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Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case 906

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the disappointment-for-civil-liberties dept.
palegray.net is one of many who writes "President Obama has publicly sided with the Bush administration on the question of whether the President should be allowed to establish warrantless wiretapping programs designed to monitor US citizens. The President has asked a federal judge to stay a ruling that would allow key evidence into the domestic spying case against the government. 'Thursday's filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration's warrantless-eavesdropping program.'" jamie points out that Obama's views and opinions were made clear through his Senate vote and numerous public statements, but many others see this as a disappointing start to an administration promising transparency and openness.
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Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case

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  • by Kludge (13653) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:00PM (#26579585)

    So much for not sacrificing ideals for safety.

    Asshole.

    • by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:04PM (#26579653) Journal

      The tragic optimist in me wants to say that Obama doesn't want to open that particular can of worms until he and his staff have had a chance to really examine what's involved.

      That's an admittedly optimistic view, though. I'm still worried how it will actually pan out.
      =Smidge=

      • by gnick (1211984) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:06PM (#26579703) Homepage

        The cracks are showing.

        It will come as a shock to some that, even though Obama has taken office, a lot of the nation is overcast today. We still have to pay to go to the doctor. Dog poo does not yet smell like peppermint. And I've yet to get a raise or better offer this week.

        I like the guy and, although some of his plans make me nervous (I'm a pretty staunch fiscal conservative), I'm optimistic that he'll do a good job. But it is kind of satisfying to see him reveal that he's not quite the guy that so many people see up on that pedestal.

        • by hobbit (5915) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:15PM (#26579855)

          a lot of the nation is overcast today. We still have to pay to go to the doctor. Dog poo does not yet smell like peppermint.

          As someone who lives in a country with a National Health Service, it tickles me to see it sandwiched between two "impossible ideals".

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bencoder (1197139)

            oh you pay for it. and if you don't go to the doctor much, you probably pay more for it than you would if it was private.

            • And yet, just like most Americans, he has access to shit TV, unhealthy snacks, cheap drugs and legal pornography. What's the downside again?
              • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:17PM (#26580985) Journal

                What's the downside again?

                Higher taxes, more governmental control over our lives and less individual freedom?

                • by mweather (1089505) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:25PM (#26581119)
                  Can you give an example of this government control and loss of freedom in, for example, Canada? And can you explain why they have about the same taxes (I'll give you a hint, the last people they invaded was US.)
                  • by dwarfking (95773) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:00PM (#26581685) Homepage

                    Citing Health care In Canada [wikipedia.org]

                    A February 28, 2006 article in The New York Times stated, "Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment...Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services."

                    emphasis mine. Canadian citizens are not allowed, by law, to spend their own money to receive medical treatment if they desire to, unless of course they go across the border into the United States. Which makes sense, because

                    According to a 2007 article from CTV News, the Canadian medical profession is suffering from a brain drain. The article states, "One in nine trained-in-Canada doctors is practising medicine in the United States... If Canadian-educated doctors who were born in the U.S. are excluded, the number is one in 12."

                    The doctors themselves are leaving to work in the US.

                    • by Manchot (847225) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:45PM (#26582365)

                      A February 28, 2006 article in The New York Times stated, "Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment...Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services."

                      emphasis mine. Canada is the exception, not the rule.

                    • by joggle (594025) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:57PM (#26583257) Homepage Journal

                      And they aren't denied in the US? Senior citizens have a high rate of being uninsured in the US you know. However, I don't think the UK has the best healthcare plan in Europe (France probably has the best).

                      They must be doing something right in Europe though because every country I've checked on the CIA's factbook has a higher life expectancy for both men and women and a lower rate of infant mortality than the US.

                    • My US born wife lives with me in Canada. When she was living down in the states, she was a retail worker who made retail worker wages. Her health insurance through her employer cost her 500$/month.

                      Making some reasonable assumptions for hourly salary and assuming she was working a full 40 hrs (she usually didn't), that means she was paying 28% of her salary for health care.

                      Put another way, in Canada with the same income, she'd be paying 25% for her whole income tax load. Therefore her health insurance ALONE was costing her more then her entire income tax burden in Canada. (I made the assumption she was living in an expensive province, with the highest provincial tax rate, her taxes would be lower in most other provinces).

