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gman8343

Reports: Bush Authorized NSA to Spy in U.S.

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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

- Ben Franklin

The freedom to hatch a plot to kill US citizens is hardly "essential." The scope of 9/11 can hardly be characterized as "little" nor the lives lost "temporary." Weren't you one of the Weepers out there condemning the Pres for failing to prevent 9/11?

Stand back Koya. Important work needs to be done, risks need to be taken, and hard decisions need to be made immediately. When the necessary tasks are done, your leaders can take center stage and critique from a secured coutroom.

Stand back? Why? Because I actually care about the Freedom and Liberty our nation should stand for? Please... don't tell me to stand back. you can be the cowherd, ready to not call out a President because he is in "your" party - while that President may very well have overstepped his bounds in a crucial way.

The old adage of "if we let them take our freedom then they have won" is correct to a degree here. You have no problem giving a president unchecked abilities to monitor american citizens on american soil at will? Please.

Don't tell me to stand back. I prefer to find a President that will both fight for AND honor freedom - because what we have now does neither.

And because he is your guy, you can not even see it.

You stand back - lest people like you use the end to justify a means, whereby the end risks losing what we stand for, in the first place. We DO have work to do - and having a President that wishes to fight against out enemies within the legal framework that is installed to protect our freedom from within is an important step.

For the record - I never faulted Bush for 9/11 - that is more Clinton than Bush. However, Bush's repeated pattern of ignoring information that runs contrary to his preferred end does put a little more responsibility on his shoulders - but that was not Bush's "fault" - nice try though. Try to lump dissent all together as something you can easily discredit. You follow your leader, well.

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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

- Ben Franklin

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

- Ronald Reagan

Bueno - you might have heard of these two guys, and there words here ring very true, and quite pertinent in this and many other disucssions about our current administration. 

When you bring up that there is some line in the sand and there is not a clear definition of allowable freedoms, I agree.  Perhaps by looking at the words of these two men, you can better understand that maybe my line is more on the side of freedom, and less on the side of government power than yours:

No, I see only anti-administration rhetoric.

I suppose you would, and that will come as no one's surprise.

You read those quotes - then you try to understand how someone who would respect those men as much as I believe you do could conclude that this President is doing the right thing in regard to Freedoms/Rights on SO many levels confounds me.

Completely.

I guess again, Reagan's and Franklin's words only mean something if it does not demonstrate a case against your precious President Bush.

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The Times said reporters interviewed nearly a dozen current and former administration officials about the program and granted them anonymity because of the classified nature of the program.

Granted?

If you've got government security clearance and you share information with anyone, let alone the media, it doesn't matter what they grant you. You've violated your clearance regardless. This line alone makes me very suspicious of the article. I'd like to hear from more sources before I'm apt to believe it.

The administration was aware that the article was being written. They asked that it not be published and did not deny the content.

I have a government security clearance. Just because the administration is aware of an article and the reporters grant me anonymity doesn't mean I don't violate my clearance by sharing info.

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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

- Ben Franklin

The freedom to hatch a plot to kill US citizens is hardly "essential." The scope of 9/11 can hardly be characterized as "little" nor the lives lost "temporary." Weren't you one of the Weepers out there condemning the Pres for failing to prevent 9/11?

Stand back Koya. Important work needs to be done, risks need to be taken, and hard decisions need to be made immediately. When the necessary tasks are done, your leaders can take center stage and critique from a secured coutroom.

Stand back? Why?

Because I told you to you whiny little tool!

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Richard Nixon: "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal."

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I'm betting though that they did do it, but that isn't relevant.

What is relevant is whether they had the legal authority to do so.  Was it granted to them under the Patriot Act?  I've not researched this, and would agree that  there may be a violation of the 4th Amendment here.  However, not even the ACLU will comment until they have seen more evidence. 

Nor did the NY Times use the word "citizen," instead referring to "people inside the United States."  If these "people inside the United States" are terrorists, they are enemy combatants and we are at war.  They do not have the same rights as citizens.

Nor does the article say that the NSA spied on protestors.  What it said was that the Pentagon is reviewing a "database (that) listed activities of anti-war groups that were not a security threat to Pentagon property or personnel."  The Pentagon, not the NSA.  This is typical liberal yellow journalism - an effort to create a red herring by bringing something unrelated into the story.  And you fell for it.

Nor does the article state that there is no oversight.  In fact, it states "The Bush administration had briefed congressional leaders about the NSA program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that handles national security issues."  It just doesn't say when.  You are assuming it is after he was "caught."

So all this is is another liberal circle-jerked attempt to bash Bush, with no real evidence that a citizen's rights have been violated.

Learn some critical reading skills, so you can at least see through misdirection.

Bueno, your own critical reading skills need improvement. At least twice, the article states that the spying was done on American citizens:

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Several officials said the eavesdropping program had helped uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker and naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda by planning to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches.

Looks like Buena f'ed up again in his shoddy analysis. His credibility couldn't be lower. And his subsequent posts won't even address your point. Get used to it. I've seen it before on several occasions. What a clown. :lmao:

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Any surveillence of a US citizen on US soil which doesn't involve two branches of goverment is wrong and needs to be removed. It simply offers up the potential to put far too much power in the hands of one man.

Personally I do not feel that GWB has abused this authority, but who can speak for his successors? Imagine a president with paranoid inclinations with this kind of power. Goodbye freedom, hello police state.

Authority such as this gives the potential for Gestapo-esque tactics. Potential alone is enough stop this.

(I would like everybody to picture Al Gore with this kind of power)

:goodposting: This is the correct answer.

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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

- Ben Franklin

The freedom to hatch a plot to kill US citizens is hardly "essential." The scope of 9/11 can hardly be characterized as "little" nor the lives lost "temporary." Weren't you one of the Weepers out there condemning the Pres for failing to prevent 9/11?

Stand back Koya. Important work needs to be done, risks need to be taken, and hard decisions need to be made immediately. When the necessary tasks are done, your leaders can take center stage and critique from a secured coutroom.

:lmao: Nice job taking quotes that are frequently used totally out of context and shedding the proper light on them.

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Any surveillence of a US citizen on US soil which doesn't involve two branches of goverment is wrong and needs to be removed.  It simply offers up the potential to put far too much power in the hands of one man.

Personally I do not feel that GWB has abused this authority, but who can speak for his successors? Imagine a president with paranoid inclinations with this kind of power. Goodbye freedom, hello police state.

Authority such as this gives the potential for Gestapo-esque tactics. Potential alone is enough stop this.

(I would like everybody to picture Al Gore with this kind of power)

It appears to have involved the NSA (executive branch) and the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (judicial branch).

"without warrants" indicates that the judicial branch had no authority in this matter. It seems as though this secret court got a memo about what the NSA was doing, and had no power to stop these actions.

And under the PAtriot Act, they might not. The Act allows the government to conduct roving wiretaps involving multiple phones and to wiretap "lone wolf" terrorists who may operate on their own, without control from a foreign agent or power.

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I'm betting though that they did do it, but that isn't relevant.

What is relevant is whether they had the legal authority to do so.  Was it granted to them under the Patriot Act?  I've not researched this, and would agree that  there may be a violation of the 4th Amendment here.  However, not even the ACLU will comment until they have seen more evidence. 

Nor did the NY Times use the word "citizen," instead referring to "people inside the United States."  If these "people inside the United States" are terrorists, they are enemy combatants and we are at war.  They do not have the same rights as citizens.

Nor does the article say that the NSA spied on protestors.  What it said was that the Pentagon is reviewing a "database (that) listed activities of anti-war groups that were not a security threat to Pentagon property or personnel."  The Pentagon, not the NSA.  This is typical liberal yellow journalism - an effort to create a red herring by bringing something unrelated into the story.  And you fell for it.

Nor does the article state that there is no oversight.  In fact, it states "The Bush administration had briefed congressional leaders about the NSA program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that handles national security issues."  It just doesn't say when.  You are assuming it is after he was "caught."

So all this is is another liberal circle-jerked attempt to bash Bush, with no real evidence that a citizen's rights have been violated.

Learn some critical reading skills, so you can at least see through misdirection.

Bueno, your own critical reading skills need improvement. At least twice, the article states that the spying was done on American citizens:

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Several officials said the eavesdropping program had helped uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker and naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda by planning to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches.

No it does. It say the NSA was authorized to do so, but it never named citizens that were eavsdropped on. It said it uncovered a plot by a naturalized citizen but never said that he was the one eavsdropped on either. You have to read what the article says, not what it implies.

Not that it matters, as what the President did was legal under the Patriot Act.

You liberals seem to have forgotten we are at war. It is not a total war like WWII where the entire country was mobilized, but it is a war just as important to our survival. As in any war, the President has been granted certain war powers that are extraordinary to the Constitution. In this war, it is called the Patriot Act. I disagree that the Act should be made permanent, but iI have no problem with any President having war powers.

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I'm betting though that they did do it, but that isn't relevant.

What is relevant is whether they had the legal authority to do so.  Was it granted to them under the Patriot Act?  I've not researched this, and would agree that  there may be a violation of the 4th Amendment here.  However, not even the ACLU will comment until they have seen more evidence. 

Nor did the NY Times use the word "citizen," instead referring to "people inside the United States."  If these "people inside the United States" are terrorists, they are enemy combatants and we are at war.  They do not have the same rights as citizens.

Nor does the article say that the NSA spied on protestors.  What it said was that the Pentagon is reviewing a "database (that) listed activities of anti-war groups that were not a security threat to Pentagon property or personnel."  The Pentagon, not the NSA.  This is typical liberal yellow journalism - an effort to create a red herring by bringing something unrelated into the story.  And you fell for it.

Nor does the article state that there is no oversight.  In fact, it states "The Bush administration had briefed congressional leaders about the NSA program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that handles national security issues."  It just doesn't say when.  You are assuming it is after he was "caught."

So all this is is another liberal circle-jerked attempt to bash Bush, with no real evidence that a citizen's rights have been violated.

Learn some critical reading skills, so you can at least see through misdirection.

Bueno, your own critical reading skills need improvement. At least twice, the article states that the spying was done on American citizens:

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Several officials said the eavesdropping program had helped uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker and naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda by planning to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches.

Looks like Buena f'ed up again in his shoddy analysis. His credibility couldn't be lower. And his subsequent posts won't even address your point. Get used to it. I've seen it before on several occasions. What a clown. :lmao:

:hophead: About as relevant as a popcorn fart.

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Any surveillence of a US citizen on US soil which doesn't involve two branches of goverment is wrong and needs to be removed.  It simply offers up the potential to put far too much power in the hands of one man.

Personally I do not feel that GWB has abused this authority, but who can speak for his successors? Imagine a president with paranoid inclinations with this kind of power. Goodbye freedom, hello police state.

Authority such as this gives the potential for Gestapo-esque tactics. Potential alone is enough stop this.

(I would like everybody to picture Al Gore with this kind of power)

It appears to have involved the NSA (executive branch) and the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (judicial branch).

"without warrants" indicates that the judicial branch had no authority in this matter. It seems as though this secret court got a memo about what the NSA was doing, and had no power to stop these actions.

Bingo - see the Patriot Act.

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Any surveillence of a US citizen on US soil which doesn't involve two branches of goverment is wrong and needs to be removed.  It simply offers up the potential to put far too much power in the hands of one man.

Personally I do not feel that GWB has abused this authority, but who can speak for his successors? Imagine a president with paranoid inclinations with this kind of power. Goodbye freedom, hello police state.

Authority such as this gives the potential for Gestapo-esque tactics. Potential alone is enough stop this.

(I would like everybody to picture Al Gore with this kind of power)

It appears to have involved the NSA (executive branch) and the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (judicial branch).

"without warrants" indicates that the judicial branch had no authority in this matter. It seems as though this secret court got a memo about what the NSA was doing, and had no power to stop these actions.

Bingo - see the Patriot Act.

NYTimes:

President Bush did not ask Congress to include provisions for the N.S.A. domestic surveillance program as part of the Patriot Act and has not sought any other laws to authorize the operation....

Is it part of the Patriot Act?

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Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

- Ben Franklin

The freedom to hatch a plot to kill US citizens is hardly "essential." The scope of 9/11 can hardly be characterized as "little" nor the lives lost "temporary." Weren't you one of the Weepers out there condemning the Pres for failing to prevent 9/11?

Stand back Koya. Important work needs to be done, risks need to be taken, and hard decisions need to be made immediately. When the necessary tasks are done, your leaders can take center stage and critique from a secured coutroom.

