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Bush says U.S. not 'trolling through personal live


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#1    Sanjuro

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 08:57 PM

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Thursday the government is "not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans" with a reported program to create a massive database of U.S. phone calls.

"Our efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda and their known affiliates," Bush said. "The privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities."

Bush's comments came after USA Today reported Thursday that three telecommunication firms provided the National Security Agency with domestic telephone call records from millions of Americans beginning shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001. (Read what the reporter who broke the story says)

Bush did not specifically mention the newspaper's report. (Transcript of Bush's statement)

In response to the USA Today article, NSA spokesman Don Weber issued a statement saying, "Given the nature of the work we do, it would be irresponsible to comment on actual or alleged operational issues; therefore, we have no information to provide.

"However, it is important to note that NSA takes its legal responsibilities seriously and operates within the law." (Watch Bush on "what the government is doing" -- 2:24)

The report comes at an awkward time for CIA director nominee Gen. Michael Hayden, whom President Bush named this week to replace Porter Goss as head of the spy agency. Hayden, whose confirmation hearings are to begin next Thursday, headed the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005. Hayden on Thursday met with Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican whip, about his nomination.

Afterward, Hayden refused to comment about the report when meeting with reporters but said, "Everything that NSA does is lawful and very carefully done, and the appropriate members of the Congress -- both House and Senate -- are briefed on all NSA activities."

The report comes months after the Bush administration came under criticism on Capitol Hill for ordering an NSA surveillance program, that allowed communication to be monitored between people in the United States and terrorism suspects overseas without a court order.

Hayden headed the NSA when the wiretapping program was launched in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Lawmakers concerned

Members of Congress expressed concern Thursday about the report. (Watch angry senator say, "Shame on us" -- 3:56)

"It's our government, government of every single American -- Republican, Democrat or independent," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "... Those entrusted with great power have a duty to answer to Americans what they are doing."

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, said he would call on representatives from the companies named in the USA Today story; AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth; to testify.

However, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, told reporters he "strongly" agrees that the program is necessary, and said, "We'll discuss whether hearings are necessary."

In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, asked Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, for hearings into the program during a Thursday afternoon meeting.

Pelosi said the hearings should be conducted by the House Intelligence Committee because "those people have the clearance."

Pelosi declined to say how Hastert responded to her request.
Conservatives defend program

During a morning session, Republican members of the committee defended the legality and necessity of such a database.

The USA Today report said the program did not involve the NSA "listening to or recording conversations," a point that Sen. Jeff Sessions touched on.

"No recordings and no conversations were intercepted here, so there was no wiretapping here," the Alabama Republican said.

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona also faulted the revelation of the program as harmful to national security.

"This is nuts," Kyl said. "We are in a war and we've go to collect intelligence on the enemy, and you can't tell the enemy in advance how you are going to do it. And discussing all of this in public leads to that."
Hayden nomination to proceed

Despite the controversy, the White House intends to go "full steam ahead" with Hayden's nomination, Reuters reported.

"I think General Hayden has had a really good start to his confirmation process. He's met with several members, the feedback is positive and we're full steam ahead on his nomination," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters while traveling with President Bush to Mississippi.

Facing Senate confirmation hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 18, Hayden's meeting today with Republican Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were canceled.

The meeting with Santorum has been tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon, said Santorum aide Robert Traynham. "But the White House called it very tentative," Traynham said.
Investigation dropped

The Justice Department has been denied security clearances for access to information, which prompted it to drop an investigation into the program. (Full story)

The Democrats' No. 2 member of the Senate, Sen. Richard Durbin, called the development "evidence of a cover-up."

"The fact ... that the Department of Justice has abandoned their own investigation of this administration's wrongdoing because there's been a refusal to give investigators security clearances is clear evidence of a cover-up within the administration."

S

Well, just yesterday someone here in these forums said that US is not recording phone calls and its impossible.
And it was just as impossible as the torture and illegal arrests because of this " war on terror ", but it become true just like this phone call recording stuff..
What is going to be next "impossible" thing what will come up ?

Edited by Sanjuro, 11 May 2006 - 09:00 PM.

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#2    __Kratos__

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:00 PM

Hmm...funny...changing the title to suit your little anti-american needs... rolleyes.gif

The real title for this article is:

"Bush says U.S. not 'trolling through personal lives'"

Edited by __Kratos__, 11 May 2006 - 09:02 PM.

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#3    Sanjuro

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:04 PM

Quote


Hmm...funny...changing the title to suit your little anti-american needs...

The real title for this article is:

"Bush says U.S. not 'trolling through personal lives'"

If I would be an anti-american, I wouldnt care about americans and in what state do they live in.  mellow.gif

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#4    Magikman

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:25 PM

Quote



Well, just yesterday someone here in these forums said that US is not recording phone calls and its impossible.


What they are recording 'Sherlock' are connections between two phones, not the actual conversation that resulted from the call. Since your memory is so selective, let's review;

What you said If I'd be american and would say that I want to assassinate Bush while speaking on phone I would be in Guantanamo bay in a second.