                      We just had our first daughter. The entire out of pocket cost was 300$, because we upgraded to a private room. My wife was pre-eclamptic, which meant they needed to induce. We spent 4 days in Labour and Delivery due to complications, with 24 hr specialist nursing care (they sat in our room most of the time, and were 15 seconds away when they weren't).

                      After 4 days of complications the doctors recommended a C-section (our choice to do it or not), we accepted their recommendation and my wife was C-sectioned. Our daughter had a touch of Jaundice, so they wheeled a light unit into our room and we spent another 4 days in the hospital.

                      My wife is of the opinion that even with good medical coverage in the states (like the package that I was offered when I looked for work down there), we'd be out of pocket probably 10K in co-pays for the whole experience (we were high risk, so there were about 10 ultrasounds, 4 cardiac exams, etc). Let me repeat that number again: 300$ out of pocket, and it would have been 0 if we hadn't decided on a private room for the last part of our stay (Labour and Delivery was private anyways, so those days don't count).

                      Now in my particular case, most years, yes, I probably am a net contributor to the medical system, given my salary. I'm OK with that, knowing that someone else who goes through what we went through will have the same care I and my wife did. Being proud of my country counts for something, and I'll pay for that feeling.

                      Min

                    • by Skjellifetti (561341) on Friday January 23, 2009 @10:40PM (#26584685) Journal
                      TANSTAAFL [wikipedia.org]: When you do not use private markets to ration health care, you must still ration health care. In Norway (based on what a Norwegian friend tells me), health care to the elderly is rationed by assuming all old folks have consented to "Do Not Revive" orders. If you do want to be revived if you are old and obviously dieing, then you are expected to pay for the added cost. This is not unreasonable. Norwegian society has decided that it is not willing to bear the expenses in these cases, but will pay for others (e.g. young adults with cancer). This is not unjust since all health care is rationed everywhere, it is merely a different way of rationing health care than our U.S. market system which is content to let anyone die who cannot pay the bills for their own treatments.

                      A better way to think about which system has better outcomes is to pretend that you have not yet been born. You do not know if you will be born into a rich family or a poor one. You do not know if you will be given healthy genes that give you the opportunity to live to 100 or a cancer gene that will kick in when you are 12. Which health care system would you prefer to be born into? One that you pay for through taxes, that guarantees everyone a basic level of care, and covers major problems up to some age or cost limit (many Euro countries) or one that each person is expected to pay for themselves based on their own personal medical history and, well, too bad if you were, say, born with diabetes (the U.S. system)?
            • So? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by FatSean (18753) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:29PM (#26580117) Homepage Journal

              I don't go to church, but I pay so others can go even though I think it is a hateful waste of time.

              I am a product of my society, and have no problem giving back some of my wealth to help my less fortunate fellow citizens.

              I do not agree with most 'welfare' programs that hand out money, but health care is worth the cost.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by bencoder (1197139)
                Since you said that, I take it that if the government didn't force you to give your money towards health care, then you'd be willing to give some of it up voluntarily to a charity that deals with health care for the poor, or your local hospital?

                yes: what makes you think others don't feel the same? Or are you superior to everyone else?

                no: then you are a hypocrite, using authority to force people to do what you want when you wouldn't even do it yourself.
                • Re:So? (Score:5, Funny)

                  by LandDolphin (1202876) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:46PM (#26580431)
                  It's like a choose you own adventure post
                • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:23PM (#26583569)

                  no: then you are a hypocrite

                  False. It's the sort of thing that only works if everyone does it. This relates to the concept of cooperative play in game theory, and one of the reasons why we have an evolutionary drive towards tribalism.

                  Think of it this way. Let's say five of us have access to a fishery. It can indefinitely support each of us catching one fish per week. If any of us overfish it, however, then the fishery goes dry (i.e. runs out of fish) and is permanently destroyed.

                  We understand that this is the case, and would like to keep it indefinitely. Are we just going to restrict ourselves out of own volition? Of course not; it doesn't work. All it takes is one guy to decide to overfish it, and the fishery is destroyed. In fact, you know of several people who will overfish it unless they are stopped.