Stand back? Why?

Because I told you to you whiny little tool!

Is that response the same as saying that you have nothing left to fall back upon and you essentially give up this point of contention?

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Seriously, it concerns me how many people are not even concerned about this. Perhaps it was done with good intention (I believe it was). Perhaps the taps were only conducted toward possibly enemies of the state (I think that was at least the intent).Regardless, a free nation can not except the precedent set by such behavior unchecked - as it clearly can (and if you understand power, probably will) lead to abuses of that power that are not for the common good. Where do you draw the line?LONG before such abuses threaten our everyday freedom. Again, is this not what we were "fighting against" with Communism? Why are some so quick to give the OK to such internal spying without any check or balance? (I really would like to know)

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GB W! Keep him safe this holiday season against the people that have the burning hatred for him. Both foreign and domestic.

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Interesting that Bush came out swinging today.He admitted authorizing the NSA to conduct wiretaps without a warrant. Meanwhile, Arlen Specter says he's going to initiate a full-scale investigation of the practice beginning next year. I guess he's not going to take Bush's word for it that he didn't do anything illegal. :popcorn:

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We spy on suspected terrorists inside the US? Oh the horror!

I suspect you might be a terrorist. Keep a look out for :stalker: in your backyard. That doesn't bother you right? I mean, you are a suspected terrorist.

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

A little soma is all you need.

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I'm trying to get worked up here about my gov't maliciously spying on me, then I read that the gov't actually spied on people that were making international calls to suspected Al Queda contacts. Oh my god am I worked up now.:rolleyes:I also like how it was such a big deal to investigate the "outing" of Plame and now we have leaks by intelligence officers about secret CIA prisons and secret NSA recordings. I sure hope Bush appoints an independent investigator to find out who the leakers are so they can be prosecuted. This is far more damaging to national security, to make this public, than any outing of Plame ever could have been.

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

And that one will? :hophead:

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

Stasi...KGB...NSA...Don't worry about it! It could never happen here...

The point is...is that it MAY be illegal. The President is not above the law...and MAY be p*ssing in the face of our system of checks and balances. May as well BE a dictator...if he can do whatever he wants 'cause he's the PRESIDENT... :no:

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

Stasi...KGB...NSA...Don't worry about it! It could never happen here...

The point is...is that it MAY be illegal. The President is not above the law...and MAY be p*ssing in the face of our system of checks and balances. May as well BE a dictator...if he can do whatever he wants 'cause he's the PRESIDENT... :no:

Adds a whole new eerie subtext to this exchange from the Alberto Gonzalez confirmation hearings:

SEN. DURBIN: I'll give you that chance. In your August memo, you created the possibility that the president could invoke his authority as commander in chief not only to suspend the Geneva Convention but the application of other laws. Do you stand by that position?

MR. GONZALES: I believe that I said in response to an earlier question that I do believe it is possible, theoretically possible, for the Congress to pass a law that would be viewed as unconstitutional by a president of the United States. And that is not just the position of this president. That's been the position of presidents on both sides of the aisle. In my judgment, making that kind of conclusion is one that requires a great deal of care and consideration. But if you're asking me if it's theoretically possible that Congress could pass a statute that we view as unconstitutional, I'd have to say -- concede, sir, that that's -- I believe that that's theoretically possible.

SEN. DURBIN: But you believe he has that authority; he could ignore a law passed by this Congress, signed by this president or another one, and decide that it is unconstitutional and refuse to comply with that law?

MR. GONZALES: Senator, again, you're asking me where the -- hypothetically, does that authority exist? And I guess I would have to say that hypothetically that authority may exist. But let me also just say that we certainly understand and recognize the role of the courts in our system of government. We have to deal with some very difficult issues here, very, very complicated. Sometimes the answers are not so clear. The president's position on this is that ultimately the judges, the courts will make the decision as to whether or not we've drawn the right balance here. And in certain circumstance the courts have agreed with the administration positions; in certain circumstances, the courts have disagreed. And we will respect those decisions.

SEN. DURBIN: Fifty-two years ago, a president named Harry Truman decided to test that premise -- Youngstown Sheet and Tube versus the Supreme Court -- or in the Supreme Court -- versus Sawyer in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said, as you know, "President Truman, you're wrong. You don't have the authority to decide what's constitutional, what laws you like and don't like." I'm troubled that you would think, as our incoming attorney general, that a president can pick or choose the laws that he thinks are unconstitutional and ultimately wait for that test in court to decide whether or not he's going to comply with the law.

MR. GONZALES: Senator, you asked me whether or not it was theoretically possible that the Congress could pass a law that we would view as unconstitutional. My response was -- is that obviously we would take that very, very seriously, look at that very carefully. But I suppose it is theoretically possible that that would happen. Let me just add one final point. We in the executive branch, of course, understand that there are limits upon presidential power; very, very mindful of Justice O'Connor's statement in the Hamdi decision that "a state of war is not a blank check for the president of the United States" with respect the rights of American citizens. I understand that, and I agree with that.

It doesn't help that we have an AG who thinks its "theoretically possible" that the President, when acting as Commander in Chief, is beyond all laws.

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

Yeah, like that liberal Bush hater Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.

...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

Stasi...KGB...NSA...Don't worry about it! It could never happen here...

The point is...is that it MAY be illegal. The President is not above the law...and MAY be p*ssing in the face of our system of checks and balances. May as well BE a dictator...if he can do whatever he wants 'cause he's the PRESIDENT... :no:

Adds a whole new eerie subtext to this exchange from the Alberto Gonzalez confirmation hearings:

SEN. DURBIN: I'll give you that chance. In your August memo, you created the possibility that the president could invoke his authority as commander in chief not only to suspend the Geneva Convention but the application of other laws. Do you stand by that position?

MR. GONZALES: I believe that I said in response to an earlier question that I do believe it is possible, theoretically possible, for the Congress to pass a law that would be viewed as unconstitutional by a president of the United States. And that is not just the position of this president. That's been the position of presidents on both sides of the aisle. In my judgment, making that kind of conclusion is one that requires a great deal of care and consideration. But if you're asking me if it's theoretically possible that Congress could pass a statute that we view as unconstitutional, I'd have to say -- concede, sir, that that's -- I believe that that's theoretically possible.

SEN. DURBIN: But you believe he has that authority; he could ignore a law passed by this Congress, signed by this president or another one, and decide that it is unconstitutional and refuse to comply with that law?

MR. GONZALES: Senator, again, you're asking me where the -- hypothetically, does that authority exist? And I guess I would have to say that hypothetically that authority may exist. But let me also just say that we certainly understand and recognize the role of the courts in our system of government. We have to deal with some very difficult issues here, very, very complicated. Sometimes the answers are not so clear. The president's position on this is that ultimately the judges, the courts will make the decision as to whether or not we've drawn the right balance here. And in certain circumstance the courts have agreed with the administration positions; in certain circumstances, the courts have disagreed. And we will respect those decisions.

SEN. DURBIN: Fifty-two years ago, a president named Harry Truman decided to test that premise -- Youngstown Sheet and Tube versus the Supreme Court -- or in the Supreme Court -- versus Sawyer in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said, as you know, "President Truman, you're wrong. You don't have the authority to decide what's constitutional, what laws you like and don't like." I'm troubled that you would think, as our incoming attorney general, that a president can pick or choose the laws that he thinks are unconstitutional and ultimately wait for that test in court to decide whether or not he's going to comply with the law.

MR. GONZALES: Senator, you asked me whether or not it was theoretically possible that the Congress could pass a law that we would view as unconstitutional. My response was -- is that obviously we would take that very, very seriously, look at that very carefully. But I suppose it is theoretically possible that that would happen. Let me just add one final point. We in the executive branch, of course, understand that there are limits upon presidential power; very, very mindful of Justice O'Connor's statement in the Hamdi decision that "a state of war is not a blank check for the president of the United States" with respect the rights of American citizens. I understand that, and I agree with that.

It doesn't help that we have an AG who thinks its "theoretically possible" that the President, when acting as Commander in Chief, is beyond all laws.

Where did Gonzales say that he thought Bush had the ability to go "beyond all laws?"

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

Yeah, like that liberal Bush hater Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.

...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.

What law did Bush violate when he authorized the NSA to monitor overseas telephone calls and e-mails?

