Justice Department Opens NSA Leak Probe

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OldRegular, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. OldRegular

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    The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of information to the media about a domestic eavesdropping program run by the National Security Agency, senior Justice Department officials confirmed Friday.

    Officials have confirmed to FOX News that the FBI is involved in the investigation, but did not comment on whether other agencies were involved. One official has said the referral for the probe came from the NSA.

    Details of the program were first revealed Dec. 16 by The New York Times, which reported that the NSA has monitored phone calls and e-mails inside the United States without court warrants since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The program circumvented a secretive court process that allows warrants to be issued without the knowledge of the warrant's subject.

    White House spokesman Trent Duffy on Friday, speaking to reporters from the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, echoed previous comments from the administration, saying that terrorists want to strike again and leaks put America in danger.

    "The fact is that Al Qaeda's playbook is not printed on page one. And when America's is, it has serious ramifications," Duffy said.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,180190,00.html
     
  2. The Galatian

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    More specifically, leaks about illegal spying on American citizens put Bush's fanny in danger.

    I bet he'd like to know who blew the whistle.

    If violating the Constitution and spying on American citizens is the playbook, then it's high time we took a look at the rest of it.

    And get a new coach.
     
  3. StraightAndNarrow

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    This is the main reason why we're not secure. The Dept. of Homeland Security is as inept as FEMA was after the hurricane. Just another one of GW's failures.


    Report Poor coordination threatens security
    Investigators say agencies fall short on sharing information
    Updated: 7:40 p.m. ET Jan. 25, 2005
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6867491/from/RL.1/

    WASHINGTON - An “ineffective and fragmented” information-sharing process among all levels of government and the private sector is threatening homeland security, congressional investigators said Tuesday.

    Additionally, U.S. Comptroller General David Walker said federal agencies — including the Homeland Security and Defense departments — may need to declassify some security intelligence to break down information roadblocks to state and local authorities.

    “Many aspects of homeland security information sharing remain ineffective and fragmented,” said a report released by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
    Although officials have begun paying more attention to information obstructions, investigators designated the issue as a “government-wide high-risk area” because it “still faces significant challenges,” the report said.
    The dearth of security information sharing was one of four new problem areas added to a list of 25 “high risk” government programs identified by the GAO in its biennial report.

    Lawmakers said aggressive oversight and reforms needed to be made, respectively, in Congress and by the Bush administration.

    ‘Slow pace’ criticized
    Specifically, the report noted, information from fingerprint databases was shared between the Homeland Security and Justice departments at a “slow pace” in 2004. It also found that an initial information-sharing plan by the Homeland Security Department has yet to be accessed by all 34 networks that the GAO says need to be included.
    “We haven’t achieved the homeland security that the law requires us to achieve,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees the Homeland Security Department. “And therefore, in this sense, the name ‘high risk list’ takes on special, urgent meaning, more than the normal risk of financial failure or waste or fraud or abuse. The risk here is to the personal security of the American people at home.”

    Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse disputed the findings, pointing to daily DHS bulletins that alert federal, state, local and private-sector officials of possible security threats. He also noted a fingerprint information database, shared with the FBI and U.S. Border Patrol that had led to the arrest of more than 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records as of late last year.

    “We disagree with the assessment that we have made no significant progress in information sharing,” Roehrkasse said, “especially since we have created an information-sharing capacity at the federal level that never existed” before the agency was formed in 2003.

    Speaking to reporters after presenting the report to House and Senate lawmakers, Walker said agencies may need to reconsider classifying some intelligence to ensure that vital security information reaches all levels of responders.
    “There’s a trade-off between your privacy and security, and we need, I think, to rethink a lot of the classification rules in light of the changed environment,” Walker said.

    8 defense programs called high-risk
    The GAO also identified eight Defense Department programs as high-risk, including two new to the list. It found widespread departmental delays in completing security clearance checks and failures in management responsibility and control over business activities.

    In another aspect of the report, which is released at the start of the new congressional session, investigators removed the Education Department’s student aid programs from the unfavorable list, saying the agency has “demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing risks.” The Federal Student Aid office is better at managing its loans, its data and its people, the GAO said.
    The timing created something of a mixed message. Just one day earlier, the GAO criticized the same student aid office for poor oversight of a program in which colleges serve as lenders.
     
  4. poncho

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    The utopian bureaucracy strikes again.
     
