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Ear to the Ground

Hedges, Klein Join The Nation, ACLU in FISA Lawsuit

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Posted on Jul 10, 2008
Bush signs FISA
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

President Bush is congratulated by members of Congress and his Cabinet after signing the FISA Amendments Act on Thursday in the Rose Garden. Among those with the president are, at his right, Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. Joseph Lieberman and, immediately behind him, House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Following Thursday’s announcement that Congress had passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, thus granting retroactive immunity to telecom companies that gave the U.S. government access to their networks to engage in warrantless wiretapping after 9/11, there were some who weren’t willing to take the news sitting down. In fact, Congress’ capitulation sparked a legal response from the ACLU and The Nation magazine and two of its key contributors—Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein—in the form of a lawsuit.


Katrina Vanden Heuvel in The Nation:

A few hours after Bush’s signing, The Nation joined with the ACLU in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court (Southern District) of New York challenging the constitutionality of the Act. The Nation is suing on behalf of itself, our staff and two of our contributing writers—Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein. The defendants are the Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey; John M. “Mike” McConnell, Director of National Intelligence; and Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Security Service. We filed suit along with a coalition of other plaintiffs including Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Global Fund for Women, PEN American Center, Washington Office on Latin America, Service Employees International Union and several private attorneys.

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By jersey girl, July 14, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Sue ...good for you.  It’s nice to see people who don’t take cyrena’s bs lying down.  She likes to try to intimidate posters who don’t agree with her.

She’s also very defensive about the fisa thing because she has no excuse for his voting for it other than ..well he’s not the only one, so his vote didn’t count anyway.

Welcome to truthdig Sue.

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By Sue Cook, July 14, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Dear Cryena,

I was simply stating that Obama was against the FISA bill before he was for it particularly the part of the bill that exonerates the telecommunication companies that took part in the illegal actions of spying on all Americans home and abroad defying the law of the 4th amemdment. (Obama’s 1/4 turn.)

He may have signed the whole bill (since there wasn’t available to him “line item veto” because he changed positions, (flip-flopped) on the part of letting the telecommunications companies off the hook.  By Obama accepting large donations from people tied to the telecommunication industry is fair to say may have influenced his decision to change his position. (flip-flop.)
Nothing wrong with that fair assumption is there?
Only stating the facts.
Maybe you ought to open your eyes a little wider when it comes to your choice of candidate and accept the fact that he is a typical polititican claiming hope and change, only to do what all the rest do.
As for “what will come of it”, we shall see.
Have a good day! (I sort of doubt it, since you seem to be suffering from perpetual pre-menstral syndrome.)

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By cyrena, July 13, 2008 at 1:38 am Link to this comment

Fadel writes:

•  “..However, I question the wisdom of excluding the Fear-Mongers-in-Chiefs (Dick Bush)from this law suit! They should be on the top of the list!”

And, I agree. They should be. At the same time, the plaintiffs are reasonably constrained by the process. All of that bureaucratic stuff that is so boring and tedious for the instant action crowd. Still, this is a good if exceedingly long delayed start.

That hasn’t stopped the evildoers on other fronts though. The evildoers are now preventing the ACLU from paying any of the attorneys or other legal staff who have been representing the detainees at Guantanamo. Of course that’s not a surprise, at least for any of us who know the enormous obstacles that have been consistently placed on their efforts since the beginning. It’s been a tooth and nail fight since day one, just to get anyone TO them. (the detainees). It makes me tired just thinking about it. Careers have been destroyed, and permanent damage inflicted on those who’ve made it their primary efforts to get the rule of law to these detainees, and see that they are allowed representation and the rights of habeas corpus. The Dick Bush admin has done everything possible to prevent that.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/story/597624.html

But, I digress. I think that there are probably enough other groups (hopefully the Red Cross as well as other international groups) who will be able to bring these top criminals to account for ALL of their crimes…the most heinous ones.

In this book, (see the link) Jane Meyer apparently does another extraordinary job in putting it together, and this is happening on multiple fronts.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/book_reveals_existence_of_secr.php

We’ve long been aware of this report from the Int’l Red Cross, and at some point, we should be able to move further on it. Dennis Kucinich continues to proceed with Impeachment procedures, which will also provide the groundwork for much larger charges and indictments.

For this particular effort, it’s taken this long to manage anything, because this (the evaporation of the civil liberties) seems to be the thing that Americans are more concerned about, than the other crimes being committed against their names, such as torture and the destruction of harmless people.