My responseOver the years I've had plenty of conversations with friends/acquaintances over the phone where 'killing Bush', 'blowing up the White House' and other threatening comments were spewed consistantly and repeatedly with no 'ill' effects. Can you even grasp how many phone calls are made each day in the US? I don't care how many 'super computers' the FBI, CIA, NSA, ABCDEF has, they'd never be able to competently and completely monitor phone traffic.......

There's a big difference between tracking calls and recording the conversations of every phone call, it is impossible. They can tell you called whoever, but they wouldn't have a clue about what you talked about. That was the point I was making.

I've also changed the thread title to correctly reflect the wording used in the news story.

Edited by Magikman, 11 May 2006 - 10:14 PM.

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#5    Michelle

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:41 PM

I'm sorry, Sanjuro, but I don't get the impression that you care about the people of the US at all.

There are a lot of things going on in the world that should be of much more concern to you. You don't you care about the people starving in Africa, the situations in Egypt, Somalia or Sri Lanka?




#6    .AKUMA.

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:33 PM

Quote


I'm sorry, Sanjuro, but I don't get the impression that you care about the people of the US at all.


Sure he cares he just has a problem with your pathetic government






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#7    Michelle

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:44 PM

Is that why you troll, AKUMA? ...or is it just fun to rag on the US without really saying anything of any importance?

Are your parents perpetuating stereotypes of other countries and cultures or are you learning this from your peers?


#8    .AKUMA.

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:04 PM

Quote


Is that why you troll, AKUMA? ...or is it just fun to rag on the US without really saying anything of any importance?

Are your parents perpetuating stereotypes of other countries and cultures or are you learning this from your peers?



Stupid fool!!! my parents have nothing to do with this nor are they any sort of stereotypes.
i do not need to say anything of much importance to get my word through that your nation is run by a child minded, warmongering lunatic!



There is nothing really wrong with America itself nor do i disslike it in anyway. its your government thats the problem.



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#9    Michelle

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:14 PM

You learned it somewhere...I was merely curious where.

Seems like I touched a nerve, considering that you called me a "stupid fool".


#10    .AKUMA.

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:20 PM

nope i regulary call people that

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#11    Fluffybunny

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:33 PM

Quote


nope i regulary call people that


Not here you won't. Try it again and see what happens.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#12    E.B.E.

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:37 PM

Congressional Republicans and Democrats demanded answers from the Bush administration Thursday about a government spy agency secretly collecting records of ordinary Americans' phone calls to build a database of every call made within the country.

Facing intense criticism from Congress, President Bush did not confirm the work of the National Security Agency but sought to assure Americans that their privacy is being "fiercely protected."

"We are not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans," Bush said before leaving for a commencement address at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Biloxi. (Transcript)

The disclosure could complicate Bush's bid to win confirmation of former NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA director.

The top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said he was shocked by the revelation about the NSA.

"It is our government, it's not one party's government. It's America's government. Those entrusted with great power have a duty to answer to Americans what they are doing," Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

AT&T Corp., Verizon Communications Inc., and BellSouth Corp. telephone companies began turning over records of tens of millions of their customers' phone calls to the National Security Agency program shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said USA Today, citing anonymous sources it said had direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, said he would call the phone companies to appear before the panel "to find out exactly what is going on."

The companies said Thursday that they are protecting customers' privacy but have an obligation to assist law enforcement and government agencies in ensuring the nation's security. "We prize the trust our customers place in us. If and when AT&T is asked to help, we do so strictly within the law and under the most stringent conditions," the company said in a statement, echoed by the others.
No immediate response from NSA
The NSA and the Office of National Intelligence Director did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

NSA is the same spy agency that conducts the controversial domestic eavesdropping program that had been acknowledged earlier by Bush. The president said last year that he authorized the NSA to listen, without warrants, to international phone calls involving Americans suspected of terrorist links.

The report came as Hayden -- Bush's choice to take over leadership of the CIA -- had been scheduled to visit lawmakers on Capitol Hill Thursday. However, the meetings with Republican Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were postponed at the request of the White House, said congressional aides in the two Senate offices.

The White House offered no reason for the postponement to the lawmakers. Other meetings with lawmakers were still planned.

Hayden already faced criticism because of the NSA's secret domestic eavesdropping program. As head of the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005, Hayden also would have overseen the call-tracking program.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who has spoken favorably of the nomination, said the latest revelation "is also going to present a growing impediment to the confirmation of Gen. Hayden."

The NSA wants the database of domestic call records to look for any patterns that might suggest terrorist activity, USA Today said.

Don Weber, a senior spokesman for the NSA, told the paper that the agency operates within the law, but would not comment further on its operations.

One big telecommunications company, Qwest, has refused to turn over records to the program, the newspaper said, because of privacy and legal concerns.

Source:http://edition.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/11/nsa.phonerecords.ap/index.html


#13    Celumnaz

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:45 PM

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