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Tomorrow, is the day… like a wedding, can’t wait for it to finally be over so life can go on again…. But there is one last thing to do.

Look at the Republican Party. The only reason Romney is doing well, is because he pivoted in the first debate, and became a liberal. His past track record had almost pushed him to the point of no return, until he reinvented himself upon that first debate stage. In other words, Romney is now the more liberal candidate, if one just looks at what he has said since October 4th.

However the old message is still prevalent in Delaware’s Republican exoskeleton. Kovach who once was considered a decent person, is now a compromised decent person. Kevin Wade, is nothing more than a word to rhyme with suede. Jeff Craig wants us to believe that if you can run a 16 X 40 foot retail outlet buried in the middle of a Fairfax strip mall, you can run the entire state’s government. Greg Lavelle believes that if you trash your opponent hard enough, you will get elected. Cathy Cloutier believes that no one gives enough of a hoot, making it so simple that she can be endorsed by the pro choice and pro life movements in the same election. Evan Quietsch believes the United Nations has set up a secret outpost somewhere in the woods of the 11th District, and that his challenger is the Manchurian Candidate who is actually from Manchuria. Rick Jensen has to ignore 99% of a story to make his case in support of any Republican who shows up on his show. Dori Conner, is running “Go, Go William Penn” down in Cavalier Country. NCCE Blake has to put stickers on his campaign signs, that say “I’m not Tom Gordan.” Then there is DelawarePolitics.Net, which although it has great people, they all get their orders from Homer Simpson. There is Brian Pettyjohn who, whenever his name gets mentioned, reminds one of the Lollypop Guild soliciting a hooker on the side of the Yellow Brick Road… And then, there was Two Timing Booth, kicked out for…. oh my. Don’t even get me started on Bodenweiser…. And above all this mess, flies the green faced witch on her magic broom, saying 2014, 2014…..

What happened? Siegler, is this what happens when you put the NRA actually in charge of something?

From top to bottom this party is (I’ll bend over backwards and be very nice here)…. dysfunctional… It is time for it to go away….

I heard a caller put it very well on Al Masciti this morning. Business needs representation. With this party they don’t have it. What they do have is Jack Markell, Chip Flowers, and Beau Biden, working with them as well as representing “we the people” who simultaneously do the necessary work for these businesses as well as us who depend on their health to live well ourselves…..

Delaware works better as a single party state than as a two party one…. Why? Simply put, everyone is an individual again. There is no reason NOT to work with someone who’s viewpoint is different from yours… It is called “compromise” and with today’s Republican Party from the top down, that compromise gene is simply not in their chromosomes……

Now here is my argument… Any vote for any Republican, weakens our state. I’m guessing we need an 85/15 democratic majority to permanently make this party go away…. I’m worried that many in Delaware may not vote this time because our national election is a foregone conclusion, and really, there is no reason to suspect or worry that any Republican will win….

Here is why you must… Your vote against the Republican Party, is needed to make it be gone forever….. We need single party government now more than ever… WE need cooperation between workers and businesses, and only one party, the Democratic one, can provide that.

Some say we need another voice to balance out one party rule… We will have them. 21 separate voices in the Senate, and 45 separate ones in the House, but only if they are all Democrat … Every person is an individual, and every person has to represent their district. There are some conservative districts, there are some progressive districts. but it still will take a majority to get anything passed.

At least if there is only one party, they will get things done the old fashioned way. The conservatives will express their needs, the progressives will express their needs, and some type of compromise all can live with, will get hammered out….

That can’t happen if there are Republicans anywhere in government to mess things up…..

So do your civic duty… Vote Democratic or Libertarian, or any another candidate…. Just make Republicans go away…. I used to like watching cartoons on Saturday… Now, that I have to watch them 365 days at 24/7, it is too much…. (Now, where’s that Advil?)

Make them go away.

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This totally blows Donald Trumps announcement out of the water.  Sorry Donald, take a seat on page ten.   TMZ reports that in the unsealing of divorce documents today of a divorce case between the head of Staples and his ex,  under oath Mitt Romney testified that “Staples was worth nothing” and “its founder was a dreamer”.  Then as soon as the divorce was final,  Mitt Romney and his friend, both took their stocks to Goldman Sachs and cashed them in for a fortune.

The lying under oath part, is as tricky as that which applied to Clinton.  It will depend upon what “is” means.  Could Mitt have been telling the truth and then just days later, the stock went from zero to millions?

