« Likeability and motives for reading | Main | Othello's Occupation »

May 29, 2013

Comments

to find that it's being used overly broadly

I thought warantless surveillance wasn't being used at all, in this case. I thought I had read that a warrant had been obtained.

I'm confused, I guess.

Hartmut - I think Cheney's theory was that POTUS is supreme in national security matters and can do whatever he (so far) wants and yes doesn't need permission from a court and/or Congress.

The unitary executive theory derives from the first sentence of Article II ("The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.") and is generally used to argue against things like vesting power in executive branch officials that POTUS can't countermand (IIRC).

Watergate was a domestic issue. If there was a comparable scandal under Bush, I'd appreciate having my memory refreshed.

Also, late to the party on this particular point, but my personal go-to "you have to be freaking sh**ing me" moment during the Bush years was Cheney's truly fabulous "fourth branch of government" ploy for avoiding oversight on his use of the classification system.

A truly creative mind, that. And solid brass ones to go along with it.

Given world enough, and time, we could probably fill the TypePad server hard drives with tales of domestic Bush-era shenanigans.

Good times.

this seems relevant

And I don't think you can be immunized against perjury charges steming from the testimony you're being compelled to give as a result of being immunized.

That is true, the only safe course is telling the truth (or, not saying provably false things, anyway). Perjury is hard to prove, and just a non-sworn statement to the contrary is a far cry from evidence of perjury.
Sidenote: if there are any non-IANALs out there who know of anyone being penalized for invoking the Fifth and then, upon being immunized, not being able to produce a reasonable claim of fear of prosecution?

Again IANAL, but I dont think this has anything to do with 'perjury trap'- that's when someone is asked to testify under oath about something that isn't relevant to an investigation or trial in the hopes that they'll perjure themselves due to the embarrassing nature of the information. Here, that wouldnt apply because clearly her statements are relevant to a reasonable investigation.
Perjury traps are prosecutorial misconduct, not just 'man I am boned if I tell the truth here'

I hear there's a name change in the works: Harvard Non-IANAL School, starting in 2014. Applications for admission for the fall semester will be via blog comment.


Ugh, iirc the unitary executive label got used in the described context together with the 'king in wartime' one. In any case it was a bid for legal autocracy whatever label got put on it.

"Perjury is hard to prove, and just a non-sworn statement to the contrary is a far cry from evidence of perjury."

How about non-sworn statements to officers of the government?

Brett,
If she's opened herself to perjury by making prosecutable false statements in the past, then it depends on what kind of immunity she gets: use immunity would bar the use of her compelled testimony against her, but other evidence could still be used to prove that the earlier statements were perjury. Total immunity would protect her against prosecution, period, for those charges.

Sure, there are other 'lying crimes' than perjury. I would leave it to actual lawyers to determine which set of statements are controlled by which statues though.
My more general point was that saying X and then saying Y is a long way from proving a crime. Statements have to be material, intent to deceive must be shown to be present, etc. Still, maybe enough to justify taking the Fifth- but maybe there's something else that she's concerned about, like deleting relevant emails. Who knows.

I dont even know which statements you are so sure were false, but Ive only followed the whole thing at a distance, Im not really in a place where I want to read all of the original docs or parse language.

Sorry, this is a bit late, but McT wrote:

To turn LJ's point back on him, I'd like to be reminded on just one Republican scandal about which the Dems treated a senior official taking the fifth barely worthy of note and generally accepted the initial positions asserted by the Repubs.

My point is not what other people are doing, it is that Brett claims that 'modern administrations' have learned their lesson from Watergate and I wondered if he ever felt necessary to point this out during the Bush administration. The Scooter Libby debacle would have been an ideal time. It's not about what other dems do, it is about Brett's pearl clutching and hysterics. Russell's observation of filling a server come here.

As far as taking the fifth, it seems (returning us to the days before the Turb/Slart singularity) if you have a group of people hell-bent on trying to create any scandal they can in order to delegitimize the admin, how people deal with that is going to change. Despite Ugh's interesting posts on the case, this has not been something I've followed too closely, so I'm not going to take the time to refute Brett's NewsMax headlines. But I don't see any reason to take one word that Brett says on this matter (or most others for that matter) as related to reality, that that includes ifs ands and buts.

