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Government Privacy News

Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case 906

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 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 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 Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:34PM (#26580181) Homepage

    in this document [wired.com]? Does that look like his Attorney General's name to you? No, that's Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael F. Hertz, who served under Alberto Gonzales; Obama's AG hasn't been confirmed yet.

    The US government didn't magically transform itself at the stroke of noon on Tuesday.

  • 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 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.

  • Re:Calm Down. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Knara ( 9377 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:46PM (#26580425)
    See http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1102577&cid=26579795 [slashdot.org] This isn't even worth of "this sucks". It's almost a non-story. I'm sure that Wired is getting tons of ad impressions, though.
  • 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.
  • Re:Give it time (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:10PM (#26580853) Journal

    No, because propagating a really bad thing (when it's in your power to stop it) carries the same weight as starting a really bad thing. At the risk of someone crying Godwin, if someone had taken over for Hitler and continued his genocide against the Jews

    I am gonna cry Godwin. You are comparing industrialized mass murder to the United States spying on lawyers for a Saudi charity. Which country did 15 of 19 hijackers come from again? I have no lost love for Bush or policies like this (is this the "change" we can believe in?) but that doesn't make your comparison any less absurd.

  • Re:You are wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:20PM (#26581047) Homepage Journal

    Ahh but see, I said bad back then, and still bad now.

    But the headline is misleading anyway; this comment from the wired article sums things up nicely:

    Read the doc: it is a purely procedural document asking the court for more time. It has NOTHING to do with the substance of the government's position or whether the Obama admin takes the same position as the Bush admin. The title of the article and the inference the article makes is HIGHLY misleading. It may be literally true the new admin has taken the same position but it plays fast-and-loose with the actual facts to reach the conclusion that this article implies.

  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:56PM (#26581631)
    Actually most doctors are lousy at knowing when to say push. What we ARE paying for however is 40 weeks of OBGYN care, one delivery, an ultrasound, two days in a hospital room and one post-partum checkup.
  • 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 sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:51PM (#26582461)

    I submit to you the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
    http://www.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/index_e.asp [chrt-tcdp.gc.ca]

    Infamous for prosecuting people for words they write and say.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Marsell ( 16980 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:05PM (#26582663) Homepage

    Eight hour waiting lines?

    This is big news to me. Maybe I'm not living in the same Canada you're hearing about.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by graphicsguy ( 710710 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:16PM (#26582781)

    We also don't have eight hour waiting periods to be seen either

    I guess you've never had to visit the ER.

  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:32PM (#26582971)

    Nope; there's really no chance that happened at all. What actually happened is that the Obama Administration hasn't gotten to this yet in the whole 3 days he's been in office, and this decision was made before he got there by the current DOJ which is still being run by Bush appointees. Now, he may just do exactly as you say when the time comes, but blaming Obama for this one now is a little ridiculous. If you want to judge Obama for better or for worse, look at the executive orders he actually signed himself rather than a court document that has his name nowhere on it.

  • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @09:40PM (#26584309) Homepage

    Maybe you don't have long waiting lines in Toronto and Montreal. But when my dad lost his vision it took four weeks until he could see his neurologist. When my sister developed a RSI it took her six months to see a specialist, and ended her music performance career.

    So you can take your 'waiting lines are just a myth' and shove it.

  • by wwf ( 126101 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @11:31PM (#26585033)
    Also citing Health care In Canada [wikipedia.org]

    A physician cannot charge a fee for a service that is higher than the negotiated rate - even to patients who are not covered by the publicly funded system - unless he opts out of billing the publicly funded system altogether.

    So the New York Times article is wrong. I as a Canadian can pay for any health care service if I can find a willing doctor that has opted out of the system. In major population centers you can find these doctors. However the largest set of doctors that have opted out of the system are in the USA.

  • by rhakka ( 224319 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:01AM (#26585523)

    did you read the whole article?

    they have better life expectancy and infant mortality than america: while spending nearly 5.3% less of GDP and 1.8% less of total government revenue, and using that reduced amount to pay 24% more of their citizens health care costs. We do have more physicians and more nurses, but apparently that isn't helping us live longer or saving our babies.

    In Canada, you wait when you need care. In America, you wait to find out if you need care until it's an emergency. Is that really an improvement?

  • by Clandestine_Blaze ( 1019274 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @05:34AM (#26586823) Journal

    I stated a fact. The bill of rights only protects citizens of the USA. It doesn't protect anyone else. That doesn't mean that foreigners should not have any protections, or that the Bill of Rights shouldn't apply. It doesn't and legislation would have to be made to make it apply. Although you would be correct in that I don't think all of it should apply. I am surprised you got modded up as "Insightful". I think a better modding would have been: "Inciteful".

    You did NOT state a fact. You stated your personal belief. That does not make it a fact, no matter how hard you try. Tell me where in the Bill of Rights it says that it applies ONLY to U.S. Citizens?

    Ninth Amendment - Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Did you see the word citizen in there? There was a reason why the founding fathers specifically used the word PEOPLE and not CITIZENS. If the Bill of Rights only applied to U.S. Citizens, then the Government could just strip away your citizenship and do whatever the hell it wanted to you.

    In fact, if you read any of the Amendments that compose the Bill of Rights, you will not see the word citizen, but only people. Citizenship is not implied. As long as you are legally on U.S. soil, or are being held in the capacity of the U.S. Government, you have rights.

    Bill of Rights [wikipedia.org]

    The Bill of Rights prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, affirms an individual right to keep and bear arms and prohibits the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

    Again, please inform us where it ONLY applies to citizens?

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen