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Cheney: Credit Checks Aren’t Illegal – Arrogance Trumps Law Again January 14, 2007

Posted by Dan in Must Read, News, Politics.

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Why does this man insist that examining private banking information without permission is a legitimate use of the government’s power? I’m not arguing that this shouldn’t be done… In fact, information gathering is the most critical step to preventing future terrorist attacks. However, Cheney, once again feels as though Judges and Courts and all that “Constitutional” stuff just gets in the way. While this may be true, and our Judicial system is certainly far from perfect, due process is in place not to release the guilty, but to protect the innocent. The concept was enforced at the birth of our country by people much much much much much much much smarter than Bush and Cheney. They understood that, when you remove the rule of law, you create anarchy; that is the very definition of the word. Does Dick Cheney feel that is the best course of action for United States? He certainly loves to ignore law, but I’m sure he just thinks that he knows better than the Constitution.

Funny, this is Wikipedia’s definition of arrogance…. tell me it doesn’t fit this current administration to a tea:

Arrogant people are often unable to realize they are not as good as they assume they are or have problems recognizing their own self limitations. Arrogant people are usually over competitive and don’t know when to quit.

Often arrogant people can be overbearing and try to coerce/force people into doing what they don’t want to do with little regard for the other persons feelings or the groups best interest.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday the Pentagon and CIA are not violating people’s rights by examining the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage in the United States.

Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel will be the judge of that.

National security letters permit the executive branch to seek records about people in terrorism and spy investigations without a judge’s approval or grand jury subpoena.

“The Defense Department gets involved because we’ve got hundreds of bases inside the United States that are potential terrorist targets,” Cheney said.

“The Department of Defense has legitimate authority in this area. This is an authority that goes back three or four decades. It was reaffirmed in the Patriot Act,” he said. “It’s perfectly legitimate activity. There’s nothing wrong with it or illegal. It doesn’t violate people’s civil rights.”

In a statement Sunday, Reyes promised that his panel would take a careful look at those claims.

“Any expansion by the department into intelligence collection, particularly on U.S. soil, is something our committee will thorough review,” Reyes said.

“We want our intelligence professionals to have strong tools that will enable them to interrupt the planning process of our enemies and to stop attacks against our country,” he said. “But in doing so, we also want those tools to comply fully with the law and the Constitution.”

The Pentagon and the CIA, to a lesser extent, have used this little-known power, officials said. The FBI, the lead agency on domestic counterterrorism and espionage, has issued thousands of such letters since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The letters have generated criticism and court challenges from civil liberties advocates who claim they invade the privacy of Americans’ lives, even though banks and other financial institutions typically turn over the financial records voluntarily.

The vast majority of national security letters are issued by the FBI, but in rare circumstances they have been used by the CIA before and after Sept. 11, according to a U.S. intelligence official. The CIA has used these noncompulsory letters in espionage investigations and other circumstances, the official said.

The New York Times, which reported Sunday on the expanded use of the technique by the Pentagon and CIA, said military intelligence officers have sent the letters in up to 500 investigations.

Cheney was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday.”

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