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Barack Obama's reelection ensures 16 full years of George Bush's radically imperial policies and their resultant civil liberties abridgments at home.

Following Barack Obama’s significant electoral victory, the ways in which the President will interpret his new “mandate” are still very much up for debate. While pundits, many of whom got the election seriously wrong, fumble to come up with new predictions, an analysis of Obama’s track record and statements on national security policy can be quite illuminating. Two momentous stories of the past few weeks can help us evaluate current and future prospects for our Constitutional rights, a year after Osama bin Laden’s death and a decade after 9/11. One grim harbinger of what’s to continue: a nighttime drone strike in Yemen that killed three “al-Qaida militants” was carried out within 24 hours of Obama’s victory speech.

But even more important was the bombshell story that appeared in the Washington Post on October 23, revealing the existence of a new database within the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) that will list suspected terrorists and militants slated for extrajudicial assassination. The article details the creation of a “next-generation targeting list called the ‘disposition matrix’” which “contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled” to kill them, including the ability to map “plans for the ‘disposition’ of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.”

Additionally, on October 29the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Amnesty v. Clapper, evaluating a lawsuit filed by journalists, human rights workers, and lawyers, who claimed that their jobs are unnecessarily hampered by the specter of the National Security Agency eavesdropping on their communications with clients overseas. As described by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), “the [Supreme] Court will essentially determine whether any court… can rule on whether the [National Security Agency]’s targeted warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international communications violates the Constitution.”

What do NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program and the Obama administration’s recently developed “disposition matrix” have to do with one another? Two points resound in particular. First, both are only able to function in an environment of total secrecy. Also, they represent significant advances in the codification of a new norm for U.S. national security policy—one very much at odds with the constitutionally limited Commander-in-Chief of common lore.

Perhaps even more ominously, the infrastructure development of the Obama administration’s policy of targeted killing signals a creeping move toward domestic application. As drone technology continues to be imported home, the convergence of the kill-list(s) within the NCTC bureaucracy—which houses huge repositories of both domestic and foreign intelligence with no probable cause of criminality—is a foreboding development in this saga of eroding checks and disappearing balance.

Climbing Out of the Abyss, Jumping Back In

Unknown to the American people and to much of their government until the late 1970’s, NSA has enjoyed free rein to intercept the electronic communications of Americans and foreigners since its secret inception in 1952. To those who were familiar with it, the uniform joke was that NSA stood for “No Such Agency,” an indication of its covert and prized status within the intelligence community.

After media revelations of intelligence abuses by the Nixon administration began to mount in the wake of Watergate, NSA became the subject of Congressional ire in the form of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities—commonly known as the “Church Committee” after its chair, Senator Frank Church (D-ID)—established on January 17, 1975. This ad-hoc investigative body found itself unearthing troves of classified records from the FBI, NSA, CIA and Pentagon that detailed the murky pursuits of each during the first decades of the Cold War. Under the mantle of defeating communism, internal documents confirmed the executive branch’s use of said agencies in some of the most fiendish acts of human imagination (including refined psychological torture techniques), particularly by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Cold War mindset had incurably infected the nation’s security apparatus, establishing extralegal subversion efforts at home and brutish control abroad. It was revealed that the FBI undertook a war to destroy homegrown movements such as the Black Liberation Movement (including Martin Luther King, Jr.), and that NSA had indiscriminately intercepted the communications of Americans without warrant, even without the President’s knowledge. When confronted with such nefarious enterprises, Congress sought to rein in the excesses of the intelligence community, notably those directed at the American public.

The committee chair, Senator Frank Church, then issued this warning about NSA’s power:

That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. Telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.
The reforms that followed, as enshrined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, included the establishment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC): a specially-designated panel of judges who are allowed to review evidence before giving NSA a warrant to spy on Americans (only in the case of overseas communication). Hardly a contentious check or balance, FISC rejected zero warrant requests between its inception in 1979 and 2000, only asking that two warrants be “modified” out of an estimated 13,000.

In spite of FISC’s rubberstamping, following 9/11 the Bush administration began deliberately bypassing the court, because even its minimal evidentiary standard was too high a burden of proof for the blanket surveillance they wanted. So began the dragnet monitoring of the American public by tapping the country’s major electronic communication chokepoints in collusion with the nation’s largest telecommunications companies.

When confronted with the criminal conspiracy undertaken by the Bush administration and telecoms, Congress confirmed why it retains the lowest approval rating of any major American institution by “reforming” the statute to accommodate the massive law breaking. The 2008 FISA Amendments Act [FAA] entrenched the policy of mass eavesdropping and granted the telecoms retroactive immunity for their criminality, withdrawing even the negligible individual protections in effect since 1979. Despite initial opposition, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama voted for the act as one of his last deeds in the Senate. A few brave (and unsuccessful) lawsuits later, this policy remains the status quo.

Seemingly Impossible to Stand (Up For Your Rights)

The latest challenge to government snooping, Amnesty v. Clapper, isn’t even about Big Brother’s legality in the first place. The defendants are appealing a federal circuit court’s decision that granted legitimate “standing” to the plaintiffs to bring suit disputing the electronic surveillance program’s constitutionality.

The Justice Department maintains that the plaintiffs don’t have standing to challenge the powers granted in the FAA because they are unable to claim with certainty that they were specifically wiretapped in the first place. Such a determination is impossible to make because all attempts to gather said information have hitherto been quashed by federal courts. They have overwhelmingly agreed with the government’s assertion that disclosing such information would divulge state secrets. Thus the only way to prove aggrieved status, and then challenge government snooping, is through government admission.

Despite pledges to use the privilege sparingly, Barack Obama’s administration has enshrined the Kafkaesque nature of American judicial proceedings in the War on Terror: the government claims it is a state secret whether you’ve been targeted for surveillance, thereby invalidating any legal challenges you may present because you can’t even prove you’ve been a victim.

As Justice Sonia Sotomayor put it ten seconds into the Solicitor General’s argument: “General [Donald Verrelli], is there anybody who has standing?”

The Supreme Court’s decision in Amnesty v. Clapper has the potential to determine how far the government can extend the cloak of secrecy over its national security activities. Notwithstanding the tough questioning by Sotomayor and her liberal colleagues on the bench, legal scholars note that the court usually doesn’t hear a case unless it sees legitimate ground to overturn a circuit court’s decision—which in this case would mean denying that the plaintiffs had standing to bring suit.

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Comment Preferences

  •  we will not give up the edge we have so easily (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic

    thankfully.  

    Obama isn't the problem.  He has to work within the system we have.  

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 07:57:05 AM PST

    •  yes and no (0+ / 0-)

      he's the president, and there is much about the system he can change.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:03:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what if the system is corrupt? (0+ / 0-)

      you are making the case to go outside the two parties for action on civil liberties and a range of other issues.

      •  of course the system is corrupt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG

        this is the problem with some people.

        there will never be a government or anything controlled by humans that will be without corruption.

        i am certainly not making that case.  if you want to, be my guest.

        but you can't do it here.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:29:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  He has the authority to create checks and balances (0+ / 0-)

      he is the president, who is absolutely the zenith of his authority in the realm of defense and national security.  He absolutely does NOT have to work within the system we have, because in this case, he is absolutely the most important and most powerful player by a long shot.  Yes, Congress could try to rein him in, but it would be difficult and take united action.

      So, no, the president absolutely could take Frank Church's instructions to heart and create a review process and dismantle some of these more nefarious mechanisms.

      I am not banking on that happening.

      This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:46:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  um no, simply no (0+ / 0-)

        the president has to work with congress.  authority to create checks and balances?

        go back to school.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:35:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where's your JD from? (0+ / 0-)

          Because I happen to know constitutional and administrative law pretty damn well.  And yes, these are primarily administrative and executive actions of which the Congress is informed, but Congress does not have a direct say, barring changes in statute.  Neither the extrajudicial executions, the assertions of executive privileges, the policies of the NSA or any of these are the result of powers enacted under article I, but rather they are based on inherent article II powers.

          But at least we can understand your position better, since it seems to derive from a basic ignorance of how the US constitution is structured.

          This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

          by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:41:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  congress writes the laws (0+ / 0-)

            the executive enforces them.

            Obama has made the wise decisions in enforcing those laws.

            the ignorance is all yours here.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:50:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  o.k. (0+ / 0-)

              Here's a clue.  Trying learning something more about how the constitution works beyond your eighth grade civics class, because this characterization is entirely inaccurate in the realm of defense.  Also it is inaccurate in the conduct of foreign policy.  In fact, both are areas where acts of Congress have been struck down by the courts for infringing too much on the executive's inherent powers under Article II.

              But at least I see why were have a problem here.