But no matter which definition “is” was, it went through a “Republican” House of Representatives in what historians now deem a purely partisan travesty of justice.  Considering the unconscionable infidelity was simultaneously being practiced by Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde, who while cheating on THEIR spouses,  they were condemning the president for doing it to his.

Republicans will no doubt dismiss lying under oath as being inconsequential, and surely not a high crime or misdemeanor which could ever be considered worthy of impacting the President of the United States.

What goes around…. comes around…   Karma is a bitch…

 

(UPDATE:  As I was putting in the tags, a pattern clicked. Why is it that “lying” is almost always involved as being central to every story written about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan? Here it is again. If we elect a Republican, we, who have been warned over and over and over again, surely will deserve all the horrible things we will get out of these next four miserable years… )

Ok, who da man?

Who cut more taxes their first term…. George W Bush?  or  President Obama…..

Obviously the one who ran on cutting taxes… That would be George W. Bush…..

WRONG…..

President Obama’s tax cuts dwarf those of George W. Bush…..

 

Of course, there are several differences between the two.  The Bush tax cuts were heavily skewed toward the wealthy with more than half of the entire benefit going only to the richest 20 percent. President Obama’s tax cuts, on the other hand, are distributed more evenly. Eighty-five percent of the benefits of the Making Work Pay tax credit, for example, went to the bottom 80 percent of households, and because the very wealthy don’t pay payroll taxes on all of their income, the payroll tax cut, too, benefits the middle class much more than the Bush tax cuts did. 

Second, the Obama tax cuts are temporary. All of them, from those in the Recovery Act to the newly proposed ones in the American Jobs Act, either already expired or will expire in the next year.

1)  While President Bush’s tax cuts primarily benefited the wealthy, President Obama’s tax cuts focus on the middle class.

2)  While President Bush believed tax cuts were the cure-all elixir for whatever ailed the economy—a belief that was far-fetched even at the time—President Obama uses targeted breaks to businesses and consumers in a time of profound economic weakness designed to spark job creation.

3) And while President Bush was entirely unconcerned about the long-term costs of tax cuts and the resulting debt pile-up, President Obama has consistently made the case for more revenue, especially from those who can most afford it, to help close the budget gap.

By 2012, bills signed into law by President Obama will have reduced tax revenues by about $900 billion, or 1.5 percent of GDP. And if he gets his way, and Congress passes another $250 billion in cuts, the total of all Obama tax cuts will rise to about 2 percent of GDP. That’s close to twice as big as the tax cut tally at the close of President Bush’s first term. 

What this means, is that we can ill afford to let any republican touch the wheel that steers our government……

What this means, is that every republican who as run so far this year, is lying.

What this means, is that America has really stupid people working at CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC. and NBC.  The only ones making sense are Rush Limbaugh and Fox News….  The media should be crowing about this so voters can make rational choices in November, instead of desperately trying to hide and cover up the truth….

(If anything is going in my favor these days, it is my penchant for usually being right.. Testing that hypothesis further, I thought of this headline over Cain’s denial last night over the popping up at inopportune times, of this recurring accusation).

There on stage, flanked by five American flags representing each of his four accusers and the one yet to come, Herman Cain defiantly defended his honor which he’s worked on 30 years to achieve.

.

Many of the areas hit by the storm had also been hit by Irene. In New Jersey’s Hamilton Township, Tom Jacobsen also recalled heavy spring flooding and a particularly heavy winter before that.

“I’m starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow, because we’ve been getting spanked by her for about a year now,” he said while grabbing some coffee at a convenience store…..

OF COURSE YOU DID, DUMMY. YOU VOTED FOR REPUBLICANS!

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

color enhanced copy of b/w picture in released documents

“This surveillance system lets FBI agents play back recordings even as they are being captured (like TiVo), create master wiretap files, send digital recordings to translators, track the rough location of targets in real time using cell-tower information, and even stream intercepts outward to mobile surveillance vans.

FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government’s behalf.”

Documents recently released to the EFF’s FOIA, suggest that the FBI’s wiretapping engineers have succeeded in tapping into our standard digital communication’s systems. As Randy Single writes in Wired, the FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act. The redacted documentation leaves many questions, however. In particular, it’s unclear what role the carriers have in opening up a tap, and how that process is secured.

“The real question is the switch architecture on cell networks,” said Matt Blaze, a security researcher at the University of Pennsylvania . “What’s the carrier side look like?

Randy Cadenhead, the privacy counsel for Cox Communications, which offers VOIP phone service and internet access, says the FBI has no independent access to his company’s switches.

