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What you do in Vegas stays in your file
January 7, 2004 8:55 PM   Subscribe

The FBI has been given increased surveillance powers without court oversight under the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, which was signed into law on the day Saddam was captured. The law was recently used to have hotels and airlines in Las Vegas turn over guest and passenger names and information for the holiday period.
posted by homunculus (35 comments total)

 
Big deal. Big fucking deal. You know what we, as americans are going to do about this? Not a goddamn thing. Nothing. Zip, nada, zilch.

It appears that it's time to piss on the admiral and call in the boats. We're done as a nation. We've all settled our big fat asses into our lazy chairs, grabbed our cheezy doodles and turned on the nascar race.

So there you go all you republicrats. Hey, 200 and some odd years isn't bad. Not bad at all.

So long America. Thanks for the memories.
posted by damnitkage at 9:25 PM on January 7, 2004


It seems, to me, like this trend should be opposed.
posted by troutfishing at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2004


Nah, I'm happy having my post office considered a financial institution for purposes of spying on me.
posted by Hildago at 9:34 PM on January 7, 2004


Republican Hypocrisy:

But Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota), who opposed the legislation, told the House, "It is clear the Republican leadership and the administration would rather expand on the USA Patriot Act through deception and secrecy than debate such provisions in an open forum."

Despite her remarks, however, McCollum voted in favor of the legislation.

...

"In our fight to protect America and our people, to make our world a safer place, we must never turn our backs on our freedoms," said Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho) in a November press release. "Expanding the use of administrative subpoenas and threatening our system of checks and balances is a step in the wrong direction."

Otter, however, also voted in favor of the bill.

posted by VeGiTo at 9:36 PM on January 7, 2004


It seems, to me, like this trend should be opposed.

But, dude, think of the boon this will cause in the arts!
posted by The God Complex at 9:52 PM on January 7, 2004


"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."

- Mark Twain
posted by homunculus at 9:56 PM on January 7, 2004


"Those who enjoy eating sausage and respect the law should not watch either being made."

I forget who said that.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:01 PM on January 7, 2004


It has gotten to the point where news from my home country is capable of making me physically ill. When I was a kid, they used to threaten you with "this will go down on your permanent record." I am sad to think that my son will actually have a permanent record if I move back to the states.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:25 PM on January 7, 2004


In our fight to protect America and our people,

Every day citizens/companies make decisions that 'this costs too much for the benefit'. Every day calculations like that are made with human lives by of government on issues like road safety, environmental toxins, CO2 levels.

At what point will the calculation be made that some people will die by terrorists and its ok, because the effort to provide 100% protection is not worth it?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:33 PM on January 7, 2004


It seems, to me, like this trend should be opposed.
posted by troutfishing at 11:32 PM CST on January 7


I feel sullied, and worn.
posted by four panels at 10:33 PM on January 7, 2004


Orwell was only off by 20 years. We're at war with Terror. Emanuel Goldstein is Osam bin Laden. If you're not with us, you're against us. If republican or democrat voted against that bill they'd be labelled as unamerican.

If someone four years ago said that the goverment can --at its leisure, without probable cause-- obtain the guest list from the hotels and airlines in Vegas, you'd think that person was high. This is America man. Shit like that just wouldn't happen here.

What bothers me the most is having the guestlists doesn't make the world (or Vegas) safer. The 9/11 bad guys could use their real names because the government had its head up its ass and they knew it. Next time, the bad guys will be able to circumvent these things that are making America "safer".

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Paranoia are spending zillions making the US terror-free. To me we're not safer than pre-9/11. But the government is there to protect us. A big brother if you will.
posted by birdherder at 10:35 PM on January 7, 2004


You know what we, as americans are going to do about this? Not a goddamn thing.

It's almost like being on TV!
posted by homunculus at 10:37 PM on January 7, 2004


rough ashlar: At what point will the calculation be made that some people will die by terrorists and its ok, because the effort to provide 100% protection is not worth it?

Do you really think 100% protection is possible at any cost? Terrorism will always be here no matter how much is spent or how intrusive the gets in its citizen's private lives.
posted by birdherder at 10:43 PM on January 7, 2004


So, has any of this been helping so far? I might be more willing to accept these things if it helped stop a terrorist attack, but nobody seems to know exactly what the government has been doing with all this power.
posted by destro at 10:45 PM on January 7, 2004


Doesnt this seem unusual that this act was signed into law the day Saddam was captured? That's kind of a Nixon thing to do.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:54 PM on January 7, 2004


The Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
posted by ed at 11:16 PM on January 7, 2004


Sorry, the Fourth Amendment was eliminated.
posted by homunculus at 11:26 PM on January 7, 2004


Doesnt this seem unusual that this act was signed into law the day Saddam was captured?

