Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

US Military Spying on Americans: Congress gets to decide, and monitor whether the President ignores the law

There are many ways DoD goes around the law to get information.

DoJ can't explain -- if they "accept informatin from anyone" -- why the government refuses to take information.

DoD likes to lie to get around the rules which prohibit DoD acting like a police force, like they did with Operation falcon in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.


What's needed is an NSA-like program for Congress to use to monitor the President. That would be real checks and balances, and consistent with Congress' inherent authority to make sure the President follows the law, and adheres to his oath.

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[ For your convenience, there is an NSA Hearing Archive; Click here to read other content in the NSA Hearing Archive.]

The White House has a new trick to avoid accountability. They're ignoring what the Constitution does or doesn't say -- and they'r now relying on unlawful DoD guidance.

This is the same as circular rasonong. One cannot make DoD policy that is unconstitutional, then rely on that guidance to vioalte the Constitution.

The solution is for Congress to create an NSA-like system thath will detect whether DoD guidance and programs violate the law at their inception, not after the damage has been done. Check first, then throw them in jail if they refuse to respond to Congressional and Judicial checking.

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Let's take a look at how the White House is using this non-sense argument. RefTalon Reports: Note DoD says they can "receive" reports from anyone. This means that their own agents -- DoD employees -- can be the "source" of "anonymous data." This is how the JTTf can use an "anonymous source" [themselves] and then say "the source is reliable" -- therefore, "let's have a warrant issued to search."

Also, NSA will forward information to JTT as "investigative leads" -- even through there is no warrant issued. The problem is when the NSA data is used to make arrests.

As it stands, the NSA sourcing -- as we have seen with fisa court, and the fbi lies -- the affidavits will be baloney. We saw the same thing with the Iraq WMD -- non-sense information.

The issue isn't that the information is or isn't flowing [that is a problem, but a separate matter] -- rather, the issue is despite "laws against this" DoD finds ways to get around the rules. But when they are caught -- as now -- what do they do -- they lie more. That's not checks and balances.

Normally, the court will have a "suppression consequence" -- this means that if the court finds out the evidence was obtained illegally -- then to punish law enforcement, they throw out the evidence.

However, the problem with the NSA is this: If the people who are "being monitored" never find out -- there’s no way that NSA or jttf or law enforcement is going to get punished.

SO the question is -- other than holding them accountable for the violations -- how do you deal with nsa and president that violates the law?

The answer: Give Congress an NSA-like monitoring system that goes into the Executive, grabs data, and does to the President what the NSA does to Americans: Watches how the President is or is not following the law by monitoring his conduct, and what his people are doing.

NSA-power, if it is to be checked has to be checked by the courts -- with the fisa -- and also with a similar system in the Congress: using nsa-like technology to grind the president and joint staff into submission: "we will watch you, and prevent you in the future using this nsa-technology to violate the law. " This can be part of any audit which Congress does; and can be set up just as easily as the NSA monitoring program for Americans.

What is Bush hiding, and why does the President not want the Congress to monitor the President? The President can't say that he has "privilege" or "inherent authority" to do this -- rather, Article 1 Section 8 gives the congress the power to write rules, and "do what it has to" to make sure that the President's power is checked.

Article II Section 2 also gives the Senate -- the inherent power to check the President. It stands to reason that if the NSA is spying on Americans, Congress can-- under the Constitution -- spy on the President to make sure that he is complying with fisa: This falls under article 1 Section 8 "rule making" power that gives congress the power to make rules to ensure that its rules are followed.

Congress has the inherent authority to check the President’s compliance with fisa.