Publicola has a good ATFE roundup...
The Conservatives have called the registry a waste of taxpayers money that targets duck hunters rather than criminals. There are no cost estimates on campaign promises such as defending victims' rights and improving gun safety.The sooner, the better, I say.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed... because its hard to stop a tank with your bare hands.
So, as you can see, they are sweeping up contacts even within the United States, even involving Americans. Tha's what they have to do in order to roll up the networks that Al Qaeda allegedly has within the US. (And to be fair, I have no doubt that Al Qaeda is trying hard to establish or maintain such networks). Yet, the law sets forth specific requirements for surveillance of American citizens in matters involving national security and foreign intelligence. Those requirements specify that a warrant must be obtained and allow for extremely relaxed rules on doing so. If those rules are too restrictive, the President needs to make his case to Congress and the American people for relaxing them. He is not above the law.
The sources provided guidelines to how the administration has employed the surveillance program. They said the National Security Agency in cooperation with the FBI was allowed to monitor the telephone calls and e-mails of any American believed to be in contact with a person abroad suspected of being linked to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.
At that point, the sources said, all of the communications of that American would be monitored, including calls made to others in the United States. The regulations under the administration's surveillance program do not require any court order.
But despite the huge amount of raw material gathered under the legislation, the FBI has not captured one major al Qaeda operative in the United States. Instead, federal authorities have been allowed to use non-terrorist material obtained through the surveillance program for investigation and prosecution.We should not leave our children a legacy of lost liberty.
In more than one case, the sources said, a surveillance target was prosecuted on non-terrorist charges from information obtained through wiretaps conducted without a court order. They said the FBI supported this policy in an attempt to pressure surveillance targets to cooperate.
"The problem in this case is that ATFE's explanation for its determination that APCP deflagrates lacks any coherence. We therefore owe no deference to ATFE's purported expertise because we cannot discern it. ATFE has neither laid out a concrete standard for classifying materials along the burn-deflagrate-detonate continuum, nor offered data specific to the burn speed of APCP when used for its 'common or primary purpose.' On this record, the agency's decision cannot withstand judicial review."Yep, that's the agency we all know and love to hate.
Statistics compiled by San Francisco police for the committee show that in 74 of the 94 homicides recorded through Monday afternoon in 2005, no arrest has been made and the cases remain open and under investigation. Part of the explanation, police said, for the low rate of arrests and prosecutions is the reluctance of witnesses to provide testimony given their exposure to retribution.About 20 percent of the 94 homicides recorded through Monday afternoon for 2005 took place at public housing properties. That last number prompted supervisors to ask why a program begun last year that tasks 16 officers with patrolling four housing developments in the southeast part of the city hasn't been expanded to other locations. Mirkarimi said he wants to see a regular flow of reliable statistics on how San Francisco's Police Department is performing. Suggesting police officials are reluctant to submit to closer oversight, he characterized getting good information out of the department as a "cat-and-mouse game."Sure sounds safe over there in San Francisco, where they recently voted to ban handguns.
MOTION filed (5 copies) by Amicus Curiae for Appellee Potowmack Insti Inc (certificate of mail service dated 1/30/06 ) to convert from corporate to individual [946482-1] (lej)This can probably be safely interperted as meaning that the Potowmack Institute can't afford to hire a DC lawyer to participate in the case, or at least doesn't want to spend the money that way. Lawyers are expensive. Odds are good that they have access to at least some legal talent, or they wouldn't be bothering with this process, but that doesn't mean their lawyers are admitted to the DC circuit, and internal talent is a lot cheaper than a hired gun. Filing as an individual, while still having legal minds preparing the filings, might do a good job of getting the most legal bang for the least legal buck.