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judge rules warrantly wiretapping illegal
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
dogen, that quote indicates to me the reason the bush administration has not attempted to get a fisa warrant - the search is too broad, they have no specific targets.

Exactly. I've always assumed the warrantless wiretapping program amounted to a dragnet. One reason is that Bush & Co. constantly refer to the program "as explained" or "as reported" or other vague terms that suggest there may be unreported aspects that they want to avoid but, for legal reasons, can't say don't exist.

Quote:
i am interested that the bush admin has made no specific attempt to link our intelligence work with the british arrests - just sort of broad "we's", and an effort to piggyback on the importance of intelligence in general. (which is amusing in itself, as the admin's initial reaction was to somehow say this proved that police work was ineffective, and this just proved we should stay the course in iraq). i suspect they haven't done it because britain would immediately refuse the claim. we don't seem to be getting much from this "highly essential" program - no major arrests, no rings busted up - certainly no progress in iraq or with hezbollah or bin laden......

I get the feeling we're kind of on the outs with British intelligence. We have to tread lightly with regards to the wonderousness of our intelligence gathering, lest they call us on it.

If you recall, in August of '04 Tom Ridge, then DoHS Secretary, raised concerns about specific plots to attack US sites during the week of the Democratic Convention. This statement set journalists looking for the source of the very specific information (coming from an administration not inclined to provide details) and came up with Mohammed Khan, who had been detained in July of that year. He flipped and became our mole - an informant in Al Qaeda. It later came to light that Khan's laptop had information regarding a plan to bomb London's subway system.

Unfortunately, once reporters discovered his name and published it, Khan's cover was blown. The Brits, who had been tracking the comings and goings and communications of all those implicated by Khan, were forced to move quickly and raided a group involved in the plot to bomb the subways, but unbeknownst several of the terrorists were missed. They activated another cell which was unknown to either us or Britain, who later went on to commit the attacks on the subway system last summer.

For anyone curious, this is all easy to check. It was covered widely (though not loudly) in the US media.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:

Anyway, "Bush artificially inserts Al Quaeda into every aspect of the issue emotionally, making it impossible for most listeners/readers to split the issue into its constituent parts" but isn't it much more dangerous to pretend to have forgotten about Al Quaeda in every aspect of the issue? Do you really think you're able to think objectively? That you can leave everything you learned behind and just speak universal truths?


but that's the goal - to come up with a universal standard of behavior that you hold to, no matter what. that's what a code (moral, legal, whatever) is - something you go by all the time, even when it might be easier or more convenient to do something else.

bunbun is absolutely right - you _have_ to leave al qaeda out of the equation when you are formulating your code. otherwise, you get where we are now - "torture is bad when the bad guys do it, but it's ok for us to torture the guys we designate as bad guys, if we say it's really really necessary", "we value privacy except if we think you might be talking about something that we might want to know about" and so on.

remember - all those wiretaps aren't on people we _know_ are al qaeda. they are on people the administration thinks might be al qaeda, or might know al qaeda, or might be doing things that might help al qaeda. that's why the warrants are essential - it forces the government to prove that they have _some_ grounds for suspecting a person, not just a hope that they will find something suspicious.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be more helpful from now on to simply refer to them as "unwarranted" wiretaps.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, very good - true in more ways than one.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Michael wrote:

Anyway, "Bush artificially inserts Al Quaeda into every aspect of the issue emotionally, making it impossible for most listeners/readers to split the issue into its constituent parts" but isn't it much more dangerous to pretend to have forgotten about Al Quaeda in every aspect of the issue? Do you really think you're able to think objectively? That you can leave everything you learned behind and just speak universal truths?


but that's the goal - to come up with a universal standard of behavior that you hold to, no matter what. that's what a code (moral, legal, whatever) is - something you go by all the time, even when it might be easier or more convenient to do something else.


But I don't believe you can do this. I think belief in your own objectivity is a greater danger than knowing where your convictions lie, because you are (or -if you must- you might be) still making the same mistakes but hiding them from the public and/or yourself.
When someone is murdered it matters greatly if it's someone close to you or some stranger somewhere in Iran. You may want a universal principle but that's certainly not how people operate.