“Nothing ever gets connected or disconnected until I say so, based upon a court order in our hands,” Cadenhead says. “We run the interception process off of my desk, and we track them coming in. We give instructions to relevant field people who allow for interconnection and to make verbal connections with technical representatives at the FBI.”

The nation’s largest cell-phone providers — whose customers are targeted in the majority of wiretaps — were less forthcoming. AT&T politely declined to comment, while Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon simply ignored requests for comment.

FBI Agent DiClemente, however, seconded Cadenhead’s description.

“The carriers have complete control. That’s consistent with CALEA,” DiClemente said. “The carriers have legal teams to read the order, and they have procedures in place to review the court orders, and they also verify the information and that the target is one of their subscribers.”

Despite its ease of use, the new technology is proving more expensive than a traditional wiretap. Telecoms charge the government an average of $2,200 for a 30-day CALEA wiretap, while a traditional intercept costs only $250, according to the Justice Department inspector general. A federal wiretap order in 2006 cost taxpayers $67,000 on average, according to the most recent U.S. Court wiretap report.

To security experts, though, the biggest concern over DCSNet isn’t the cost: It’s the possibility that push-button wiretapping opens new security holes in the telecommunications network.

Documents show that an internal 2003 audit uncovered numerous security vulnerabilities in DCSNet. In this internal audit, (pg 61/112pdf), commenced after discovering that no security audit had been concluded for four years, pointed out some very basic security breeches. Some were the direct results of budget cuts, such as limiting technical staff. Others were the result of putting high tech toys in front of those too green to understand the full implications…..The security assessment titled Operation Mayday, uncovered this nugget. Problem:

“Zipdrive attached to FBINet machine.


Recommended Action: Complete Trilogy User training. Remind users not to attach unauthorized devices to network. Remind users not to install unauthorized software. Treat future instances as security violations and report through appropriate channels with increasingly severe penalties for
repeat violations.

Remember, this accesses all your bank documents as well as your deepest, intimate conversations…..which due to lack of oversight over the past four years, if cached, is now open forever to the world……Other samples of Katrina-like misconduct or ineptitude: Problem:

Outdated or no disk encryption on laptop
computers.


Recommended Action: Install PointSec on all machines unless excepted. Provide written justification to SecD for consideration of any exceptions.


Problem-: Baton Rouge RA, CART laptop has no disk encryption.

Also in the report:

1. There is no anti-viral software loaded on the DCS-3000 machines. If malicious
code, viruses, and/or executables are introduced, there will be potential for risk to the system or compromise of data, thereby compromising evidence contained therein.


Current Status:
• Verified Closed: McAfee 4.5.1 installed with Virus updated 05/05/2006

Current Status:
• Verified Closed: Passwords require eight characters, complex etc.

3. Successive failed logon attempt lockout is not enabled. Without a lockout policy,
an unauthorized user would have infinite attempts to gain access to the system.


Current Status:
• Verified Closed: Accounts lock out after three attempts and must be reset by
admin.

5. Workstations associated with the system do not enforce adequate user permissions. Improperly configured machines do not adhere to the least privilege principle. This practice could potentially give a user access and rights not warranted for by their position.

In particular, the DCS-3000 machines lacked adequate logging, had insufficient password management, were missing antivirus software, allowed unlimited numbers of incorrect passwords without locking the machine, and used shared logins rather than individual accounts.

The system also required that DCS-3000’s user accounts have administrative privileges in Windows, which would allow a hacker who got into the machine to gain complete control.

WTF?

The flaws are appalling and show that the FBI fails to appreciate the risk from insiders. The system is insecure, essentially because the people who designed it and run it have an insecure attitude about the nature of threats to the system. Outsiders may be stopped by VPNs, firewalls, etc., but insiders may wander around the system nearly at will. Not so different from the situation that set up the Vodaphone/Greece fiasco.

As Steve Bellovin from Columbia points out:

“Instead of personal userids, the FBI relies on log sheets. This may provide sufficient accountability if everyone follows the rules. It provides no protection against rule-breakers. It is worth noting that Robert Hanssen obtained much of the information he sold to the Soviets by exploiting weak permission mechanisms in the FBI’s Automated Case System. The DCS-3000 system doesn’t have proper password security mechanisms, either, which brings up another point: why does a high-security system use passwords at all? We’ve know for years how weak they are. Why not use smart cards for authentication?”

Any wiretap system faces a slew of risks, such as surveillance targets discovering a tap, or an outsider or corrupt insider setting up unauthorized taps. Moreover, the architectural changes to accommodate easy surveillance on phone switches and the internet can in itself, introduce new and frightfully dangerous security and privacy holes.