That’s not to say this isn’t a cause worth defending, because of course it is. But, it’s not likely to be all addressed in one case, to catch and punish the primary evil doers. But take heart, we WILL get them.

Sue Cook. Just as an FYI, Obama has NOT done a 1/4th ‘turn on FISA, which is what ’90 degrees’ would be. Basic math is helpful, even in the rhetoric of propaganda. You should learn it. If you presume that he has done any ‘turn’ on it himself, (presuming that he alone, of 535 people is responsible for this) then maybe you should provide some information for what his positions have been at other times, before you claim he made a one-quarter turn. Then explains WHY he made this alleged one-quarter turn, and how it affected the outcome.

Since you can’t, it’s clear that you’re just indulging in your “hate hard-on” for Obama. Stop taking that Viagra. It’s not helping you.

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By Fadel Abdallah, July 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

The War-Monger-in-Chief and his clapping cheering clowns!

What a scene representative of how low democracy in this sad country has gone!

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By Louise, July 11, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

No comment on the article. just the photo. Remind you of anything?

Reminds me of Alfred E. Neuman [Mad Magazine] or Mr. Bean.

No matter where you look, that face is stuck in there!

“Look, look at me, Mr. insecurity!”

Of course you know who I’m talking about, right? wink

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By Fadel Abdallah, July 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

This is a chance for the crushed and abused masses to join in this campaign by contributing to its cost and by adding their signatures to the plaintiffs list!

However, I question the wisdom of excluding the Fear-Mongers-in-Chiefs (Dick Bush)from this law suit! They should be on the top of the list!

If I am convinced of the reason or wisdom of excluding the Head of the Serpent (Bush-Chaney), then I will contribute money and educational effort to the cause.

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By jersey girl, July 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Sue:  Where did you get that information? Do you have a link to share with us?

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By BruSays, July 11, 2008 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

“Time, it is said, has a way of making things right.”

“I still want Dick Bush in orange jumpsuits though, confined to Guantanamo.”

A respective “Bingo” to Outraged and Cyrena on the above comments!

Who thought that when the Watergate scandal first broke that it would lead to Nixon’s resignation in utter disgace?

But having said that, I’ve repeatedly thought that with each revelation of our current administration’s lies, fabrications, obstructions and cover-ups, that “THIS is it! - THIS will be the final straw! FINALLY, because of this revelation, America will wake up and reclaim their Constitution!”

But it never happened and these criminals are still in office. But let’s really hope that THIS IS THE FINAL STRAW. After sending off another ACLU donation, I’ve got my fingers crossed.

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By lawlessone, July 11, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please publish and circulate the names and addresses of the nincompoop Democrat Senators and Representatives who apparently hate the Constitution as much as the Republican Party and the Bush Administration.

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By Sue Cook, July 11, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Do you suppose Obama’s 90 degree turn on the FISA bill has anything to do with a very generous donator to his campaign named Edward Lamont a TELECOMMUNICATIONS millionaire just recently added to his list of finacial “bundler” contributors?

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By Bubba, July 11, 2008 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

This is exactly the kind of collaboration we need to see a lot more of.

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By jersey girl, July 11, 2008 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Cheers to the aclu for getting the ball rolling and the nation joining in !  I have a feeling there will be others very soon.

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By cyrena, July 11, 2008 at 2:26 am Link to this comment

OK…NOW we might be getting somewhere…

“The Nation is suing on behalf of itself, our staff and two of our contributing writers—Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein. The defendants are the Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey; John M. “Mike” McConnell, Director of National Intelligence; and Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency and Chief of the Security Service.”

THIS is what I wanted to know…who the defendants would be. I wonder how they could have included Dick Bush? Just a sort of random question, since I don’t really know myself.

I agree with you on the time thing Outraged. I’ve found this to be acutely accurate myself. It’s extra gratifying when we can actually witness it, and when the world and the perpetrators can formally acknowledge the connection to their crimes.

I still want Dick Bush in orange jumpsuits though, confined to Guantanamo. No point wasting the money already spent on those facilities.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, July 11, 2008 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

The world is watching…and the world WILL have their day in court.  This is paramount.  And those who have caved, succumbed or otherwise sold out the masses, will reap their just reward.

Time, it is said, has a way of making things right.  I’ve found this to be acutely accurate.

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