Which parts of 1984 haven't come true yet?

"Which parts of 1984 haven't come true yet?"
Take the quiz. :)

I had forgotten about #9 -- Pornosec.

But when Duff Clarity raised the question, it occurred to me that if all of the provider servers (Google, Twitter, the phone companies) are now being mined by the U.S. Government, that new facility in whichever state (Utah?) storing the data, 30% of which is probably porn related (suspected terrorists come just in below the 30 percentile because they are more conservative than even your typical Republican; oddly enough, from what I've read, the Mormon state of Utah has the highest rate of porn usage) will be the largest repository of Jenna Jameson video and chat records in the universe.

In a non-related, but to my mind so f*cking related topic, I just watched Jon Stewart's offering Tuesday night in which the lead was the fact that Iraq is now selling 50% of its oil (you know, THAT oil, as Stewart put it, turning the "No Blood for Oil" protests of that era head over heels into "No Oil for Blood") to China, developing mortal enemy of the very same Republicans who told us that oil would be flowing our way so we could lower the cost of our energy usage, blah, blah, lie, blah, vomit lie, etc.

This is why when a Republican tells you anything ... about IRA scandals, the reasons for war, the purported virginity of their womenfolk, anything ... you upchuck on their shoes and then find your way to the nearest weapons show and buy all of the inventory so you're ready for the next bunch of horsesh*t that comes out of their mouths.

In the meantime, I think its very sweet of liberals in America that we rely on domestic satire instead domestic violence.

"IRS" scandals.

I could tell some horror stories about my Roth Ira, and come to think of it, wasn't William Roth a Republican?

He was one of the last decent conservatives before scum ascended in that Party.

Again, off topic but all of a piece because we are dealing with a "type", and I know mentioning a "type" is politically incorrect, but I'm starting to understand the fun the Republican Party has had being politically incorrect all these years.

From a Mark Bittman article about the Farm Bill and the cuts in food assistance therein, via Balloon Juice:

"Among them is Congressman Stephen Fincher, Republican of Tennessee, who justifies SNAP cuts by quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” …

This would be just another amusing/depressing example of an elected official ignoring a huge part of his constituency (about one in seven Americans rely on food stamps, though it’s one in five in Tennessee, the second highest rate in the South), were not Fincher himself a hypocrite.

For the God-fearing Fincher is one of the largest recipients of U.S.D.A. farm subsidies in Tennessee history; he raked in $3.48 million in taxpayer cash from 1999 to 2012, $70,574 last year alone. The average SNAP recipient in Tennessee gets $132.20 in food aid a month; Fincher received $193 a day. (You can eat pretty well on that.)

Fincher is not alone in disgrace, even among his Congressional colleagues, but he makes a lovely poster boy for a policy that steals taxpayer money from the poor and so-called middle class to pay the rich, while propping up a form of agriculture that’s unsustainable and poisonous…."

I suspect Obama engineered that too by a flick of his eyebrow.

God had to of said something about the most judicious use of machetes.

O.K. I'm done for the week. Bring on the next guy.

Another symptom of the disease of conservatism from the NYT by way of Balloon Juice:


"The current versions of the Farm Bill in the Senate (as usual, not as horrible as the House) and the House (as usual, terrifying) could hardly be more frustrating. The House is proposing $20 billion in cuts to SNAP — equivalent, says Beckmann, to “almost half of all the charitable food assistance that food banks and food charities provide to people in need.”

Deficit reduction is the sacred excuse for such cruelty, but the first could be achieved without the second. Two of the most expensive programs are food stamps, the cost of which has justifiably soared since the beginning of the Great Recession, and direct subsidy payments.

This pits the ability of poor people to eat — not well, but sort of enough — against the production of agricultural commodities. That would be a difficult choice if the subsidies were going to farmers who could be crushed by failure, but in reality most direct payments go to those who need them least.

Among them is Congressman Stephen Fincher, Republican of Tennessee, who justifies SNAP cuts by quoting 2 Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: Anyone unwilling to work should not eat.” …

This would be just another amusing/depressing example of an elected official ignoring a huge part of his constituency (about one in seven Americans rely on food stamps, though it’s one in five in Tennessee, the second highest rate in the South), were not Fincher himself a hypocrite.

