Yearly Archives: 2005

Can the government spy on citizens without a warrant?

President Bush’s decision to allow the super-secret National Security Agency to spy on Americans without court warrants has touched off stormy debate about his aggressive approach to the war on terror. This clash – between civil libertarians and the administration’s … Continue reading

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An insidious culture of surveillance

In a basically free society, abuses of civil and human rights often initially make sense, which appears to have been the case when President Bush took his baby steps toward a system of warrant-free, electronic surveillance of persons inside the … Continue reading

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VCS Weekly Update: President Authorizes Spying on Americans

Veterans for Common Sense End-of-Year Fundraising Campaign Goal: $20,000Raised: $7,900Pledged: $2,950 Almost halfway there! Help us meet our goal by December 31. VCS Bumper stickers, t-shirts and more. December 22, 2005 Dear VCS Members and Supporters: A political crisis is … Continue reading

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Arizona Senator decries Defense earmarks for games, museums

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Tuesday decried as “obscene” and “disgraceful” millions of dollars in earmarks in the fiscal 2006 Defense appropriations conference agreement and criticized colleagues for an excess of local and special interest items in the $453.5 billion spending … Continue reading

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What Torture Does to Torturers

Last week, President Bush agreed to legislation banning cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of prisoners in US custody. His U-turn ended months of debate about the ethics of torture. Now come revelations that the White House approved eavesdropping on American … Continue reading

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Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest

A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush’s secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources. U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members … Continue reading

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Add-Ons To Defense Bill Ill-Serve Troops And America

The U.S. House of Representatives wrapped up 2005 by adopting a $453 billion budget for the 2006 Defense Appropriations Act. It is now left up to the U.S. Senate to decide which amendments to include or not include in its … Continue reading

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McCain says some torture justified

Sen. John McCain, who pushed the White House to support a ban on torture, suggested Sunday that harsh treatment of a terrorism suspect who knew of an imminent attack would not violate international standards. The Arizona Republican said legislation before … Continue reading

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Shocking The Conscience Of America

If the events I am about to describe were taking place in a movie, or novel, I would lose my ability to suspend disbelief: Who could conceive of an American President and Vice President demanding that Congress give them authority … Continue reading

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’78 Law Sought to Close Spy Loophole

In 1978, Congress thought it had closed a loophole in the law when it passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The loophole concerned secret spying authorized by the president on grounds of national security.     On Friday, many in Washington were … Continue reading

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