Quote:
bunbun is absolutely right - you _have_ to leave al qaeda out of the equation when you are formulating your code. otherwise, you get where we are now - "torture is bad when the bad guys do it, but it's ok for us to torture the guys we designate as bad guys, if we say it's really really necessary", "we value privacy except if we think you might be talking about something that we might want to know about" and so on.


But Al Qaeda is the reason the whole thing started. Well, it's become a codename for "the whole thing" anyway. I think in leaving it out your are
A. deluding yourself: have you really not changed since 9/11?
B. handing Bush an all powerful arguing tool. Anything you say or come up with he can simply counter by referring to Al Qaeda and how things have changed, how different rules apply now and how this is 'a time of war'. In leaving out Al Qaeda you are letting him bypass everything you say.


Quote:
remember - all those wiretaps aren't on people we _know_ are al qaeda. they are on people the administration thinks might be al qaeda, or might know al qaeda, or might be doing things that might help al qaeda. that's why the warrants are essential - it forces the government to prove that they have _some_ grounds for suspecting a person, not just a hope that they will find something suspicious.

On this I can't argue. Yes "it's making me almost side with the conservatives" was really a very stupid thing to say, I wasn't thinking about the wiretapping argument at all when I wrote that. It was more a 'look at least you can see where these guys are coming from' sort of thing. I was tipsy and tend exaggerate a lot anyway. Nathan is right, not the place to vent it.
Sorry.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
mouse wrote:
Michael wrote:

Anyway, "Bush artificially inserts Al Quaeda into every aspect of the issue emotionally, making it impossible for most listeners/readers to split the issue into its constituent parts" but isn't it much more dangerous to pretend to have forgotten about Al Quaeda in every aspect of the issue? Do you really think you're able to think objectively? That you can leave everything you learned behind and just speak universal truths?


but that's the goal - to come up with a universal standard of behavior that you hold to, no matter what. that's what a code (moral, legal, whatever) is - something you go by all the time, even when it might be easier or more convenient to do something else.


But I don't believe you can do this. I think belief in your own objectivity is a greater danger than knowing where your convictions lie, because you are (or -if you must- you might be) still making the same mistakes but hiding them from the public and/or yourself.
When someone is murdered it matters greatly if it's someone close to you or some stranger somewhere in Iran. You may want a universal principle but that's certainly not how people operate.


ah, but the issue is, do we allow ourselves to operate only on our basest instincts? or do we try for something higher?

i think we have to try for something higher, while accepting that we will, to some extent, fail. so i will oppose your natural instinct to torture and brutally kill someone who killed one of your loved ones, while refusing any punishment to one of your loved ones who killed someone you don't know.

Michael wrote:

Quote:
bunbun is absolutely right - you _have_ to leave al qaeda out of the equation when you are formulating your code. otherwise, you get where we are now - "torture is bad when the bad guys do it, but it's ok for us to torture the guys we designate as bad guys, if we say it's really really necessary", "we value privacy except if we think you might be talking about something that we might want to know about" and so on.


But Al Qaeda is the reason the whole thing started. Well, it's become a codename for "the whole thing" anyway. I think in leaving it out your are
A. deluding yourself: have you really not changed since 9/11?
B. handing Bush an all powerful arguing tool. Anything you say or come up with he can simply counter by referring to Al Qaeda and how things have changed, how different rules apply now and how this is 'a time of war'. In leaving out Al Qaeda you are letting him bypass everything you say.

a: i'm not deluding myself, but no, i really haven't changed. terrorism existed long before 9/11, it just hadn't hit the u.s. the world is not growing evil or more dangerous at a faster rate than it was before. and panicking over al qaeda is not going to make it better.
b: no, i'm not - because his argument is a fallacy. the rules _aren't_ different, just because he claims a war, and says he has all sorts of new powers. wanting them doesn't give them to him. ultimately, he has to argue from the same basis of law and the constitution everyone else does. because the majority hold by those things.