                  So are you a hypocrite if you overfish it? Not at all. It's going to be destroyed by your neighbors; you may as well take what you can.

                  The only way this can work is if we ALL agree to band together: should anyone step out of line, the rest of us have to punish that person. In tribal times, this would simply be violence or death; nowadays it's prison or a fine. With this system, we can work together, and the fishery can be sustained indefinitely.

                  You can see in this example why you have such a wide range of base instincts and why they are so useful. This is why people are altruistic; it is necessary for this scenario to happen. This is why these same people are vengeful; possibility (or certainty) of revenge or punishment is a strong disincentive towards taking advantage of someone.

                  As an aside note, this is *exactly* how wildlife regulations currently work in the civilized world. You have an allotment of fish or mammals you are allowed to fish or hunt; if you poach, you get a fine or prison.

                  Like your 'donations' scheme, it only works if everyone does it. I'm not going to donate to health care in a two tier system when a negligible percentage of the population does it. It won't make a difference and I'm wasting my money.

                  If you haven't guessed, I am Canadian, and I like the system we have here. I am never sick, but I am more than happy to pay my share, because everyone does. We are a better country for it.

              • Re:So? (Score:4, Interesting)

                by plague3106 (71849) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:42PM (#26580353)

                I do not agree with most 'welfare' programs that hand out money, but health care is worth the cost.

                No, it's not. Not until people are expected to take reasonable care of themselves. People aren't "hardwired" to eat more today any more than they were 50 years ago. It's a personal choice, and people like to sugar coat the truth or say "it's not your fault," but if you're obese, its YOUR fault and YOU need to get your diet under control. Instead of making excuses (or letting others do it for them) these people need to act.

                Until that happens, I'm not going to support national health care. And before you tell me it costs more to treat other symptoms related to obesity, I say cut off health care to treat those as well. You want to be fat and get diabetes? Fine, don't expect anyone to help you pay your related medical bills.

                • Re:So? (Score:5, Funny)

                  by staryc (852301) <`melissavoegeliMN' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:53PM (#26580591)

                  It's a personal choice, and people like to sugar coat the truth or say "it's not your fault," but if you're obese, its YOUR fault and YOU need to get your diet under control.

                  These are the same people that probably sugar coat the truth and then eat it.

                • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:02PM (#26580729)

                  Until that happens, I'm not going to support national health care.

                  You're already supporting national health care. It's just not universal health care. The US government spends more per capita on health care than many countries, including Canada. But instead of putting money into the pockets of doctors, you're putting money into the pockets of insurance company shareholders.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by JCSoRocks (1142053)
                You pay so others can go? I'm confused, how is church payed for by the government? It's a tax-exempt organization, but it doesn't get free government handouts. Churches are funded by their members. That's completely different than free health care provided by the government.
              • by mangu (126918) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:22PM (#26581075)

                I am a product of my society, and have no problem giving back some of my wealth to help my less fortunate fellow citizens.

                You are free to do so, I also believe in that, may I recommend the organization I use do distribute my wealth? [salvationarmy.org]

                I also give some of my money to a health insurance policy. Everyone who believes in having some security against unforeseen health problems are also free to do so. But I also believe in freedom of choice. I'm free to choose the exact level of protection I want. I don't want to be spoon-fed with a health insurance plan.

                Did I make a wrong choice? Ooops! Perhaps I didn't have the health insurance I needed, perhaps I crossed the street at the wrong time, perhaps I ate the wrong mushroom. But at least it was *MY* choice, I'd rather die of a disease my health insurance didn't cover than from a disease the State Health Insurance Plan didn't provide for.

                • by cowscows (103644) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:28PM (#26582103) Journal

                  You cross the street at the wrong time and a car sends you flying across the sidewalk. Someone calls 911, the EMS arrives to find you still alive but unconscious. Should they check your wallet and see if you've got health insurance before putting you into the ambulance? Should they call the insurance company that you've chosen and see what sort of coverage they provide for this sort of thing? What if you don't have an insurance card on you? Should they assume that you've chosen not to buy insurance and leave you there to die?

                  And that's not even getting into the the huge group of people who would like to have health insurance but can't afford it for themselves and/or their families.

                  All that being said, I think it very unlikely that a US universal healthcare system would involve a mandatory state level insurance plan. It's waaaay more likely that you'll be free to choose from any of the private healthcare companies that you can afford, as well as there being financial assistance available for those who couldn't afford it on their own.

                • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:51PM (#26583197)

                  But at least it was *MY* choice, I'd rather die of a disease my health insurance didn't cover than from a disease the State Health Insurance Plan didn't provide for.

                  See, in a decent public health-care system, it doesn't work that way. Basically everything is covered. Sure, many actual medications may require you to pay some of their costs, but that's about it. Sure, some quality-of-life exceptions are made (some chiropractic treatments for instance), but basically anything life-threatening that you need, you get.

                  Isn't it better to know that nationally, everyone's paying on average what they should? That the averaging effect ensures that those who can afford to pay a little more do, and those that can't don't, while everyone gets treated well regardless? That there isn't a question of your coverage being insufficient... you're just treated because you're ill?

                  Doesn't it sound like a Good Idea to have the system operate as a non-profit, with no Insurance Company middle-man getting rich by denying services whenever and wherever he can? Doesn't it sound SMART to not have an adversarial relationship between the sick and those who can make him better? Doesn't it sound wise to send 100% of whatever you pay into a system goes to the actual health-care provider, and none of it to some magic company who wants their (very significant) cut?

                  National health care might not be perfect but it does cut out all layers of greed.

                  Finally, I'd like to add that Canada's doctor brain-drain has come to be primarily because we imposed a cap on the number of reimbursable treatments per year an individual doctor could make. This was done primarily to make sure doctors weren't scamming the system and pumping through a hundred "clients" per day. If you're capped at a very, very reasonable salary, there's no point in gaming the system. Sure you can still treat people quickly and badly to artificially increase your $/hr but the overall $ don't increase.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:47PM (#26580435)

              oh you pay for it. and if you don't go to the doctor much, you probably pay more for it than you would if it was private.

              Exactly why we shouldn't allow this sort of thing in America! For that matter, when did my taxes start subsidizing wasteful government spending on things like fire departments and the army? My house is not on fire or being invaded by a foreign country, so why should I have to pay for those things?
              Obviously what we should do instead is set up multiple competing private institutions with the goal of making a profit through distributing the costs of those services across arbitrary subsets of the population while also artificially inflating those costs...duh!

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DeathFlame (839265)
              As someone else who indirectly pays for it, it might be more than it costs of it was private, but at least everyone has access to it, and uses it. No one is scared to call the doctor for fear that the problems will be too expensive.
            • by frieko (855745) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:55PM (#26580615)
              Actually most developed nations with universal health care pay about HALF what we do per capita. Germany tops out the list at about 75%. I can't say that nationalizing would make it cheaper, but I can't imagine it possibly getting any worse.
          • by Necreia (954727) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:28PM (#26580085)
            Clearly you've not had a Dog who has eaten all the Candy Canes on a Christmas Tree.
    • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#26579677)
      Realistically, though, this isn't a change in what we know (or should have known, for those who didn't know this). All Obama has accomplished is shown any supporters who were still blind enough to believe him (after his Senate vote, no less) that he really doesn't support our rights like he claimed he did. His only possible excuse for his actions, that it might sabotage his campaign, has been removed, but his actions have not changed. Surprise, surprise.
      • by happyslayer (750738) <david@isisltd.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:17PM (#26579875)

        By temperament and voter registration, I'm a Republican; however, I voted for (and hope for) an Obama win because the path the government has taken over the last 7-8 years has saddened and disgusted me. I'm glad he won.

        But, I am not a "believer." Now that the opposing party is in charge (just like the GOP was for all those years) it's going to be hard for them to put away all those neat new toys that Bush & Co. left behind. This is because it's hard for the party on top to admit that a power or capability is too dangerous to use (dangerous as in potentially or outright abusive of Constitutional rights.)