That's when the stealth policy team springs into action!
posted by homunculus at 11:40 PM on January 7, 2004


These politicians are oath-breakers and enemies of the people. Alas, most of the people don't notice or don't care. Of course, the media is helping by keeping it all quiet.

What is happening is truly unimaginable. If you try to spell it out to people, they often won't believe you, simply because so many persist in the idea that if it was true, the news would be shouting about it. Or they have bought in to the idea that terrorists are lurking everywhere, and only such measures can protect them.

The government is behaving EXACTLY like a government should be expected to behave, albeit violating the constitution and oaths of office. The media has no excuse. They are failing their responsibility, not to mention failing to make a ton of money by raising hell about the politicians.

Hmmm, perhaps stock holders in media companies should start suing for failure to pursue potential profits.
posted by Goofyy at 12:43 AM on January 8, 2004


Meanwhile, have any of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls talked about reversing any of this?
posted by alumshubby at 1:22 AM on January 8, 2004


Media! Media?

Paah! I crap on big mass media.
posted by troutfishing at 4:25 AM on January 8, 2004


Did anyone here visit Vegas over the holidays? If so, you are under investigation by the FBI.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:40 AM on January 8, 2004


The world will end not with a bang but a whimper.

Does this mean the FBI can access Rush Limbaugh's medical records?
Will he be charged with money laundering?
Can we now get access to aWol's personal records and Cheney's Energy caucus records?
I mean we already know how many pairs of panties Hillary had in her bedroom chest (thanks Ken Starr!) so these requests aren't unreasonable are they?
What?!?!
It only applies to us proles that can't march lockstep and eat any bullshit being shoveled?
Damn!
posted by nofundy at 5:00 AM on January 8, 2004


Meanwhile, have any of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls talked about reversing any of this?
Clark has, and I hope all of the others, but it's not getting any play in the mainstream media.
posted by amberglow at 5:42 AM on January 8, 2004


Eh, well, like damnitkage said ... it's been a good run.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:41 AM on January 8, 2004


Well, that's it then. I guess the terrorists have won.
posted by spilon at 7:41 AM on January 8, 2004


Vote [Assuming that is still legal when the time comes]
posted by Outlawyr at 7:45 AM on January 8, 2004


HAHAHAHHAHAHA.
We've all settled our big fat asses into our lazy chairs, grabbed our cheezy doodles and turned on the nascar race.
HAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHHAHAAHAHHAAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAA
HA
posted by clavdivs at 8:04 AM on January 8, 2004


Wasn't Saddam captured (supposedly) on a Sunday? Are laws often signed on the Lord's Day Of Rest in those United States Of America?

Glad y'all have those guns to protect you from oppressive governments.

sorry
posted by bonaldi at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2004


I guess the terrorists have won.
They really have--we're losing freedom of speech, of movement, of assembly--the whole thing--Just what osama wanted. (the sin of it is that our own government is doing it)
posted by amberglow at 1:51 PM on January 8, 2004


As the Wired article says,
The provision granting increased power was little more than a single line of legislation. But Dempsey said it was written in such a cryptic manner that no one [outside of Congress] noticed its significance until it was too late.
It often strikes me how much legislative Acts resemble source code patches. This kind of thing seems like slipping in a backdoor to a piece of software in the middle of a big patch that's otherwise doing something boring like fixing indentation or removing an obsolete function call...
posted by hattifattener at 6:16 PM on January 8, 2004


The fact that U.S. intelligence agencies can't tell terrorists from children on passenger jets does little to inspire confidence.
posted by homunculus at 8:22 PM on January 8, 2004


The FBI and the Justice Department have renewed their efforts to wiretap voice conversations carried across the Internet.
posted by homunculus at 9:07 PM on January 8, 2004


Secretary Ridge on Civil Liberties
posted by homunculus at 1:27 PM on January 9, 2004


I am not against laws that effectively fight terrorists. But it has been pointed out that laws like this may have an effect on fighting terrorists, the best application is for other crimes such as drugs, prostitution, fraud and other organized crime activities.

Basically the FBI has a job to do, and they want all the tools available to make their job easier. It's up to our elected officials to make sure that the constitution is more important than the FBI's needs. I believe they have failed in this case, because terror attacks differ from organized crime in many important ways.
posted by cell divide at 1:39 PM on January 9, 2004


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