Quote:
remember - all those wiretaps aren't on people we _know_ are al qaeda. they are on people the administration thinks might be al qaeda, or might know al qaeda, or might be doing things that might help al qaeda. that's why the warrants are essential - it forces the government to prove that they have _some_ grounds for suspecting a person, not just a hope that they will find something suspicious.

On this I can't argue. Yes "it's making me almost side with the conservatives" was really a very stupid thing to say, I wasn't thinking about the wiretapping argument at all when I wrote that. It was more a 'look at least you can see where these guys are coming from' sort of thing. I was tipsy and tend exaggerate a lot anyway. Nathan is right, not the place to vent it.
Sorry.[/quote]

aaaaannnnnd...you just undermined your arguments. if you understand that _everything_ in the "war on terror" is being justified because "we're only doing it to the people we say are bad guys" - well, then, you have to use the same basis for everything. you have to prove you have some basis of believing that they are bad guys, you can't treat them different just because you decided they are bad guys.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
ah, but the issue is, do we allow ourselves to operate only on our basest instincts? or do we try for something higher?

i think we have to try for something higher, while accepting that we will, to some extent, fail. so i will oppose your natural instinct to torture and brutally kill someone who killed one of your loved ones, while refusing any punishment to one of your loved ones who killed someone you don't know.


Yes but we react differently in each case and how will we know which reaction is 'better'? by arguing from a few axioms (commandments, universal rights or whatever) and guiding principles?

I know you're trying to make a system and make it work, but I'd just like you to stay open and keep showing or trying to show where your deficiencies lie. I think it's much safer than hiding them in 'objectivity'. Objectivity usually just means hiding your assumptions.

Mouse wrote:
a: i'm not deluding myself, but no, i really haven't changed. terrorism existed long before 9/11, it just hadn't hit the u.s. the world is not growing evil or more dangerous at a faster rate than it was before. and panicking over al qaeda is not going to make it better.

As for the deluding bit, I'll have to take your word for that and I'll gladly do, at least you admit some fallibility Wink. But I really don't think any moral issue makes sense outside of context. You don't have to panic, but generalising AlQ out the way seems a little over the top. How do you know this generalisation is justified? In the end there is no objective way to tie a certain action to a certain punishment. So at some level you're going to have to specify things anyway. How do you weigh up an intrusion of privacy to a potential act of terrorism? I don't think a system capable of capturing the complexity of these situations would be in any way managable.

Quote:
b: no, i'm not - because his argument is a fallacy. the rules _aren't_ different, just because he claims a war, and says he has all sorts of new powers. wanting them doesn't give them to him. ultimately, he has to argue from the same basis of law and the constitution everyone else does. because the majority hold by those things.

The majority voted for him twice. The second time he was already a well documented liar. He's not playing by the rules.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
remember - all those wiretaps aren't on people we _know_ are al qaeda. they are on people the administration thinks might be al qaeda, or might know al qaeda, or might be doing things that might help al qaeda. that's why the warrants are essential - it forces the government to prove that they have _some_ grounds for suspecting a person, not just a hope that they will find something suspicious.

On this I can't argue. Yes "it's making me almost side with the conservatives" was really a very stupid thing to say, I wasn't thinking about the wiretapping argument at all when I wrote that. It was more a 'look at least you can see where these guys are coming from' sort of thing. I was tipsy and tend exaggerate a lot anyway. Nathan is right, not the place to vent it.
Sorry.

aaaaannnnnd...you just undermined your arguments. if you understand that _everything_ in the "war on terror" is being justified because "we're only doing it to the people we say are bad guys" - well, then, you have to use the same basis for everything. you have to prove you have some basis of believing that they are bad guys, you can't treat them different just because you decided they are bad guys.

uhm... wha? where am I saying that? Bunbun's post made Bush's acting more transparent while the opposition is getting more and more difficult to comprehend that's about it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

edit, some time later :: I can't believe I'm losing sleep over it but there's some stuff I really want to add

1.
A universal system for deciding moral issues is made by ordinary, non-universal people, they start with everything they know and weed it down to the few core issues that they deem so self-evident as to be universally true. Then they build it up, not like a computer would, bit by bit, but by selecting a plausible outcome and trying to work their way towards it. The ability of the system to comply with these preselected outcomes is the criterium the system is judged on. Along the way the acceptable methods of reasoning are formalised and built upon in the same way, again using the correspondence of the system's statements with the desired 'reality' as a test of it's accuracy.
The result, after years of tweaking and some radical changes over the centuries is a system that very well suits us. It reflects the principals and morals we grew up with, the stuff we know in our hearts to be true. But why should it hold for anyone else but the makers? What gives anyone the authority to say it should hold for everyone? Why should your system be mine?

2.
Bush is giving the opposition the run-around. Look at all the topics here on minor or major issues and you'll see more thought has gone into what he did wrong than he ever gave it himself. He hops happily from position to position and most people just stand around and point out in excruciating detail just what he did wrong. So far so good he has the monkeys ears to go with the branch-hopping and he'll fall sometime. But what's really getting to me is how the opposition are claiming possesion of unbiased truth. Not only is Bush wrong while they are right but is should be obvious to any well-informed intelligent observer that this is so. Somehow or other there is no anti-Bush side, just pro-Bush on on side and rationality on the other. What, exactly, is wrong with media being liberally biased? Isn't that the whole idea? One side says this, the other says this and together you reach some agreement. Now it's just people claiming to be objective vs fox news. Could Bush have asked for anything more? Why must everybody pretend to be above the argument? To have seen both sides of it and to have made the decision already? I hate that, I really really hate that. It's superficial and conceited and it clouds everything up to the point where a moron like Bush is welcomed for his 'clear view'. So yeah anyone who can come up and say this is who I am and this is what I stand for gets a big +1 in my book and while Bush failed to do so miserably at least it's obvious where he stands. So hey, seven million points to go till he's out of the red...

Sorry to fuck up your argument,
Goodnight
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, i'm going to do a lot of cutting here:

Michael wrote:
mouse wrote:
ah, but the issue is, do we allow ourselves to operate only on our basest instincts? or do we try for something higher?

i think we have to try for something higher, while accepting that we will, to some extent, fail. so i will oppose your natural instinct to torture and brutally kill someone who killed one of your loved ones, while refusing any punishment to one of your loved ones who killed someone you don't know.


Yes but we react differently in each case and how will we know which reaction is 'better'? by arguing from a few axioms (commandments, universal rights or whatever) and guiding principles?


well....yes. what else would you propose? i'm not going to quote all of your addendum #1, but in it you do a nice job of outlining how a society comes up with the principles by which it acts. you note that it is a process involving much time and many people - and then you ask "why should this apply to everyone?" well....how about, because it is the product of much time and many people and has shown that it works?
<added> - if (in #1) by "yours" and "mine" you mean "your country" and "my country" - well then, no. your country can have its own system, driven by its own history and moral values. but if you are in my country, then yes - you pretty much need to agree that you will follow the system we have.

you seem very worried that because i am trying to be objective, i am somehow excluding things. i assure you, i am not - i am just doing my best to try to keep my emotions from clouding my logic. now obviously, to some extent, they always will - which is a strong reason not to rearrange my laws and morality in the heat of the moment.. you talk about al qaeda as if it were some completely new thing in the world - i assure you, it is not. there have been terrorists in the past; there have been terrorists who caused major loss of life and universal outrage. and one way or another, most of them were dealt with. i think you will find that when they were dealt with by suspending established law and forgetting basic human rights, the struggle took longer - and in many cases, the people doing the suspending and forgetting looked back on that action in shame. as they should have.

Michael wrote:
Objectivity usually just means hiding your assumptions.

i strongly object to this. true objectivity, to me, means putting all your assumptions out there, and trying to give them the appropriate weights.

Michael wrote:
So at some level you're going to have to specify things anyway. How do you weigh up an intrusion of privacy to a potential act of terrorism? I don't think a system capable of capturing the complexity of these situations would be in any way managable.


but it has been, in the past. we insisted that legal authorities have some demonstrable basis for suspecting someone of something before they make intrusive searches of any sort. as far as i can tell, this method worked just fine for the english authorities in breaking up the most recent plot.

Michael wrote:
The majority voted for him twice. The second time he was already a well documented liar. He's not playing by the rules.

so you say we throw out the rules? just as he wants to throw out the rules against terrorists? i think you just work harder to show him that the rules _do_ matter, and that they apply to him, whether they like it or not.

see, to me, a lot of this is not about the terrorists - it's about who my people, the citizens of the united states of america, are. we are people who play by the rules, who believe that people have rights. that reputation is something it has taken us two hundred years to earn. if we damage it too completely, it will take us at least another hundred to earn it back.

look at a map of the united states. get one that indicates the population of the cities by the size of the dots. look at statistics on population, on how much we grow, how much we produce, how much we have. do you really believe a handful of terrorists can destroy this country? even if they had nuclear weapons, how much could they really destroy? and what, really, have they changed, by smashing buildings and killing people? we tear down buildings every day, we lose them to fire and flood. people die every day. those losses, while tragic, don't change who we are. only we can change who we are, what we believe and what we stand for. and i, for one, will not let a few lunatics stampede me into giving up my core beliefs.

Michael wrote:
But what's really getting to me is how the opposition are claiming possesion of unbiased truth. Not only is Bush wrong while they are right but is should be obvious to any well-informed intelligent observer that this is so. Somehow or other there is no anti-Bush side, just pro-Bush on on side and rationality on the other.

ok, i'm really not getting your point here. are you saying the pro-bush people are irrational, and the anti-bush ones are rational? or no one is? or what? there are certainly many people who argue bush's stands and actions - administration figures and spokesmen, media commentators, and people on the street. and there are many people who argue against them.

and _both_ sides claim possession of the unbiased truth - have you not heard any of cheney's comments?


Michael wrote:
Why must everybody pretend to be above the argument? To have seen both sides of it and to have made the decision already?

again - what on earth are you trying to say? there certainly is a lot of argument - and there are people who have changed their minds about bush, so one must conclude that they saw both sides, and made a decision. i saw enough of bush in the 2000 race to make a decision, as did many other people. his actions since have just borne out the validity of my decision.

Michael wrote:
I hate that, I really really hate that. It's superficial and conceited and it clouds everything up to the point where a moron like Bush is welcomed for his 'clear view'. So yeah anyone who can come up and say this is who I am and this is what I stand for gets a big +1 in my book


well, making a stand doesn't make you right. yes, a lot of people like bush because he had a simple message and they like simple. they also like the idea of paying less in taxes, in having a man in power who supports their religious views, who says he will keep us out of other people's business, who seems like he is just like them, and so might do things the way they want them done. it wasn't just that he had a clear view - he had a clear view that people liked. i believe there are other politicians who also have a clear view - but there opponents do the best they can to make those views seem muddy. (and to me, acknowledging that there may not be a simple answer to everything _is_ a clear view.) true, there are politician who try to be all things to all people - and people usually see through them.

dear one, you need to start getting some sleep _before_ you try to argue.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
dear one, you need to start getting some sleep _before_ you try to argue.


I think I'll do just that Smile
(I made some notes on a bit of scrap paper here instead haha, boy you're in for it now)

Oh and much kudos for using underscores as accentuation, that's almost as cool as not closing a set of double quotation marks at the end of a paragraph (provided the next paragraph is a continuation of the same quote and starts with a new set of double quotation marks again)

oh and
mouse wrote:
(and to me, acknowledging that there may not be a simple answer to everything _is_ a clear view.)

deserves better than those parentheses
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:

Oh and much kudos for using underscores as accentuation, that's almost as cool as not closing a set of double quotation marks at the end of a paragraph (provided the next paragraph is a continuation of the same quote and starts with a new set of double quotation marks again)


it's mah style, baby anything else is just losing track of where i am in things
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Yes but we react differently in each case and how will we know which reaction is 'better'? by arguing from a few axioms (commandments, universal rights or whatever) and guiding principles?


So, I take it you believe both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights should be thrown out the window, yes?


I just want to figure out where we're starting from.
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