        If there were ever a prime time to hold your government's feet to the fire over policy, now is the time to do it. Otherwise, it will be fait accompli, and we'll start hearing things from this administration (and its supporters) like, "But we're not Bush; we're better than him!"

        Just my inflation-adjusted 2 cents...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)

        Actually, it just demonstrates that you believed the summary because it said what you wanted to hear and didn't actually read the document in question and thus don't know what his actions are.

        Yeah I'm surprised too.

    • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:09PM (#26579739) Homepage Journal

      The US has devolved into a place where safety trumps constitutional authorization, judicial honesty, liberty, and honor.

      The government might as well change the national motto to "Safety at Any Cost."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:15PM (#26579835)

      Warrantless wiretaps are good now. You see, they weren't good before. But they are good now.

      Anyone who can't see that is a racist reactionary.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:19PM (#26579937)

      Oh come on, it took an entire 3 days for him to officially step on that promise, I think he's doing better than bush already!

    • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:24PM (#26580015) Journal

      The summary and the article it links to make it seem like much more of a big deal than it actually is:

      http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/files/alharamainobama.pdf [wired.com]

      It's a procedural motion for a stay pending appeal. It's not a policy endorsement, it's them looking to have the judge's ruling put on hold until appeals are over.

      That's not to say that Obama won't wind up agreeing with Bush on this, just that this particular filing doesn't actually indicate that.

      • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:47PM (#26580441) Homepage Journal
        I read a few of the comments following this story, and they all seem to have a similar theme of having a fairly negative POV about Obama's stand on this issue.

        Rather than simply bitch about your spin on this, lets look at why he is doing this. IANAL, but it seems to me that he is holding on to secret information pending the outcome of legal process to determine if it is admissible evidence. This would seem to be prudent, as if it is admitted as evidence, it is no long really secret. Any lawyers out there, please jump if I am getting this wrong.
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:40PM (#26580319) Homepage

      I don't see how requesting a stay in a case involving the potential release of classified information and for which there were in-progress appeals at the moment his government took over is the same as endorsing Bush's wiretapping program...

      Sounds to me more like they need more time to consider the case, and don't want state secrets released by default in the meantime. The only thing I see that is in agreement with Bush is that executive privilege exists.

  • by jcnnghm (538570) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:01PM (#26579601)

    Finally, change we can believe in!

    • by Slammer64 (1031980) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#26579689)

      Finally, change we can believe in!

      Just because he promised "change" doesn't mean it'll be a "good" change!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)

      one friend didn't vote because, as he sees it...

      "It doesn't matter who shits in the chair, we're all going to get covered anyway".

      Guess he was right on that one.

    • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:47PM (#26580447) Homepage

      Finally, change we can believe in!

      Not to defend Obama on this particular issue, but here's a brief recap of what he's done since becoming president, 72 whole hours ago:

      1. Halted the questionable legal proceedings against people held at Guantanamo Bay
      2. Ordered the shutdown of the prison at Guantamo Bay
      3. Ordered the shutdown of CIA "black sites"
      4. Ordered the CIA to stick to the Army Field Manual for interrogation purposes (read: no more torture)
      5. Overturned Bush's order to limit release of presidential records and FOIA documentation
      6. Began diplomatic overtures to Iran
      7. Began talking to Israel, Palestine, Egypt, etc, to hasten resolution of the Israel/Palestine violence
      8. Rescinded the Mexico City "gag rule" on government aid to agencies that provide information on abortion
      9. Froze white house salaries at existing levels
      10. Passed an executive order banning ex-White House personnel from lobbying the White House until after Obama is out of office
      11. Inquired about extending the use of open source software in government

      So do these things qualify as "change"? I'd say so. Certainly none of these things would have happened with a Republican still in the White House.

  • Oxen (Score:4, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:03PM (#26579633)

    many others see this as a disappointing start to an administration promising transparency and openness.

    Well now, that depends on who is being held open now, doesn't it?

  • Give it time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gatkinso (15975) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#26579691)

    Obama might not always be right.

    Bush might not have always been wrong.

    There just might be a valid reason for this (then again there might not be).

    They guy has been in office less than a week. Progress has already been made.

    • Re:Give it time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:11PM (#26579765)

      There just might be a valid reason for this (then again there might not be).