  5. OldRegular

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    This thread is not about FEMA it is about the person who committed treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Those who continue to argue that Bush broke the law are either wilfully or blindly ignorant.

    The President has done nothing illegal as noted in the initial Times article:

    The New York Times, which first disclosed the existence of the NSA program last week, also cited unnamed sources who said the administration used two other opinions to justify its actions. One was embedded in a public Justice Department brief from 2002 and another was in a 2002 opinion issued by the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review that oversees the secretive court that usually deals with terror-related wiretap requests.

    In 2002, that FISA review court upheld the president's warrantless search powers, referencing a 1980 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. That court held that "the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. ... We take for granted that the president does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power," wrote the court.

    "The Foreign Intelligence Court of Review, which is the highest court that's looked at these questions, has said that the president has the inherent constitutional authority to use electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence and Congress cannot take away that constitutional authority. That's a pretty good argument," Bryan Cunningham, former National Security Council legal adviser, told FOX News.


    More at:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179323,00.html
     
  6. billwald

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    And the other hundred or so secret laws that govern us?
     
  7. fromtheright

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    Again, bill, you seem to have unusually good access to "secret" laws. Mind sharing them with us? They don't sound very secret to me.
     
  8. fromtheright

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    SAN,

    I think your characterization of DHS as a Bush failure is unfair. He responded quickly to a threat that some here seem to wish we instead had local Barney Fifes fighting, with a badge and a warrant. On one hand, some of you folks are jumping up and down about government having all this information; on the other, you're here jumping on the bandwagon that they're not sharing it more effectively. How about some of you stating for the record: do you wish the Federal government was more effectively gathering and sharing information or not?

    This is a relatively new (or newly perceived, perhaps) threat. Those expecting perfection in initial responses to it are foolish. Those who both expect it and attack its successes are dishonest.

    As to the classification of security information, classification of any sensitive information is an issue that constantly requires updating.

    As to "widespread departmental delays in completing security clearance checks", that has been an issue for a while related directly to staffing shortcomings in the agency(ies?) tasked with that mission. They have been short-staffed for a while and are continually hiring, as I understand from someone who used to work for them.
     
  9. Terry_Herrington

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    So, the person who uncovered that President Bush had possibly broken the law with his wiretapping scheme should be prosecuted?
     
  10. OldRegular

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    FOR TREASON! :D

    I will post the court decision again for those who have short memories:

    The President has done nothing illegal as noted in the initial Times article:

    The New York Times, which first disclosed the existence of the NSA program last week, also cited unnamed sources who said the administration used two other opinions to justify its actions. One was embedded in a public Justice Department brief from 2002 and another was in a 2002 opinion issued by the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review that oversees the secretive court that usually deals with terror-related wiretap requests.

    In 2002, that FISA review court upheld the president's warrantless search powers, referencing a 1980 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. That court held that "the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. ... We take for granted that the president does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power," wrote the court.

    "The Foreign Intelligence Court of Review, which is the highest court that's looked at these questions, has said that the president has the inherent constitutional authority to use electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence and Congress cannot take away that constitutional authority. That's a pretty good argument,"
    Bryan Cunningham, former National Security Council legal adviser, told FOX News.


    More at:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179323,00.html
     
  11. OldRegular

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    What has happened to all the Bush Bashers on this Forum? I thgought the hunt for the leaker would get them all charged up again. You know, another violation of civil liberties and all that stuff.
     
  12. KenH

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    The leaker should be tried by a jury of his peers based on any charge that can be made that he broke any law(s).
     
  13. carpro

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    My prediction of the identity of the leaker is Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

    If not him, it will still be a member of the House or Senate.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    It is a crime to lead classified material no matter how honorable the motive. But then talking about honor and democrat politicians is an oxymoron.
     
  15. KenH

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    If the leak came from within the administration then the leaker is most likely a Republican.
     
  16. KenH

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    As it is for Republican politicians as a class as well.
     
  17. OldRegular

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    As it is for Republican politicians as a class as well. </font>[/QUOTE]Can we make the same statement about the libertarian or constitution party politicians?
     
  18. KenH

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    Yes, although they are not as corrupted by power since they don't have much in our government.
     
  19. billwald

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  20. poncho

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    Are you saying our government is corrupt Ken??? That borders on treason doncha ya know? [​IMG]
     

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