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

Yeah, like that liberal Bush hater Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.

...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.

What law did Bush violate when he authorized the NSA to monitor overseas telephone calls and e-mails?

* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting “surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order.” [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

* Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.” [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

* The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

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He's a wartime Prez. He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

What do these wiretaps have to do with the War in Iraq?

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He's a wartime Prez.  He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

What do these wiretaps have to do with the War in Iraq?

Oh I forgot, Bush authorized the wiretaps on the Twins' boyfriends. :rolleyes:

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He's a wartime Prez. He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

Yeah, like that liberal Bush hater Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.

...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.

What law did Bush violate when he authorized the NSA to monitor overseas telephone calls and e-mails?

Here ya go...

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/

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Dairy from the Daily Kos:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/12/17/194118/86

Why did Bush order the NSA to do the illegal wiretaps in question? Any fool can tap a phone. Literally. Liddy did them for Nixon. So why was the NSA included in the loop of illegal acts? What tool does the NSA have that nobody else has that would force Bush to turn to the NSA?

The NSA has ECHELON. What's the big deal about Echelon? Echelon monitors ALL the communications of a geographic region it's targeted upon. That probably means Bush ordered all communications within the US monitored by the NSA and their Echelon system.

Bad Santa's diary :: ::

"...According to intelligence experts in the United States and Europe, a massive electronic intercept program called Project Echelon scans all Internet traffic, cell phone conversations, faxes, and long-distance telephone calls--virtually every type of electronic communication--looking for evidence of terrorist activity, military threats, and transnational crime.

The e-spying is being conducted by the secretive U.S. National Security Agency and its counterparts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom...."

"...Echelon uses a filtering process to flag messages with keywords such as bomb, gun, and militia. But because little is known about Echelon, it remains unclear whether the system can differentiate between messages sent by criminals and those sent by law-abiding citizens. For example, a person in Chicago might innocently use two or more of the keywords in an e-mail to a friend in Japan while describing a Tom Clancy novel, or while discussing the latest NYPD Blue episode, or even a news report about a recent terrorist act. What happens when Echelon picks up such a message? No one knows.

If you're a typical user, your chances of coming to the attention of a live person at the NSA--much less of being placed under more thorough surveillance as part of an investigation--are tiny. But nevertheless, the NSA has cast a very wide net to catch just a few suspicious goldfish. And the agency is invading your privacy to do it.

Project Echelon's equipment can process 1 million message inputs every 30 minutes, according to a series of reports commissioned by the Scientific and Technological Options Assessment program, a research wing of the European Parliament.

The STOA studies finds the system filters intercepted material so minutely that only ten inputs out of 1 million are passed along for detailed analysis--which is likely a second level of software filtering. Even fewer messages reach live analysts.

The system also reportedly uses voiceprint technology to search telephone communications for targeted speakers.

Echelon uses powerful search engines--called dictionaries--to ferret out keywords of interest to intelligence analysts. Only a handful of these keywords from the classified dictionaries have made their way into published reports about the program...."

"...Echelon is so hush-hush that the NSA will not even acknowledge the program's existence, much less discuss its targeting criteria or its civil liberties safeguards. Only two fragmentary documents have been released under the federal Freedom of Information Act; they consist of just seven highly censored pages...."

http://www.pcworld.com/...

ECHELON is designed to monitor all of the communications in a target country. IMHO, the only reason Bush went to the NSA was to get the NSA to start monitoring all US communications with ECHELON.

Bush did not tap some phones. Bush tapped ALL the phones.

:ph34r:

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Bush today:

He acknowledged during the address that he allowed the NSA "to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations."

Sounds like he was prosecuting the war on terror.

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He's a wartime Prez. He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

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He's a wartime Prez. He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

Technically, no.

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He's a wartime Prez.  He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

Bush is at war...with the demons in his head...with his Dad...with the Constitution and the American people. Yes...Bush is at war. :thumbdown:

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

Yeah, like that liberal Bush hater Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.

...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.

What law did Bush violate when he authorized the NSA to monitor overseas telephone calls and e-mails?

* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting “surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order.” [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

* Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.” [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

* The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

OK, so what law was broken here?

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I am a law abiding citizen, so I have no problem here.

Yes. Take your medication and go back to sleep. The government will take care of everything.

