stackemhigh wrote:I'm not even sure that what you pulled out can be considered boilerplate. I don't know many colleagues that would consider matters of international intelligence and national security boilerplate.
This is what they included in the law.
It is the sense of Congress that officers and employees of the intelligence community of the Federal Government, acting within the course of their official duties, should be encouraged, and should make every effort, to establish and maintain intelligence relationships with any person, entity, or group for the purpose of engaging in lawful intelligence activities, including the acquisition of information on the identity, location, finances, affiliations, capabilities, plans, or intentions of a terrorist or terrorist organization, or information on any other person, entity, or group (including a foreign government) engaged in harboring, comforting, financing, aiding, or assisting a terrorist or terrorist organization.
Seriously, this needed to be included into the law?
Was this in doubt. If so,
That's why it is boilerplate.
stackemhigh wrote: If there's one clause in a law that grants the government massive latitude in domestic surveillance, it isn't as if the boilerplate language cancels out the effectiveness of the abilities granted elsewhere in the law.
I agree, but as I said. The cynic in me says it is put in there, not because there was any doubt that Congress didn't believe that the intelligence activities should try to acquire information on the identity of terrorists, but because it provides political cover for whatever they are trying to do. That is not always proof of wrong doing.
stackemhigh wrote:An yes, when Michael Moore makes a movie about something, it means liberals are outraged.
Or it means he sees a way to make a buck by stirring outrage through lies and misleading editing.
stackemhigh wrote:One of the statutes (18 U.S.C. § 2709) it was amending was ruled unconstitutional by a district court earlier this year.
And Obamacare was ruled constitutional. This appeal to the court as an authority is problematic since it is so obviously flawed. That is a sad state of affairs, and a bad argument.
stackemhigh wrote:My point is that people rarely stick to their principles.
You presume they had principles to start with. That is your flaw. Politicians rarely have principles beyond what is good for me is by definition good for everyone.
stackemhigh wrote: Whether it's Bush ignoring the 4th amendment or Obama ignoring the 2nd, the people should be more objective and criticize both.
I agree completely. There is just a large difference between what Obama is doing and what Bush was known to have been doing. You are presuming that if Bush were known at the time to be doing the same thing, this is what you would see. There is some defense of what Obama is doing and the criticism is not one sided either. I have yet to see a direct comparison of quotes where a politician was clearly for it before he was against it. Of course, what is that "it" that we are talking about is also not clear at all.
A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of the country. The statesman wished to steer, while the politician was satisfied to drift.