      I can't imagine any valid reason for spying on our citizens without a warrant, personally. Or interfering with justice for those who had been violated. Maybe it exists, but I find that hard to believe.

      They guy has been in office less than a week. Progress has already been made.

      As of right now, progress is nil. He did some good things so far, but this is a really bad thing. Net gain: none.

      • Re:Give it time (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@@@gmail...com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:18PM (#26579897) Homepage Journal
        Net gain: none.

        I've been seeing this "scoreboard" meme regarding Obama on a couple of FP stories now.

        Discussing politics as a zero-sum game is stupid. It's that kind of mentality that entrenches the two-party system and helps keep one of the biggest and richest nations on earth from actually getting any shit done.
      • Re:Give it time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:50PM (#26580511)

        I can't imagine any valid reason for spying on our citizens without a warrant, personally. Or interfering with justice for those who had been violated. Maybe it exists, but I find that hard to believe.

        Read the PDF that the Obama administration actually filed before drawing any conclusions here.

        The PDF they filed is simply an argument over the mundane details of court procedure, the rules of evidence, which court should see the appeal, etc.

        Granted it has the effect of bolstering Bush's defense, but so what?

        If the police try to get evidence admitted on a child molester, but there is a problem with the evidence, and Obama shows up and says, well the child molester is arguing that the evidence can't be admitted and our legal analysis concludes the same thing... what then?

        Obama is siding with child molestors? Get fucking real. As destestable as child molestors and warrantless government surveillance is, the rule of law protecting them should be observed.

        This blog article is just bad journalism.

        As of right now, progress is nil. He did some good things so far, but this is a really bad thing. Net gain: none.

        Agreeing with Bush's interpretation of the law isn't a really bad thing, especially if that's what the laws say. Ask a lawyer, not a blogger to determine whether its bad or not. And if the law itself is the problem, ask that he change it so that in future we can do better, but don't ask him to break it just to prosecute Bush.

    • Indeed. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FatSean (18753)

      Let us think back to Bush's speeches and promises, and how he failed on nearly every one.

      But, the people who screamed 'traitor' at the anti-war activist and supported Bush to the bitter end have suddenly found the ability to criticize our president during wartime.

      The HURRRRRRRRRRRRrrrtastic tags tell the story of astro-turfing conservatives.

      At least this economy has the low-income trailer-park republicans finally signing up to fight their war.

    • by kalirion (728907) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:27PM (#26580063)

      Bush might not have always been wrong.

      You take that back. YOU TAKE THAT BACK RIGHT NOW1!!!1!

  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:09PM (#26579749) Journal

    "Don't be evil*"

    *for small values of "evil"

  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:12PM (#26579795) Journal

    That's a very misleading way to state it. What happened, was, the Obama people asked for a stay of the Judge's motion pending appeal.

    It's not an endorsement, as you might think from the summary and linked article, of the policy. It's a procedural move.

    I'm not saying that Obama doesn't or won't back Bush's view. Just that this particular filing doesn't support that conclusion in a meaningful way.

  • by lpangelrob (714473) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:16PM (#26579865)

    Everything you do pisses everyone off, equally! [nationalreview.com]

    Really, I'm just withholding comment until some form of long-term context is established.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Really, I'm just withholding comment until some form of long-term context is established.

      Pray tell then, what the hell are you doing on Slashdot? ;) And me out of friends slots....
  • by PortHaven (242123) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:17PM (#26579883) Homepage

    Get what you voted...

    I wonder what they think of the missiles that hit Pakistan today? I am sure they were approved by the President. You know, the "O" not the "W".

  • by Lendrick (314723) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:17PM (#26579887) Homepage Journal

    The fact that he asked for a stay doesn't indicate much of anything, particularly since a lot of the people at the DOJ right now are Bush appointees (you know the type) who really need to be fired ASAP. By all means, we should be making as much noise about this as possible, but it doesn't automatically mean that Obama is pro-wiretapping.