I don't understand responses like this. All that happened was the president authorized an agency that normally spies outside US borders and on foreign officials located in the US to also spy on private citizens inside the US who are suspected of being terrorists. Bush didn't authorize the NSA to conduct spying on anyone they wish. And he didn't authorize them to do any more than "electronic" surveillance of international telephone calls and international e-mails. Something which the NSA already had the capability to do.

What medication is it that I'm supposed to be taking?

That argument won't fly here guy. The Dems and Bush haters are more interested in creating problems than solving them.

Yeah, like that liberal Bush hater Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.

...

BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.

What law did Bush violate when he authorized the NSA to monitor overseas telephone calls and e-mails?

* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting “surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order.” [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

* Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.” [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

* The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

OK, so what law was broken here?

I told ya already...Read it!

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/

Ya don't spy on Americans without a warrant... :no:

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He's a wartime Prez. He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

Bush is at war...with the demons in his head...with his Dad...with the Constitution and the American people. Yes...Bush is at war. :thumbdown:

your logic was a bit convoluted there, you said it was ok when FDR was "at war", then you say Bush is at war because he "says so", yet then immediately point out that Congress agreed to go to war. So really, you just like to contradict yourself. The nice thing is it only took you 2 sentences to do so, rather than like 8 paragraphs so thanks for saving us all the gobbledy #####.

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He's a wartime Prez.  He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

Bush is at war...with the demons in his head...with his Dad...with the Constitution and the American people. Yes...Bush is at war. :thumbdown:

your logic was a bit convoluted there, you said it was ok when FDR was "at war", then you say Bush is at war because he "says so", yet then immediately point out that Congress agreed to go to war. So really, you just like to contradict yourself. The nice thing is it only took you 2 sentences to do so, rather than like 8 paragraphs so thanks for saving us all the gobbledy #####.

Read it again...slower this time, Tommy. :loco:

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He's a wartime Prez. He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

Bush is at war...with the demons in his head...with his Dad...with the Constitution and the American people. Yes...Bush is at war. :thumbdown:

your logic was a bit convoluted there, you said it was ok when FDR was "at war", then you say Bush is at war because he "says so", yet then immediately point out that Congress agreed to go to war. So really, you just like to contradict yourself. The nice thing is it only took you 2 sentences to do so, rather than like 8 paragraphs so thanks for saving us all the gobbledy #####.

Read it again...slower this time, Tommy. :loco:

so I ask again, is Bush at war? You're failure to answer the question seriously implies that you do not want to step into the trap you set for yourself here. You have implied that Bush is not at war, so therefore his "doing nothing different than FDR did" is not the same as what FDR did, because Bush being not at war somehow deligitimizes his actions hence. Now if you imply that Bush is not at war and then fail to back up your argument with evidence, then you are not a serious commentator, just a hack throwing stones.

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He's a wartime Prez.  He's doing nothing different than FDR did.

FDR actually was at war. Congress - as the Constitution mandates - declared war twice in 1941. Bush is at war 'cause he SAYS so...and most in Congress supinely agreed to LET him say so... :hot:

So Bush isn't at war?

Bush is at war...with the demons in his head...with his Dad...with the Constitution and the American people. Yes...Bush is at war. :thumbdown:

your logic was a bit convoluted there, you said it was ok when FDR was "at war", then you say Bush is at war because he "says so", yet then immediately point out that Congress agreed to go to war. So really, you just like to contradict yourself. The nice thing is it only took you 2 sentences to do so, rather than like 8 paragraphs so thanks for saving us all the gobbledy #####.

Read it again...slower this time, Tommy. :loco:

so I ask again, is Bush at war? You're failure to answer the question seriously implies that you do not want to step into the trap you set for yourself here. You have implied that Bush is not at war, so therefore his "doing nothing different than FDR did" is not the same as what FDR did, because Bush being not at war somehow deligitimizes his actions hence. Now if you imply that Bush is not at war and then fail to back up your argument with evidence, then you are not a serious commentator, just a hack throwing stones.

My simple point is: IMHO...Our nation is not at war...in the absence of a Declaration of War from Congress. Thus...whatever Constitutional powers the President declares are his...as Commander-in-Chief during "war time" are illegitimate.

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