              This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

              by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:57:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh the glory days when the president made all the (0+ / 0-)

                rules.. are you sure you're not secretly hoping for Bush?

                we have many many laws here.  who do you think you're arguing with?

                -You want to change the system, run for office.

                by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:59:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Someone who doesn't understand what Obama (0+ / 0-)

                  has done.  He has very much adopted Bush's arguments about the implied powers of the executive and applied them forcefully.  I would be a little careful about accusing anyone else of hoping for a return of Bush, since you are taking the position of defending Bush's position on the extent of executive power.  I'm the one arguing that the executive needs to have very narrow bounds of unreviewed discretion in these areas.  

                  And the debate about the scope of the executive's war powers and inherent executive powers goes back way before Bush.  These court decisions have been going on for better part of a century. Truman, you may remember, tried to sieze steel plants based on these powers (but was struck down).    

                  This is absolultely foundational knowledge to have before engaging in a discussion of foreign policy or national security.  That language about executive power being "at its zenith" vis a vis Congress is taken from a Supreme Court .  

                  It is also critical to know the legal doctrines the OBama DOJ has invoked, for example, to try to deny standing to those challenging Bush's warrentless wiretapping program.  Let me repeat that. Obama is not only continuing the warrantless wiretappin program, he is defending it, AND trying to advance theories that would render it immune from legal challenge.

                  If you are unaware of these issues, you really don't have a strong case to make for your position.

                  This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                  by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:11:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  that he could be known as a Constitutional Scholar (3+ / 0-)

    and yet let all this pass is why I didn't vote for him the first time around and can't support him whole-heartedly.

    •  Romney would have been WAY better... (8+ / 0-)

      right?

      Or certainly John McCain would have been better, right?

      What are you doing to help? Is there a group you've formed to propose legislation? Have you made coherent arguments in the form of a petition?

      No, you just snipe on websites and feel oh so superior.

      It's people like you that undermine every progressive cause.

      "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

      by Inventor on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:10:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Scuse me, it's a multi-party system and you have (0+ / 0-)

        NO idea whom I may or may not have voted for in the past although I alluded to the fact that I was scared enough of Romney/Ryan to actually vote for Obama this time... Gore? no way in hell he ever earned my vote, so he didn't get it. Does that mean I voted for Bush? No, I voted against both, knowing full well that I was never going to get what I wanted either way. Had I voted for Kerry it wouldn't have mattered anyway, as he aborted it faster that you can trans-vaginally test a voting machine.

        So- What am I doing to help? I ran for my State House as an Independent and took just under ten percent of the vote even though my local Democrats managed to use my tax money through House franking privileges to campaign without sharing.

        Meanwhile, I have been writing-in the Real Democrat, Kucinich, for years, and if everyone who wears a D would get in line behind him and out of the military-industrial-wall street complex, then I'd be happy.

        I'm not the sniper here.

      •  Um, no (0+ / 0-)

        it's people like you who give cover for right wing causes that undermine progressive causes.

        If people do not speak up and act up loudly, this will continue on the dangerous path it is on.  It is absolutely unclear why silence is such a good policy.

        This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

        by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:48:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You dumbass. (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan
      Hidden by:
      Mindful Nature

      CNN has called it: Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star is a tie!

      by GOPGO2H3LL on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:23:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't imagine what the HR is for. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Neurathian Ship

    We elected a President, not a Virgin.  A President that could work to change the NSA's culture.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:06:24 AM PST

    •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

      hard to imagine why a diary that says something critical of the president gets an HR around here.  
      /snark

      The point, of course, is that the President could change the culture, as he was elected in 2008 to do (see for reference "change").  However, as Jessilyn Raddack and others have pointed out, President Obama has singularly declined to make that change, choosing instead to reinforce and entrench the Bush-era polices.

      This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:52:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who is the worst civil liberties president? (0+ / 0-)

    Who is the worst civil liberties president in US history?
    Where do the abuses of the last decade from Bush and Obama rank when compared to prior assaults in the name of war?

    Title of article
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    Ultimately, it is close to impossible to rank these abuses strictly as a qualitative matter, in terms of the powers seized. How does one say that interning citizens in concentration camps (Roosevelt) is better or worse than imprisoning people for dissent (Adams and Wilson), putting people in cages with no charges (Lincoln, Bush, Obama), or claiming the power to execute citizens in total secrecy and without any checks of any kind (Obama)? If anything, one could reasonably argue that the power of due-process-free executions is the most menacing since it's the only act that is permanent and irreversible.
  •  Diarist somehow implies that Romney (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, tytalus, kalmoth, Plu

    would have been better than Obama in that area?