For the God-fearing Fincher is one of the largest recipients of U.S.D.A. farm subsidies in Tennessee history; he raked in $3.48 million in taxpayer cash from 1999 to 2012, $70,574 last year alone. The average SNAP recipient in Tennessee gets $132.20 in food aid a month; Fincher received $193 a day. (You can eat pretty well on that.)

Fincher is not alone in disgrace, even among his Congressional colleagues, but he makes a lovely poster boy for a policy that steals taxpayer money from the poor and so-called middle class to pay the rich, while propping up a form of agriculture that’s unsustainable and poisonous…."

I don't know how a person could vote for these guys and still sleep at night.

Laura and I really aren't a tag team.

She's got it covered.

I don't vote for Fincher. I also don't sleep very well.

Take the quiz. :)

I'm sorry guys, but the 1984 boat left a long time ago. Long before 1984, in fact.

The FISA court is not some weird Obama invention, it's been around since 1978. It was created in the wake of the Church hearings to provide some minimal oversight of the intelligence community. It provides the discipline of warrants before searches, while retaining secrecy.

It's a kangaroo court, for sure, but it is (maybe) incrementally better than nothing at all.

"Metadata" refers to the fact that the government can look at information *about* your communications with a simple court order rather than a warrant. A warrant is (nominally) required if the government wants to look at the *content* of your communications. The analogy is looking at the outside of a letter - the to and from address, the cancellation date on the stamp - without opening the envelope and reading the letter itself.

The feds have been able to look at routing and addressing information - i.e., "metadata" - for electronic communications for a hell of a long time now. Obama may still have been in grade school.

As of 2001, the feds can look at pretty much any damned thing they like, on their own say-so, via a National Security Letter, as long as they say it has something to do with a "terrorism investigation".

I'm surprised the feds bothered asking FISA for a warrant for the Verizon stuff.

Long story short, it sucks that the feds are gargling with everybody's phone and other electronic communications records, but this is nothing, remotely, new.

Jump in the way-back machine for a minute and dial it to 1979, when FISA was created, or 1986 when the Electronic Communications Privacy Act was passed, or whenever it was when Clinton got the USA Patriot Act starter kit through Congress, or indeed 2001 when USA Patriot was passed.

Did you support any of those laws at the time?

Then thank yourself for the crap we see today.

We live under a republican form of government. The folks who run it are folks we chose.

The government we have is the government we asked for.

Fixed: Obama may still have been in grade school madrasah. ;)

from the manager of the IRS Screening Group in Cinci:

He states that he has worked at the IRS for 21 years as a civil servant and supervised a team of several Screening Agents in that office. When asked by Republican Committee staff about his political affiliation, he answered that he is a "conservative Republican."

....Q: In your opinion, was the decision to screen and centralize the review of Tea Party cases the targeting of the President's political enemies?

A: I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development.

odd how Darryl Issa didn't have a big press conference to re-release that part of the hearing testimony.

oh! the liberalism!

More on that, cleek, lifted from Charles Pierce's blog:

"SCHIEFFER: All right. Mr. Cummings, I also want to ask you about this outrage in Washington over reports that the White House is using the IRS to go after conservative groups. This is the charge made by the chairman of your committee, Darrell Issa, who you say has accused the White House of not only doing it but is now -- he says they are lying about it. You sent a strong letter to him. What's that all about?

CUMMINGS: Yeah, well, Chairman Issa has a tendency to make strong allegations and then go chasing the facts and usually never finding them. We have a situation here where we now have interviewed the manager of the exec office in Cincinnati of the IRS. He is a conservative, 21-year veteran who spent six hours with our committee the other day talking in an interview. And he explained to us that this Tea Party situation started with one case back in 2010. Somebody -- one of his screeners brought it to him; he looked at it and said -- he said, "We must send this to the technical office in Washington because this is high-profile; this is a unique situation, and we want to have consistency." So Washington IRS technical office did not ask him for the case; he sent it. And keep in mind what I said, Bob, this was a 21-year veteran and he termed himself a conservative Republican."

Hard to believe, I know, when we've been told right chere on these pages that conservatives would never lower themselves to work for the government and the IRS is little more than a cell on the SDS.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad