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The Courts Government Privacy Communications News Politics

Court Orders White House to Disclose Telecom Ties 147

Posted by Zonk
from the fess-up-to-it-boys dept.
rgiskard01 writes "Glenn Greenwald is reporting at Salon.com on a win for the EFF, in the battle for clarity regarding the telecom surveillance scandal. A federal judge ordered the Bush administration yesterday to accede to the EFF's Freedom of Information Act request. Assuming the White House follows the court order, they would have to make public their lobbying ties to the telecoms industry. 'These disclosures will reveal ... which members of Congress McConnell and other Bush officials privately lobbied. As an argument of last resort, the administration even proposed disclosing these documents on December 31 so that -- as EFF pointed out -- the information would be available only after Congress passed the new FISA bill. The court rejected every administration claim as to why it should not have to disclose these records.'" Greenwald goes on to argue that the order should be leveled against Senators as well, to get a sense of who else is in Ma Bell's pocket.
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Court Orders White House to Disclose Telecom Ties

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  • by SeaFox (739806) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:46PM (#21523545)
    They think they are above the law already.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cecilgol (977329)
      Im not sure if they can, given the atmosphere of lame duck surrounding the administration right now. Approval ratings in the 30s and a hellacious economy going into the xmas season, it would seem like a battle not worth fighting... for right now at least. But then again, the likelihood that any action will be taken before the end of the administration seems slim; I can see them just playing out the clock for 417 days...
      • by Nimey (114278) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:03PM (#21523773) Homepage Journal
        The Bush admin are masters of stonewalling and delaying tactics. I'd be pleasantly stunned if this happens.

        You *know* they're going to appeal this to the federal appeals court, and if they lose that one the Supreme Court will take quite a while to make a ruling, and there's a certain chance that the Supremes will make some bullshit ruling about how the EFF doesn't have standing rather than rule on the actual crime.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Nimey (114278)
          Ah, I see some cowardly conservative mod has used the (-1, Overrated) ploy.

          Taco, it'd sure be nice if you'd make overrated and underrated meta-moddable or just do away with them entirely.
      • by truthsearch (249536) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:27PM (#21524061) Homepage Journal
        What does the lame duck atmosphere, approval ratings, or economy have to do with anything? This administration has already accomplished most of their goals and will suffer no consequences for any actions. The president doesn't care at all about his approval ratings or changing the economy. Everything has gone pretty much according to plan, so why would they not ignore this court order?
        • Ha ha!! So, what has Bush Junior accomplished according to plan? His approval rating is so low that he has nothing left to lose, so I totally get the indifference, but again, what has gone according to plan? And... remember, your post was moderated "informative", so please... inform.
          • by causality (777677)

            Ha ha!! So, what has Bush Junior accomplished according to plan? His approval rating is so low that he has nothing left to lose, so I totally get the indifference, but again, what has gone according to plan?

            What has gone according to plan? The deliberate expansion of power of government, especially the executive branch, to a level never before seen in the history of this country. In the big picture this hurts the country far more than whether or not Iraq turns out the way we wanted it to. Bush is not n

          • You're kidding, right?

            Remove Saddam Hussein from power... Check. (Execution was a bonus.)
            Increase corporate profits of friends... Check.
            Embolden the link between corporations and government... Check.
            Keep political opponents in check... Check.
            Increase influence in the Middle East to bring armageddon closer to fruition... Check.

            Have you been asleep? What hasn't gone according to plan?
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        What exactly do they have to lose? Bush isn't up for reelection and the court has no enforcement power. So why WOULDN'T he just ignore it?
      • by SeaFox (739806)

        Im not sure if they can, given the atmosphere of lame duck surrounding the administration right now.

        That's exactly why they will ignore it. It's a lame duck administration, it's not like they have to worry about getting re-elected. It's the last year or so of the Bush administration, there's nothing to lose.
      • What penalty would the current administration face if it were to ignore the court order?

        Who would administer the penalty? The US Attorneys Office? They've already been purged of independent thinkers.
    • by FatMacDaddy (878246) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:59PM (#21523725)
      My bet: They won't ignore it. They'll use the national security ploy to deny the order or delay compliance until they can get legislation passed to make it a non-issue. It's not like Congress has the guts to oppose anything that purports to protect us from terrorists.
      • How much guts does it take to say "Prove it". Isn't it within Congress's power to ask for proof?
        • by Nimey (114278)
          Of course it is, but the Bush Admin will dispute that, it'll have to work its way through the court system, and there's the question of whether Congress has the will to make them.
    • What happens when they do ignore the court order? Nothing? Does someone go to jail and then gets pardoned?
      • by SeaFox (739806) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:50PM (#21524449)

        What happens when they do ignore the court order? Nothing?

        Pretty much. Undoing things and removing people in power is incredibly difficult in Government, not necessarily because the procedures are long winded, but because its a representative democracy so the people can't do it themselves.

        If someone commits a crime against you, you can't put them in jail yourself, you can't seek charges against them yourself, ect. You have to have the police arrest them, but there's no rule saying the police have to arrest someone, either. So you really have to find a cop who's willing to go to the trouble to arrest them, and a prosecutor who will attempt to prosecute them. Of course, these are these people's jobs, but the fact remains they don't always do them.

        It's the same with government. Even if there's an overwhelming amount of evidence the president did this or did that, and those things are illegal, they don't automatically get in trouble for it. Congress has to agree that the action was serious enough to warrant them getting off their asses to do something. And with party politics you'll have a bunch of people who will agree with the president and therefore feel he's doing nothing wrong, even if law books say he is. So they wont want to do anything, and without the needed majority agreement nothing will.

        And the crook gets away with it.
        • You sound almost as if you are defending the corruptness of the system; or at least saying 'Well, that's just the way it is'.

          I don't agree with that - if the system doesn't work, it has to be changed. And it clearly doesn't work, because:

          - as this government has demonstrated again and again, they can get away with just about any crime. This one is just one of the small ones - how about the war in Iraq and all the others? Ie: they are not accountable.

          - the government's policy is determined, not by the people
      • Can Bush order a pre-pardon for himself and the rest of the administration?? Some sort of political golden parachute?
        • by Drgnkght (449916)
          IANAL, so I really don't know if he could or not, though I suspect not.

          Regardless, he wouldn't do it. It would require that he list all the criminal acts he wanted to pardon. That might get him into trouble, especially since he'd effectively be admitting in a legal document that he knew about these acts before any investigation turned up evidence of wrong-doing.

          That isn't to say he wouldn't write up a pardon after the investigation, as everyone here is no doubt aware.
  • Clarification (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AchiIIe (974900) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:47PM (#21523563)
    The article is a bit dense, but those documents don't relate to the spying, only the the telecom immunity bill which was proposed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kat_skan (5219)

      Specifically it seems to be records of lobbying activities. Does anyone know where the Administration's arguments for keeping this sort of thing from the public can be read? I would like to know why they think that the public shouldn't be allowed to know who is trying to sway the opinion of their representatives.

      • by sumdumass (711423)
        The supreme court had already said that the Vice president could claim executive privilege over a meeting with oil execs before the drafting of an energy policy months after the administration first took office. The claims where that the ability to keep comments secrete were essential for getting truthful, honest as well as unpopular advice without the threat of retribution on those giving the advice.

        It seems like a slam dunk under this line of arguments. And yes, the lower courts said he had to give up the
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pluther (647209)

          The supreme court had already said that the Vice president could claim executive privilege over a meeting with oil execs before the drafting of an energy policy months after the administration first took office.

          The supreme court never ruled on that use. Congress demanded the documents, Cheney claimed executive privilege and Congress chose not to pursue the matter any further, as they didn't think at the time anything would be gained by doing so.

          So far, this has been the case of all of the Bush administ

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sumdumass (711423)

            The supreme court never ruled on that use. Congress demanded the documents, Cheney claimed executive privilege and Congress chose not to pursue the matter any further, as they didn't think at the time anything would be gained by doing so.

            Are you sure we are talking about the samecase [csmonitor.com]?

            So far, this has been the case of all of the Bush administration's use of Executive privilege. None have (yet) made it to the Supreme court. In previous cases where the Supreme Court has ruled (Clinton and Nixon being the t

      • by sjames (1099)

        Errr, Uhhhhhhh, For the children.....Uhmmmmmmm.....So the terrorists can't read it....UrmmmmUhh....NATIONAL SECURITY!!!! Yeah, that's the ticket!

  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:49PM (#21523579) Homepage
    Has anyone else noticed how much that tag is used?

    If it is used every day on a different issue, it seems that common sense isn't as rare of an asset as was once believed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by techpawn (969834)
      I was thinking the same thing. Not so much that it's a rare asset, but, that perhaps this is what my polisci prof. meant by a realignment of the system.

      The people are getting more and more fed up with the system and it's beginning to show itself more and more with favorable laws and judicial decisions after minor elections and before major ones.
    • by tmarthal (998456)
      There are 10000 other things in the news that show that common sense is still as rare as once believed. they just aren't posted on /., since they are just the norm.

    • by Qzukk (229616)
      If it is used every day on a different issue, it seems that common sense isn't as rare of an asset as was once believed.

      It's not much of an outbreak if it's a single isolated incident.
    • by HalAtWork (926717)
      No, it's because now we're further from 9/11 (omg teh terror!!!), so now there's less sensationalism and less people are acting paranoid, and more are acting rationally. If we were closer to 9/11, wouldn't the chances increase that the courts would ok "teh secret wiretap against the terrorists!" for no rasin?
  • constituents (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ryen (684684) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:50PM (#21523589)
    Once all the greed comes out, how will the EFF get that information into Joe-citizen's hands in time for elections and voting (and not just the tech-community and other usual suspects).
    • Re:constituents (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:12PM (#21523861)
      And what's more, the EFF would need to conjure up someone worth voting for. As it currently stands, the Democrats control both houses of Congress and are poised to pass a telecom-immunity bill. So voting to maintain Democratic control is not going to do anything there. Voting to switch control to the Republicans, meanwhile, will probably also not improve matters (if anything they'd pass the same telecom immunity bill, only with more enthusiasm).
      • Re:constituents (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:13PM (#21525649)

        As it currently stands, the Democrats control both houses of Congress and are poised to pass a telecom-immunity bill. So voting to maintain Democratic control is not going to do anything there. Voting to switch control to the Republicans, meanwhile, will probably also not improve matters
        You know, I was thinking about this the other day while researching the presidential candidates. None really fit what I want. Ron Paul seems like the most interesting one to me because he's big on smaller government and returning power back to the states. To bad he comes across as a bit of a nut job. Hilary is just too socialist. Obama doesn't seem to know what he wants to run on. The other Republicans and Democrats seems mostly interchangable with each other to me. I'm thinking what we need is a candidate that is not part of the current establishment. Someone like a Arnold who would show up and question everything instead of doing something because that's the way it's always been done. Why do we have a 'war on drugs'? What has it solved? Is it worth it? Does the tax code need to be so complicated that we have to spend billions of dollars to enforce it? What are the goals in Iraq? Where are we currently? Can they even be achieved?

        I'm just totally fed up with both sides, and have no idea how to approach the problem of voting next year. I agree with something I heard once. "Anyone who wants to be President should automatically be disqualified from every becoming President."
        • Perhaps you're thinking of Douglas Adams' quote?

          Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
          • by dkleinsc (563838)
            I always think more about his society that votes for lizards, because if they don't the wrong lizard might end up in charge.
        • Re:constituents (Score:5, Informative)

          by FunWithKnives (775464) <ParadoxPerfect&terrorist,net> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @08:38PM (#21527177) Journal
          Hillary Clinton is about as far from a socialist as possible. I have no idea why people trumpet this baseless notion. She is part of the capitalist status-quo, just as the rest of the "popular" candidates are. Her proposed "health care" plan, which is the only part of her platform that I imagine one could even attempt to call "socialistic" (though all of the main candidates have or will have something similar), would do absolutely nothing to combat the broken private system. True socialist change would involve placing the health insurance and pharmaceutical giants under public ownership, where they would be conducted as a public trust under democratic control of the workers. That is socialism. Creating a "safety net" or a "welfare state" is not socialism. Those are simply policies meant to keep the populace complacent, nothing more.

          Also, I believe that if she were truly socialist, she would receive much less than she does in "campaign contributions" (read: legalized bribes) from corporations. Anecdotally, regarding her "health care" plan, if it would really make any profound difference in the current system, then why is she currently the number one recipient of contributions from both the HMO Industry [opensecrets.org] and the Health Professionals Industry [opensecrets.org] for the 2007-2008 election cycle?
          • Her 1993 health-care proposal was somewhat more ambitious, although it was mainly criticized for being excessively bureaucratic rather than "socialist". Basically it would've kept everything nominally private, but created a detailed set of rules for what exactly corporations and private HMOs would have to offer to whom and in what manner.

            Her current proposal seems to have backed off a lot and basically consists of a recipe for the government to shovel lots of money at insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
          • by runderwo (609077) *

            Hillary Clinton is about as far from a socialist as possible. I have no idea why people trumpet this baseless notion. [..] Creating a "safety net" or a "welfare state" is not socialism. Those are simply policies meant to keep the populace complacent, nothing more. [..] Also, I believe that if she were truly socialist, she would receive much less than she does in "campaign contributions" (read: legalized bribes) from corporations.

            Dude, chill.. GP misspelled fascist, that is all.

            "Fascism should more appropri

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mbius (890083)
          At the risk of being read sockpuppetty, "nut job" is a hatchet job. From Bill Maher to Sean Hannity, everyone on TV is a jerk -- yes? -- supporting one party's lizard so the other party's lizard won't win. I don't hear crazy from Ron Paul. I hear it from them.

          Drugs, taxes, and Iraq are all in the Ron Paul platform, aren't they? Questioning the system? Right? And from a guy genuinely more interested in policy than his political career?

          Can I ask why your image of the ideal presidential candidate, t
          • You're right, 'nut job' was probably a wrong term on my part. I like most of Ron Pauls platform, but when I see him speak I just don't see a President.

            Can I ask why your image of the ideal presidential candidate, then, is a guy who (1) found celebrity lifting weights, (2) has conventional ties to a "side you're fed up with," (3) isn't running and (4) legally can't?

            I was only using Arnold as a loose example, and he definitely isn't ideal. An ideal example would be me, since I mostly agree with myself :)

  • by zoomshorts (137587) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:52PM (#21523619)
    The FCC and SEC are all filled with Bush Appointees.
    He did this with knowledge and aforethought. Bush is
    really a traitor to the American people.
    • by noidentity (188756) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:50PM (#21524445)
      Yes, but Bush didn't some chick a blowjob, so he's clearly still a good president.
      • Yes, but Bush didn't some chick a blowjob

        We don't, actually, know that for a fact.
      • by s4m7 (519684)

        Yes, but Bush didn't some chick a blowjob
        In his defense, he thought it was a chick at the time.
    • by Shadowlore (10860) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:09PM (#21525617) Journal
      You know what is really funny. A group of people saying Bush is stupid, dumb as a box of rocks, and a dunce all while claiming he masterminded a grand conspiracy and is pulling it off.

      Even funnier:
      They don't see the contradiction.

      If you s/funny/sad/ or s/funni/sadd/ it holds just as well.

      But here is a newsflash for the poster:
      a decade ago the SEC and FCC were filled with Clinton appointees. And *he* did that with knowledge and forethought.
      a decade before that, the FCC and SEC were filled with Reagan appointees; *he* did that with knowledge and forethought.

      Are we seeing a pattern here? G
      uess what, 5 years from now the SEC and FCC will be filled with appointees of the next president who will do with knowledge and forethought.

      Can you see the pattern yet?

      Furthermore, do you want a President appointing people to the SEC and FCC without knowledge and forethought? Wouldn't you think about putting people into those posts? While it can be argued these posts should be eliminated, I hold it rational to assume that if they are going to exist that qualified individuals should hold those positions.

      That's one of the differences, IMO, between a mere malcontent[1] and a genuine dissident. A malcontent will just make thing sup that sound important or impressive, and label his or her target with whatever epithet sounds denigrating at the time. If it suits a malcontent's argument to say the target (in this case the POTUS) is stupid, he or she will do so. The next day if it suits the malcontent to say the target is a criminal mastermind, he or she will do so. Why? The point is not discussion and resolution. It is about bitching, whining, or an agenda to make oneself (or political allies) feel or look better. And for some it is about blog ad revenue.

      A dissident however, has no need to make such contradictory claims. A dissident doesn't care whether he or she likes the POTUS, he or she knows the POTUS gets neither blame nor credit for the economy by right (for example), or can see good and bad, agreeable and disagreeable in, for example, the POTUS regardless of party, state of origin, campaign contributor beliefs, sex, or whatever else.

      And finally, there is no "The American People". We are a very diverse bunch. We do not all agree on pretty much any given political or social matter. Malcontents like to portray this fiction because it lets them imply or claim that their target is not among the group. It's a form of the logical fallacy known as appeal to popularity. It is particularly popular for nationalist malcontents to portray a country's population as a people; and for the same reasons.

      1: malcontent (a person who is discontented or disgusted); not the Shakespearean/English theater Malcontent.
      • by Eskarel (565631)
        Personally I don't think that Bush does anything with forethought, or any other sort of thought for that matter, I think he does what Cheney tells him to. I also think that Cheney is a slimy evil bastard..

        That said, there's a difference between appointing people to the FCC and SEC with forethought and planning with the goal of selecting the best people for the job(as you invision the job to be), and appointing people who will let you get away with things you know are wrong.

        Anyone with any understanding of U

      • by Jimmy_B (129296)
        <blokcquote<You know what is really funny. A group of people saying Bush is stupid, dumb as a box of rocks, and a dunce all while claiming he masterminded a grand conspiracy and is pulling it off.
        Even funnier: They don't see the contradiction.</blockquote>
        No one's claiming Bush masterminded anything. Bush is, in fact, as stupid as people say he is. Vice President Cheney, on the other hand, has James Bond suspended over a shark pit, and Bush does all and only the things Cheney tells him to. That'
  • ...kinda like switching on the light in a run down crack house and seeing the rats and roaches scurry for cover to hide.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Bearpaw (13080)

      This will be fun to watch...kinda like switching on the light in a run down crack house and seeing the rats and roaches scurry for cover to hide.

      The risk is that the rats and roaches may attack rather than scurry for cover. Make sure your flamethrower is fully charged before turning the light on.
    • by spun (1352) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `yranoituloverevol'> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:07PM (#21523809) Journal
      Scurrying for cover isn't their style. More like, switching on the light in a run down crack house and seeing the rats and roaches invade Iran.
      • by morcego (260031) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @07:17PM (#21526405)
        I'm not sure if are joking or not, but this is a real issue.

        In politics, what you describe is called "bullring tactics". It is a very well known and effective way to keep the population under control, by diverting their attention toward an outside "enemy". An enemy that threatens the very thing that makes us human, perhaps (Nazi). Or someone that threatens our way of life (Terrorists). Or someone who corrupts our children (Commies).

        This happened and still happens on many countries, not just USA. The USA is just the more obvious one. Maybe because they have such much presence on the media. Actually, you can see it happening everywhere if you study the history of any country. Sometimes the enemy is fabricated. Sometimes the enemy is real (ie: the politics got lucky and didn't have to create one). The tactics is always the same.

        This is so widely known and used that you can even read about it on books (1984, Chapterhouse Dune etc). You can see it in your own country (doesn't matter where you live). You can see it in your church (in case you belong to one).

        The saddest thing of all, even if you and everybody else can see plainly what these leaders are doing, 99% of the population accept it. I don't know why. Maybe people just don't want the responsibility. Maybe they like to be tricked. Maybe it is because a leader is that makes us a people (don't laugh, it is a verifiable historical truth). Maybe they just don't care. It usually takes things getting pretty serious on a personal level (something like the great depression or even worst) for they to do something.

        Enters Caesar. Bullrings tactics, add some breads and circus, and you have a very simple recipe for keeping the population under control. How simple ? Take a look at the presidents of countries like Venezuela and Brazil. I'm mentioning those just to take a bit of the "anti-Bush" flavor out of this post.

        Let the USA government continue to waste the country's money on all these wars for a decade or two more, and suddenly Iran and North Korea are no longer the real problem anymore.

        Even if you agree with what your government is doing, don't simply accept it. Ask yourself also WHY they are doing it. Do actions and words agree ?

        This EFF court case is a very good way to find out real motivations. I, for one, praise them, and hope they can manage to get the information. If the government tries to hide it, thats ok too. That by itself is enough of a message, telling us, again, what the real motivations are.
        • by spun (1352)
          I wasn't joking, and I do not accept what my government is doing.
  • by roystgnr (4015) * <roystgnr@ticam.ut[ ]s.edu ['exa' in gap]> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @03:55PM (#21523665) Homepage
    Then I'm sure the White House will get right on that.
    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:35PM (#21524207)
      As funny as that statement is, how scary is it that now the norm is for the White House to break laws with impunity?
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        That depends on if they actually broke the law.

        I know they broke the statutory law but one of the key defenses for the action is that the law didn't apply to them because of constitutional obligations that congress has no right to restrict in any ways. I'm not going to claim it is correct or not, just that the issue is there and it will eventually need to be decided by the supreme court.

        Congress won't want to take it to that level because it might be true and they might lose a perception of power. Currently
      • Don't worry yourself too much. It won't last. After the next election the millions of Americans who have all this time believed that holding the President accountable under the law was equivalent to helping the enemies of our nation will suddenly discover a newfound skepticism of government, a newfound fondness of government oversight, and a newfound reverence for the rule of law. Signing statements will go from being a vital tool in the war on terror to the mark of a looming dictatorship. Detention wit
    • But it's hilarious.
  • It's worth referencing this recent /. article [slashdot.org] on a similar topic. Wonder how many parallels or ideas we can draw from both...

  • Yeah Right! (Score:4, Funny)

    by explosivejared (1186049) <.hagan.jared. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:07PM (#21523805)
    Greenwald goes on to argue that the order should be leveled against Senators as well, to get a sense of who else is in Ma Bell's pocket.

    And I'd like a pony that floated on rainbows and candy and secreted money instead of sweat! Geez! Can't you learn to be content!

    Joking aside, that would be the next logical step. Of course having all lobbying be completely transparent has always been the logical next step to cleaning house, but now Washington doesn't run on logic does it?
    • by xC0000005 (715810) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:23PM (#21523997) Homepage
      and logic says that if you are a congress man living on lobby money then you don't want a clear paper trail, because it will make it harder to get more of that wonderful pony sweat. Logic says that the man who makes the laws should work to protect his own interests as often as he can without completely alienating the plebes who vote him in based on his name recognition.
      • Logic doesn't say any of that. Talk about a need for transparency. Claiming "logic says" without listing the premises and assumptions for the argument is a fallacy in that it is an appeal to a blind authority.

        After all, otherwise one could do this:
        Logic says that the man who makes the laws should work to minimize his own interests as often as he can while aligning his own interests with the plebes who vote him in based on name.

        Neither that statement nor yours are logical by themselves. The arguments ned to
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is there any reason that doesn't involve corruption we can't know what corporate/other representatives our elected officials are meeting with?

    It seems like most of the time these meetings couldn't involve national security(I would go so far as to say most things don't, whatever they claim), so why are they secret to begin with?
    • by Intron (870560) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @04:33PM (#21524169)
      The justification for not releasing the names of Cheney's Energy Policy group members was that the Administration didn't think they had to, even though the FACA [gsa.gov] has been on the books since 1972. However the court ruled that they did in April 2004, so we expect those names any day now.
      • Whoops, inexperienced mod here. That's funny at all, pretty sad really.
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        Well, actually, the court said the reason was because they need to be able to take counsel and advice from a number of people without them having a fear of anything coming back from what they said or who and when they met. They said it was an integral part of the office he holds.

        So it wasn't because he didn't want to. Even if you want to make it look that way. I tend to agree with the decisions as much as I did when Clinton used it.
  • I know washington hasn't heard those words in a while but it's glad to see they still exist somewhere every once in a while. This is why the founding fathers of the US made three branches instead of just 1 blunt club. I just wish we would see this sort of thing happen more often..
    • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @07:26PM (#21526509) Journal
      You do realize that the founding fathers also said how the checks and balances were to be made right?

      They didn't give all out authority of one branch to interfere or "express oversight" with the another. It has to be done within the context of the constitution. This is something that makes me believe this would be overturned in future appeals.
      • by DynaSoar (714234)
        > You do realize that the founding fathers also said how the checks and balances were to
        > be made right?
        >
        > They didn't give all out authority of one branch to interfere or "express oversight"
        > with the another. It has to be done within the context of the constitution. This is
        > something that makes me believe this would be overturned in future appeals.

        Fine in theory, but executive ignoring the other branches' checking and balancing is a time honored tradition. Frinstance, when the supreme c
        • by sumdumass (711423)
          Lol.. You picked a point where Both I am not extremely familiar with and the executive appears to ignore the judicial.

          But the reality is, The Treaty of New Echota was made after the supreme court ruling you mentioned and while it was unpopular at the time, it did give Jackson the required prerequisites that the court demanded. You could say that a few Cherokee sold out the Sovereign Cherokee nation.

          So no, the executive did not ignore the Judicial in that case. They may have railroaded their way through it,
  • Won't the administration simply issue copies of all the requested documents with all the relevant information "redacted in the interest of national security"? (I'm a Canadian. I don't know how crap like this works.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SeaFox (739806)
      That's a pretty good guess as to how the initial release will work. Then the EFF will have to file a lawsuit or something arguing that the documents are too redacted and don't fulfill the request. Then we're back in a long, protracted court case.
  • US Govt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by youngone (975102) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:03PM (#21524627)
    Sorry guys. Your system of Government has been up for sale for a long time now. The highest bidders are just sorting themselves out now. Democracy has ended in the US, is it now an oligarchy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy [wikipedia.org] or a Plutocracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy [wikipedia.org] ?
  • 00:00 [b]Bush:[/b] Hey, Cheney, get in here! I need you to help me figure something out here.
    00:10 [B]Cheney:[/b] What is it now?
    18:40 [B]Bush:[/b] That's brilliant! Get right on top of it!
    • 00:00 [b]Bush:[/b] Hey, Cheney, get in here! I need you to help me figure something out here.
      00:10 [B]Cheney:[/b] What is it now?
      18:40 [B]Bush:[/b] That's brilliant! Get right on top of it!
      18:41 Slashdot: Why is some idiot posting bbcode?
       

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