims made in the statements. Some opponents have said that he in effect uses signing statements as a line-item veto although the Supreme Court has already held one line item veto bill to be an unconstitutional delegation of power in Clinton v. City of New York.[9]

Previous administrations had made use of signing statements to dispute the validity of a new law or its individual components. George H. W. Bush challenged 232 statutes through signing statements during four years in office and Clinton challenged 140 over eight years. George W. Bush's 130 signing statements contain at least 750 challenges.[6] [10] In the words of a New York Times commentary:

"And none have used it so clearly to make the president the interpreter of a law's intent, instead of Congress, and the arbiter of constitutionality, instead of the courts."
[11]

The signing statement associated with the McCain Detainee Amendment, prohibiting cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody attracted controversy:

"The executive branch shall construe... the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power...."

This statement specifically invokes the unitary executive theory, which according to its adherents argues that the President, in his capacity of Commander-in-Chief, cannot be bound by any law or by Congress since anything hindering him in that capacity can be considered unconstitutional.[12] With his signing statment to the McCain Detainee Amendment, the President has reserved his authority to challenge parts of the law passed by Congress.[13]



In other words, Bush prefers his role as Commander in Chief and sees it as being much more important than his role as President. Like a little Il Duce strutting around.... :evil:

THAT's one of the reasons I don't think Bush will leave the presidency in 2009 without some kind of attempt to try to declare martial law, which might allow him and Cheney to stay in power.

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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:21 am 
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You're so right, rooster!

Consider this:

Quote:
Presidential usage (of signing statements):

The first president to issue a signing statement was James Monroe.[5] Until the 1980s, with some exceptions, signing statements were generally triumphal, rhetorical, or political proclamations and went mostly unannounced.

Until Ronald Reagan became President, only 75 statements had been issued. Reagan and his successors George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton have produced 247 signing statements among the three of them. By the end of 2004, George W. Bush had issued over 108 signing statements containing more than 505 constitutional challenges. [6] As of October 4, 2006, he had signed 134 signing statements challenging 810 federal laws. [7]

The upswing in the use of signing statements during the Reagan administration coincides with the writing by Samuel A. Alito – then a staff attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel – of a 1986 memorandum making the case for "interpretive signing statements" as a tool to "increase the power of the Executive to shape the law." Alito proposed adding signing statements to a "reasonable number of bills" as a pilot project, but warned that "Congress is likely to resent the fact that the President will get in the last word on questions of interpretation."[8]

Did Congress resist? Not much! (my words)

A November 3, 1993 memo from the Clinton Justice Department explained the use of signing statements to object to potentially unconstitutional legislation:

If the President may properly decline to enforce a law, at least when it unconstitutionally encroaches on his powers, then it arguably follows that he may properly announce to Congress and to the public that he will not enforce a provision of an enactment he is signing. If so, then a signing statement that challenges what the President determines to be an unconstitutional encroachment on his power, or that announces the President's unwillingness to enforce (or willingness to litigate) such a provision, can be a valid and reasonable exercise of Presidential authority.[1]
This same Department of Justice memorandum observed that use of Presidential signing statements to create legislative history for the use of the courts was uncommon before the Reagan and Bush Presidencies. In 1986, Attorney General Edwin Meese III entered into an arrangement with the West Publishing Company to have Presidential signing statements published for the first time in the U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News, the standard collection of legislative history.

Signing statements may be viewed as a type of executive order without congressional oversight. Other types of executive order are national security directives, homeland security presidential directives, and presidential decision directives, all of which deal with national security and defense matters.


[edit] Controversy over George W. Bush's use of signing statements
There is an ongoing controversy concerning the extensive use of signing statements to modify the meaning of laws by President George W. Bush. In July 2006, a task force of the American Bar Association described the use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws as "contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers".[1]

George W. Bush's use of signing statements is controversial, both for the number of times employed (estimated at over 750 opinions) and for the apparent attempt to nullify legal restrictions on his actions through claims made in the statements. Some opponents have said that he in effect uses signing statements as a line-item veto although the Supreme Court has already held one line item veto bill to be an unconstitutional delegation of power in Clinton v. City of New York.[9]

Previous administrations had made use of signing statements to dispute the validity of a new law or its individual components. George H. W. Bush challenged 232 statutes through signing statements during four years in office and Clinton challenged 140 over eight years. George W. Bush's 130 signing statements contain at least 750 challenges.[6] [10] In the words of a New York Times commentary:

"And none have used it so clearly to make the president the interpreter of a law's intent, instead of Congress, and the arbiter of constitutionality, instead of the courts."
[11]

The signing statement associated with the McCain Detainee Amendment, prohibiting cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody attracted controversy:

"The executive branch shall construe... the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power...."

This statement specifically invokes the unitary executive theory, which according to its adherents argues that the President, in his capacity of Commander-in-Chief, cannot be bound by any law or by Congress since anything hindering him in that capacity can be considered unconstitutional.[12] With his signing statment to the McCain Detainee Amendment, the President has reserved his authority to challenge parts of the law passed by Congress.[13]



In other words, Bush prefers his role as Commander in Chief and sees it as being much more important than his role as President. Like a little Il Duce strutting around.... :evil:

THAT's one of the reasons I don't think Bush will leave the presidency in 2009 without some kind of attempt to try to declare martial law, which might allow him and Cheney to stay in power.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signing_statements

http://news.google.com/news?q=president ... 4&ct=title

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:20 am 
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Not only does it shred the constitution, but it also might aid the enemies (abroad and within) according to this article.

Domestic Spying Program Could Aid Terrorists, Experts Say -- Domestic Wiretapping Could Pose 'An Awesome Risk' to National Security

Quote:
By JUSTIN ROOD | Feb. 1, 2008

Although the Bush administration calls it a vital weapon against terrorism, its domestic wiretapping effort could become a devastating tool for terrorists if hacked or penetrated from inside, according to a new article by a group of America's top computer security experts.

The administration has said little about the program except to defend it against charges it amounts to illegal spying on U.S. citizens. When news of the program broke in 2006, then-White House spokesman Scott McClellan called the program a "limited" effort "targeted at al Qaeda communications coming into or going out of the United States."

But documents submitted in an ongoing court case indicate the program involves data centers at major telecommunications hubs that siphon off and analyze billions of bytes of Americans' emails, phone calls and other data.

By diverting the flow of so much domestic data into a few massive pools, the administration may have "[built] for its opponents something that would be too expensive for them to build for themselves," say the authors: "a system that lets them see the U.S.'s intelligence interests...[and] that might be turned" to exploit conversations and information useful for plotting an attack on the United States.
...

Imagine all that personal data, just sitting there like a pile of gold for your identity thieving hacker. The thought probably tantalizes the ardent h4x0r.

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