So where does our safety lie? In a bill of goods sold to us and to Congress in order to protect us from “phantom” terrorists, we have allowed anyone and everyone to compromise our personal privacy. Most particularly, those very ones we trusted to defend us from our enemies………

Comment rescue: this comment showed up near the bottom of a discussion involving the eavesdropping hearing in San Francisco August 15.

First some background. An Arab charity was being pursued by the Justice Department. During the trial, the defense was handed a file consisting of all the wiretapped conversations. When the Justice Department realized they had handed a document over that was illegal at that time (today it is not) they asked for it back. Of course the defense refused, but a separate hearing decreed the file was covered under secrecy and could not remain outside the government’s possession.

Now it is starting to sound slightly bizarre, I know. The hearing progressed without the evidence and the government used the lack of evidence, to argue dismissal of the case.

The last word was this, spoken by the government attorney.

It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false.

 

That should be it…….right? With no evidence there is no case. Most of us shrugged our shoulders and settled for the inevitable. But one person did not. And thanks to that smart soul, the government’s house of cards, could still fall.

 

Let me just post the comment:

 

The government inadvertently produced a classified document that proves the plaintiffs were under surveillance. That document was ordered to be returned. But the plaintiffs still saw it and (presumably) the court saw it as well when it ordered it to be returned.

Then the government lawyer says to the court:

It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false,

Excuse me, but the attorney has a duty of candor to the tribunal. He is not allowed to lie to the court. He is allowed to characterize the evidence and to argue for a position, but he is not allowed to flat out lie.

He crossed the line. But what do you expect from the DoJ?

The point missed by all in and out of the court was that the attorney lied. Lying is illegal in ANY court. Don’t take my word for it, ask Scooter Libby?

What is at stake is whether our Justice system can survive this important case. For it sets a dangerous precedent if allowed to continue forward. If lying is allowed for the excuse of National Defense, then it is just a “slippery slopes’ slide” towards lying to protect a government official who is involved in security matters, or lying to protect someone who knows something that could be, in the atmosphere of the courtroom, stretched to cover any secret knowledge of a government function. We are suddenly in East Germany, 1959.

A line needs to be drawn. Lying cannot be condoned. Future Grand Jury fact finding investigations? Only if the witnesses or their lawyers are both ignorant and stupid………..

If the Ninth Court makes a decision that is unfavorable to the Muslim charity, then telling the truth becomes subjective. Sometimes it’s required; other times it is not.

What this does for our nation is provide a bulwark for shenanigans to permeate among our highest offices. Why not perform an illegal function, a future government official, might decree: No one can stop me if it done in secret……….

If “Truth” itself is to remain a viable force within America’s Justice system, then it needs to be honored right here in this Court case.

The book was given. It was seen. It exists. Either the government needs to admit its existence…….(they don’t have to show it)…………..or if the information seriously does jeopardize security (highly unlikely)…….the case needs to be dismissed. And all charges relating to the plaintiff, need to be dropped…………..

Just as criminals sometimes have to walk to keep our justice system honest, so must this charity………

I shake my head. I never, ever thought that my nation’s Justice Department would act like they’re in original Star Trek episode, and I would ever in my lifetime get to see “Truth” go on trial………….

Thanks to fellow live bloggers: Ryan Singel and David Kravets for their words and images.
threat level rising

Based on the judges question, an apparent victory may be at hand……..

The hearing involves two cases: one aimed at AT&T for allegedly helping the government with a widespread data-mining program allegedly involving domestic and international phone calls and internet use; the other a direct challenge to the government’s admitted warrant-less wiretapping of overseas phone calls.

In questioning of the governmental witness, this exchange occurred.

Judge Harry Pregerson suggests the government is asking the courts to “rubber stamp” the government’s claim that state secrets are at risk “Who decides whether something is a state secret or not? … We have to take the word of the members of the executive branch that something is a state secret?”

Garre counters that the courts should give “utmost deference” to the Bush administration.

Judge Pregerson: “What does utmost deference mean? Bow to it?”

Fifteen minutes later, this exchange occurs.

Judge McKeown asks whether the government stands by President Bush’s statements that purely-domestic communications, where both parties are in the United States, are not being monitored without warrants.

“Does the government stand behind that statement,” McKeown asks.

Garre: “Yes, your honor.”

But Garre says the government would not be willing to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect for the court record.

Blogger’s opinion: Pregerson, by his record, is the most liberal judge on the panel, and he clearly thinks the government is just looking for a blank check for their secret program. But the other two judges aren’t thrilled either. They seem perplexed that the government attorney can’t swear under oath that the Bush Administration isn’t warrant-lessly spying on domestic phone calls.

Proceed to the second case:

Whether the foundation’s lawyers were spied upon, which is the subject of the case, “Is itself a state secret,” Bondy argues. Expanding on that theme, the government argues that the Al-Haramain case needs to be thrown out because the secret document that the government accidentally gave the foundation is so secret that it is outside of the case.

The government claims that the plaintiff’s memories of the document can’t be allowed into the case because the only way to test them is against the “totally classified” document.

This leads to this exchange :

Judge McKeown on the TOP SECRET/TOTALLY document: “I feel like I’m in Alice and Wonderland.”

Eisenberg: “I feel like I’m in Alice in Wonderland, too.”

Al-Haramain lawyer Eisenberg argues that the government’s rationale for dismissing the cases on state secrets grounds doesn’t apply to his clients, since they already know they were surveilled from seeing the secret document.

Judge Margaret McKeown and Judge Hawkins seem unconvinced that the Al-Haramain case can continue without relying on a top-secret document that can’t be used in court.

Eisenberg also offered that the government could have the case dismissed simply by proving the court that they got a warrant.

But the panel seemed unpersuaded that the document can be used at all and generally seemed to be sympathetic to the government’s position.

Bondy, the government’s attorney, finished by reiterating that giving out any information on the alleged surveillance would help the enemy: “We just cannot confirm or deny whether they were surveilled.”

Bondy, for the government, gets the last word and neatly sums up the case for the three judges. Al-Haramain Foundation attorneys, he points out, “think or believe or claim they were surveilled.”

“It’s entirely possible that everything they think they know is entirely false,” he says.

The Federal Governments Position in Defense of Secret Surveillance

Battle for Democracy

Tomorrow, on August 15, in Courtroom 1, 3rd Floor, 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco, two arguments will be heard. The court has scheduled one hour of arguments for Hepting v. AT&T, and 40 minutes for Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Bush. Both are the last defense our Constitution before it becomes meaningless. What is at stake is this timeless question: does our government exist for the benefit of its people,…. or do our people exist to benefit the state…….

Serious stuff. The government’s defense is that due to the material being secretive, both cases should be thrown out. This will be the exact opposite and counteract the 218 years of tradition, that if the search and seizure procedure was not obtained under a legal warrant, then all evidence illegally acquired should be thrown out.

Interpretation:

The Constitution under Article II gives the Executive Branch almost unlimited power to do whatever it deems is necessary to protect the entity of the United States of America. But the Bill of Rights, sponsored by George Mason, were all intended to amend the Constitution, in order to ensure that our government did not overstep its bounds and force itself on the daily private lives of its citizens.

The arguments at stake, come down to this: which part of the Constitution trumps the other part? The main body or the Amendments. By the nature of its definition and historical precedent, the very nature of the amendments is to change or modify the meaning of the body of the Constitution. The amendments trump the body.

The result of using logic diagrams to figure out the proper verbiage or core interpretation of the law, gives us this nugget.

The Executive Branch can do whatever it needs to do to protect the United States, as long as it does not affect the rights of individual American citizens.

Failure to do otherwise can have catastrophic consequences for individual hard working Americans.

If ones employer is surreptitiously slipped some information about ones work habits, to pressure or discredit that said individual, it matters little whether that information is truthful or erroneous, for just having it come from the Federal government, gives it some credibility among most Americans. And if any attempt is made to defend oneself, because it was done in secret, one can offer no physical proof that it ever occurred at all.

And the second case before the court, is just one such an example of this type of occurrence. In a fact finding discovery the defense was actually handed a book with all the wiretap information gleaned from the government’s illegal wiretaps. Under a subsequent court order, they were ordered to give it back, after the government sheepishly realized it had handed over illegal evidence. That dossier was an illegally acquired document at that time. Now it would be quite legal.

Here is the real issue, according to the EFF: the real soldiers in the war on terror.

“At issue here is whether the courts have any meaningful role to play in protecting Americans’ privacy from Executive branch abuses of its surveillance powers,” said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. “If the claim of ‘state secrets’ is allowed to shut down litigation, then the courts will never be able to exercise their Constitutional duty to hold the White House accountable for illegal and even unconstitutional abuses of power.”

This is going all the way to the supreme court. Seeing how this Bill was railroaded through Congress without even being read in full, one wonders if this anticipated challenge to the NSA occurring tomorrow in the courts of San Francisco, was one of the underlying reasons its previous attorneys got fired?