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Response to cui bono (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:22 PM

11. Completely

"As to Obama, he pushed to make BushCo's illegal spying legal, albeit unconstitutional and expanded it. It's naive to think he isn't for this sort of thing when he pushed for it and expanded it. "

...inaccurate.

Bush was actually spying on Americans, Obama did not push to make that "legal."

The program was in fact a wide range of covert surveillance activities authorized by President Bush in the aftermath of 9/11. At that time, White House officials, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, had become convinced that FISA court procedures were too cumbersome and time-consuming to permit U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to quickly identify possible Qaeda terrorists inside the country. (Cheney's chief counsel, David Addington, referred to the FISA court in one meeting as that "obnoxious court," according to former assistant attorney general Jack Goldsmith.) Under a series of secret orders, Bush authorized the NSA for the first time to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails between the United States and a foreign country without any court review. The code name for the NSA collection activities—unknown to all but a tiny number of officials at the White House and in the U.S. intelligence community—was "Stellar Wind."

http://web.archive.org/web/20081216011008/http://www.newsweek.com/id/174601/output/print

Note, this is inside the U.S. and involves bypassing the FISA court to actually "eavesdrop."

Republicans fought to make that legal, and succeeded in doing so before Democrats were able to force an expiration of the law.

From a post last year:

There have been a number of media reports using the same Obama quote to basically claim that he once called out Bush, but then embraced the policy. They are intentionally conflating a quote about the PAA with his position on the 2008 FISA amendments, which he voted for. They are not the same thing. The PAA was a Republican effort to absolve Bush.

While the article mentions that Obama voted against the Protect America Act (http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00309), there is no mention of the fact that the Act expired in early 2008.

Senator Mitch McConnell introduced the act on August 1, 2007, during the 110th United States Congress. On August 3, it was passed in the Senate with an amendment, 60–28 (record vote number 309).[12] On August 4, it passed the House of Representatives 227-183 (roll number 836).[12] On August 5, it was signed by President Bush, becoming Public Law No. 110-055. On February 17, 2008, it expired due to sunset provision.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protect_America_Act_of_2007#Legislative_history


The amendments to FISA made by the Act expire 180 days after enactment, except that any order in effect on the date of enactment remains in effect until the date of expiration of such order and such orders can be reauthorized by the FISA Court.”[38] The Act expired on February 17, 2008.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act#Protect_America_Act_of_2007


Here's Bush's statement at the time: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/02/20080214-4.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023026724

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