    Removed HR since diarist otherwise has good points to make.   Perhaps Obama can quietly make improvements and dismantle some Bush policies in that area since he doesn't have to worry about re-election.

    •  You really don't get it (0+ / 0-)

      Obama is the one building these policies up.  It is unequivocal that this is the one area where Obama agrees almost entirely with Bush.

      It is entirely unclear to me that Romney would have been any worse, and he might have been better.  It's entirely impossible to konw.

      This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:54:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  keep it up (0+ / 0-)

        obama = bush
        obama = romney

        and i don't think we'll have to put up with it much longer.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:30:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In this area (0+ / 0-)

          it is clear and demonstrable that Obama did not change the policy direction of the Bush administration.  That's pretty much just a statement of fact.  And we don't actually have any idea what Romney's approach would have been.

          However, I do notice a persistent pattern of you being a dick in other people's diaries.  Maybe we won't have to put up with it much longer.  That'd be nice.

          This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

          by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:43:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Big Bothers, Laundry Lists, and Superiority: (11+ / 1-)

    What to expect from the Permanently Pissed during Obama's second term.

    Oops, I forgot one:  Occasional Third-Party endorsements.

    We got the future back.

    by G2geek on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:13:10 AM PST

    •  HR-abuse from someone I've never seen before. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      ....with a userID in the 300,000s.

      "Whatever!"

      We got the future back.

      by G2geek on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:50:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  we won (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        our tactical position, candidate, policies and coalition won the election.

        these people need to get serious or get lost.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:14:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spoken (0+ / 0-)

          like a true blue supporter of these Bush era policies.

          Frankly, if you aren't very, very concerned, you are incredbly foolish.

          This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

          by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:55:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  more like seasoned winner (0+ / 0-)

            who votes for Dem candidates and supports them.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:31:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Doubtful (0+ / 0-)

              I suspect if it were Howard Dean rather than Obama in that last election, you'd have been mightily tempted by Romney.

              Mostly, it sounds like the kind of vacuous partisan who supports a party with absolutely no clue as to why support for that party is warranted.

              This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

              by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:37:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  never have voted for a republican (0+ / 0-)

                i am a partisan.  it's why i come here.

                we're Dems and we're proud.  we're going to win all the issues.

                -You want to change the system, run for office.

                by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:49:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  if only (0+ / 0-)

                  you knew what they were.

                  This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                  by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:54:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  seriously? (0+ / 0-)

                    you cannot be serious.

                    a joke.

                    -You want to change the system, run for office.

                    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:56:58 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  totally (0+ / 0-)

                      I've now realized that while you are a complete partisan, you don't really seem to have a very deep grasp of the policies that make Democrats worth supporting.  I only see a guy who supports his party about the same way he supports his football team.

                      This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                      by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:58:18 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  this site is for partisans (0+ / 0-)

                        -You want to change the system, run for office.

                        by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:00:03 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In other words (0+ / 0-)

                          If George W Bush had run as a Democrat, you would have voted for him, too and supported all his policies?

                          This site is about far more than partisans.  You seem to have forgotten the "better democrats" part.

                          This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                          by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:13:15 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  we don't disagree (0+ / 0-)

                            i just understand the system.

                            tactically your position is a loser.  you don't even know the laws here.

                            you are fighting with your hands tied behind your back.  you have no clue what it takes to affect change.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:17:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That is ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

                            Coming from a guy who wouldn't know Youngstown if it bit him in the ass

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:23:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  then post it then (0+ / 0-)

                            show me you know the law.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:24:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  still waiting? (0+ / 0-)

                            loads of legislation to choose from.

                            or are you sticking with article II?

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:29:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am not (0+ / 0-)

                            Going to try to recreate intro to con law for you.  Sorry

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:52:35 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that's what i thought (0+ / 0-)

                            thanks for playing.  anytime.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:00:39 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you'll find the courts (0+ / 0-)

                            aren't on your side.

                            which is the part i was referencing about changing the system. i doubt you have ever taken a single class about this.  because you would know some of the cases.  you didn't name one.

                            go ahead and slink off.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:12:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have both a JD and am a member (0+ / 0-)

                            Of the bar.  So I guarantee I know a ton more than just about any non-lawyer.  (And you'll notice I did cite a case, but you missed it).  

                            And I know that what you have said is preposterously wrong.  I've laid out the outlines for you, but the scope of executive legislative boundaries in this area is a giant and difficult topic.   I also don't have time to prove to you that the earth is round either.
                            Seriously, I might recommend the Nutshell series on con law.  They're usually fairly accessible

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:22:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  doubt it, you didn't name a single case (0+ / 0-)

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:30:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Youngstown (0+ / 0-)

                            But of course, you didn't really recognize taht as one of THE central cases.  (I also alluded to it, since this is the Truman steel siezure case).  Try also Curtis-Wright, and  for more recent opinions, I find Boudemeine, Hamdi, and Hamdan interesting, if not necessarily centrally addressing these particular boundaries.  Still the inherent plenary Article II authority of the executive independent of Congressional authorization is a theme in all.

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:49:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  hamdi and hamdan are relevent (0+ / 0-)

                            but still say we can do the things we do.

                            you should know that if you studied the cases.  he was convicted remember?

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:52:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you were the guy (0+ / 0-)

                            who was claiming that there's no inherent authority under Article II that's relevant here, remember?  that's it's all about executing congress' enactments, remember?  Clearly, that's the wrong end of the cart.

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:55:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're being too narrow (0+ / 0-)

                            try again.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:56:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's another intro resource (0+ / 0-)

                            CRS has a report "Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather  Foreign Intelligence Information."  also discusses some of these legal principles.

                            Also, if you followed any of the justifications offered for the NDAA and the extrajudicial executions program, you would be familiar with the arguments that presidential authority on the battlefield circumvents legislative and judicial processes.

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 01:54:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  congress granted those powers (0+ / 0-)

                            the courts upheld it.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:01:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No (0+ / 0-)

                            The constitution did, under article II.

                            At least, in this reality they did.  Not sure where you are getting your information from, but you might want to look more widely.

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:35:43 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  congress has those powers from article II (0+ / 0-)

                            and congress legislated

                            and the courts upheld it.

                            this is the system we have.  obama has not the power or the authority to change that.

                            your lack of understanding regarding the constitution aside, you remind me of tea bagger talking about their rights and the constitution.  you're too narrow here.  there is so much law on this.  

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:46:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Congress has its authority (0+ / 0-)

                            from article I, not article II.  Article II requires the president to take care that the laws be faithfully executed in Section 3, but also establishes the president as commander in chief  and grants the president foreign policy powers in section 2.  These are all separate presidential sources of authority.   Congress can regulate the section 2 authorities, but they are independent of congressional enactments, and are not dependent on a congressional enactment, but are inherent constitutional authorities

                            Yes, there is a lot of law here, and you seemingly know not very much of it.  Sorry, but that's just how it is.

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:55:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  from both (0+ / 0-)

                            and that's only the beginning.

                            you seem to want to make this about the constitution when legislation has more of an affect on these issues currently.

                            the courts have ruled as well.  

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:11:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  God god (0+ / 0-)

                            That's because what Obama is asserting derives from that article II power.  It ain't me making it about the constitutional bounds.   Read the briefing

                            Anyway, I've given you enough that you ought to be able to educate yourself about these issues now.  

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:17:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i've been through it before (0+ / 0-)

                            this is the law of the land.

                            whether i agree with it or not.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:17:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You seem to have no notion (0+ / 0-)

                            of what the law of the land is.  You've demonstrated that pretty convincingly here.

                            This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

                            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:22:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of surveillance: (6+ / 0-)

    Hey diarist: do you have a cellphone?  Gmail account?  Google Voice?  Facebook account?  

    You do realize, don't you?, that if the Church Committee back in the 70s had seen that stuff coming, they all would have keeled over with cardiacs.  

    As for me, I'd rather get my surveillance from NSA, because at least we can elect their boss every four years.

    We got the future back.

    by G2geek on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 08:15:44 AM PST

    •  bet most of them have xbox (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, kalmoth

      with kinect.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:14:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you missed this little piece (0+ / 0-)
      If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
      Of course, what hasn't occured to you, is that when the second coming of Nixon is elected, he will have at his disposal the entire array of machinery to turn against every Democratic candidate and activist.  Do you really think such unchallenged power is wise?

      Ask anyone who has lived in a dictatorship wat they think about that.

      This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:57:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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