  • Uh.. Hello! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phrackwulf (589741) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:19PM (#26579923) Homepage

    This is so obviously FUD. The administration ordered a stay on all pending regulation and issues from the Bush Administration and this case happens to be one of them. So, what does someone looking to nail Obama do.. "oh well, they aren't immediately disavowing this terrible, terrible injustice, therefore, well they must be complicit!" Shake, stir, and toss to the usual gang of idiots on Slashdot and voila.. A major out of context brouhahah is born! Get a grip, morons.

  • I knew it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thule (9041) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:24PM (#26580025) Homepage

    It was politics all along.

    A court just recently affirmed the legality of it. Obama continues in the tradition.

    The reality is that this stuff has done on for decades. The tradition is that any intelligence collected could not be used to build a case against a US citizen. It is not admissible in court. You cannot be prosecuted based on the intelligence.

    Call Detail Records and metadata are owned by the telco's and are therefore proprietary and not private. They can do whatever they want with them.

    The *only* thing that has changed is that the wall between the FBI and the NSA built during the Clinton administration was torn down. NSA/CIA can now give leads to the FBI that can be taken to a FISA court. The court can provide a retroactive warrant. Only after FISA court approval can the FBI and the Justice Department use the lead to build a case.

  • Calm Down. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:30PM (#26580131) Homepage Journal

    Folks,

    This sucks. However let's keep in mind that the order to close the detention/torture center at Gitmo has gone out, and to close the CIA detention centers, and the order to err on the side of disclosure in FOIA cases.

    Let's keep in mind that it's a request for stay, not the last word. But it looks like Obama isn't on our side regarding this issue, and we might have to work for a long time to win it. Consider what we are winning so far, and keep on working. We were never going to get a candidate elected who agreed with us on everything.

    Bruce

  • by rsborg (111459) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:35PM (#26580219) Homepage
    Please read the dkos comment on this story describing a different view here [dailykos.com]:

    I took a look at the filing referenced. The only thing that happened as far as Obama is concerned is that he was substituted for Bush as a party, under the applicable federal rule. Otherwise, this filing was made by the Bush DOJ. Let's all recall that Eric Holder hasn't even cleared the Judiciary Committee yet before we start saying that Obama is going to continue with the "unitary executive" theory.

    This is much ado about nothing. Take my word for it. I play a lawyer in real life.

    My take: let's wait this out. It's very important to keep in line, but keep in mind that the AG and new justice dept. aren't even appointed.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:35PM (#26580229) Homepage Journal

    Let's hypothesize that Bush/Obama are acting in good faith, and let's use as many weasel words in their favor as possible.

    That leaves us with a situation where it appears (apparently deceptively) that the government broke the law. The government does not want a court to review their actions to clear them of this wrongful accusation, because the evidence is a national security secret and could result in the deaths of many secret agents and programs and an inability to gather foreign intelligence in the future.

    It is insufficient to seal this evidence and let the court review it behind closed doors, because...

    I come up with a total blank. What am I missing? They think the judge will blab to Osama? I can't come up with a best case scenario that doesn't involve something ridiculous.

  • by McBeer (714119) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:36PM (#26580241) Homepage

    Obama is blocking almost every policy matter still pending from Bush. [bloomberg.com] This is just one of many issues being blocked until the Obama administration can get caught up and take an official stance on it. He may well "side with Bush", but he hasn't really done so yet.

  • More FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sta7ic (819090) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:45PM (#26580401)

    I think it's unfair to react knee-jerk to this and denounce the new President. He's been there for three whole days and is probably still learning where all the conference rooms and restrooms are. Jumping into the middle of an ongoing court case and having the lawyers completely overhaul the strategy that they've been working on for months or years would be one of the easiest ways to throw a monkey wrench into existing operations without having a full grasp of the entirety of the issue.

    Give him six months, and THEN give him hell for supporting warrantless [and unconstitutional] wiretaps.

  • by almitchell (1237520) <seadem AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:56PM (#26580629)
    ...that maybe, just maybe, Obama did this because when he finally got to the throne he learned the reasons this made it out there in the first place? That maybe, just maybe, there might be something, or some reason, that the mighty Slashdotters don't know? That when he sat down with everyone, he sat back and said "Oh, gee whiz, I hadn't realized that was why Bush & Co. did that. now I get it. Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't screw with it."

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

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