All posts by john in sacramento

Columbo, FISA and YOUR rights

It’s always the little details that trip up the criminals who think they’re getting over on everyone else; they always forget one tiny detail that unravels the whole mendacious plot. Columbo knew how they think, he knew that some of the most intelligent people think they are way too clever for the rest of us — people like Harry Reid. I told you he was going to do this.

Now, what’s the tiny detail that they hoped no one would notice?

Well, there are two types of people whose skills would come into play here. It’s something that most lawyers would miss, because their first thought is “how can I argue this point as it pertains to the law?” and this detail would be overlooked. And most electronic geeks would miss it, because how many tech geeks would ever read a court document? Not very many.

What’s the detail?

Follow me down the rabbit hole

It has to do with an article in yesterday’s NY Times by By Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and Scott Shane where they mention the Qwest lawsuit (more about the Times articles from Glen Greenwald). I knew there was a nugget in there but I couldn’t read everything (I couldn’t, I have a life) but the Times reporters found this seemingly insignificant detail — I don’t know if they even know the significance of it. Here it is …

Page Two, the sixth paragraph down

While Qwest’s refusal was disclosed two months ago in court papers, the details of the NSA’s request were not. The agency, those knowledgeable about the incident said, wanted to install monitoring equipment on Qwest’s “Class 5” switching facilities, which transmit the most localized calls. Limited international traffic also passes through the switches.

To clarify, the only international traffic that would go through these switches are ones you make to or receive from someone you know overseas. Why would a phone call from someone in say Iraq to someone say in Pakistan be routed through your local phone box

There are five different classes of telephone switches. Class five provides local service  these are the ones in those boxes in your neighborhood, and if not there, the next ones in the line — in other words service to someone in your neighborhood or town or city. Class four provides long distance service

Why is this significant?

Because the entire premise they’ve given us for having to amend FISA is that they had to intercept phone calls from terrorists that happened to be routed through the switches in the United States.

O.K. here’s where it falls apart.

Those calls would not be routed through class five switches. … Think about it. … Here is a more detailed explanation for the switch hierarchy (PSTN) Public Switched Telephone Network.

OK, most of the links are probably totally confusing, but what this says is that this is a datamining program — not the wiretapping of specific persons referred to in a warrant, which is what the judges on the FISC Court require even if the spying is done prior to getting a warrant — [H/T looseheadprop] which they can obtain retroactively through exigent circumstances —  they would only need to place monitors on the switches used for international calls.

Senator Dodd is filibustering this egregious affront on your civil rights, you can help him by doing the following.

Call or fax Senator Boxer and tell her no on the Senate Intelligence Bill, and tell her to support Sen. Dodd in his filibuster

And Senator Feinstein

Live Blogging the APAPA Voters Education and Candidate Conference

[I hunt and peck, so don’t expect too much articulation ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

We’re a few mins away from it starting.

Lot of people walking in. At least eleven buses from around California all the way from Redding to L.A., from Fresno to San Jose.

All the state politicians have been invited from Arnold to John Garamendi to your local legislator

Here’s APAPA’s website

I’m going to make mistakes, so bear with me

More below …

It’s starting …

Amy Tong, Vice Chair 2007 Forum Chair introducing sponsoring organizations

C.C. Yin, Founder and Chair introducing APAPA board members. CC Yin explains why it’s important to get involved … to vote … to take ownership of goverment

Pamela Wu, Master of Ceremonies from KCRA Channel Three thanking corporate sponsors

Corporate sponsors giving short speeches and receiving ceremonial chinese swords and leis

Pamela Wu introducing candidates I won’t get everyone so don’t  hold it against me … Jimmy Yee, Bill Durston, Charlie Brown, Allen Nakanishi …

Pamela Wu reading a letter from President Bush

Opening remarks by Secretary of State Debra Bowen … giving thanks to the first female SoS Marge Fong Eu … You are on the front lines of democracy … looking forward to working with you …

Remarks by Allen Nakanishi … We live in a great state and great nation …

Chuck (something?) former mayor of Fairield … vote … make sure you vote

Next speaker was supposed to be Lt. Governor John Garamendi but he can’t make it because of the fires in SoCal

Judy Chu State Board of Equalization Vice Chair praising APAPA and those who get involved

Alberto Torrico, API joint legislative caucus co-chair … thanks for getting involved

Jack O’Connell State Superintendent of Schools … the future of California is bright … the children are the future … schools need to prepare us to be lifelong learners … the best is yet to come for California

Steve Westly … giving a special welcome to the Hmong as his father grew up in Vietnam … and all the Asian Americans … California is a business leader in the world … education is important … invest in teachers and local control … invest in colleges …

Recorded message from Congressman Jerry McNerney … thanking his colleagues and constituents … adressing transportation and power needs … renewable energy … military has sacrificed …

Conservative columnist Raoul Lowery Contreras … proud to be with all Asian groups as a former US Marine … we are in a war which we have been in since the 80’s … people want to kill us … we’re not fighting for oil … but we need to be there for the oil … we are the policemen of the world … is it worth our being in Iraq? Purple fingers

Congressional candidate forum

Charlie Brown Democratic candidate for the 4th district opening statement … tough probs to solve … need change in DC to solve them

Mike Holmes Republican candidate for 4th district …

Bill Durston candidate for the 3rd CD, opening statement … former US Marine … served in combat … emergency physician … thanks APAPA

Healthcare question

Mike Holmes … don’t need socialist medicine

Charlie talks too fast ๐Ÿ™‚ … We need healthcare now

Durston good points … access to healthcare for all … as a US Congressman will work for timely affordable Healthcare


Mike Holmes … info cherry picked … support our troops … exit strategy …

Durston … people dieing in Iraq is too much … no military solution

Brown … served in VN … saw what poor pullout did to VN … has seen failure … Future funding needs firm timelines


Brown … country of immigrants … not a closed society

Durston … long standing complex issue … reject politics of fear … have had many bad immigration laws …

Holmes … need to strengthen borders … need new bracero program

Thirty second q and a


Holmes … talk diplomatically to Iranians

Brown … need more diplomacy … getting allies back behind us

Closing candidate statements

Recorded message from Congresswoman Doris Matsui from the 5th CD … thanking APAPA … last year Americans demanded change … haven’t done enough … Bush’s veto of SCHIP is wrong … need civil liberties … responsible exit from Iraq … need fiscal control

Keynote speaker Congressman Eni Faleomavaega … greeting in several Asian languages … appreciation to CC Yin … get involved … you can make a difference if you’re involved

Time for the good stuff! 1st thousand dolaar give away ๐Ÿ˜‰ …. (drumroll) missed the name of the winner

Healthcare forum with Reps from the Governor’s office and the Legisalture

Representative from Sheila Kuells office … we are not receiving healthcare we deserve … singlepayer healthcare … every resident needs comprehensive healthcare

Governors rep … system is broken … people subject to debts, bankruptcy … encourage people …  prevention … wellness

Legislature rep … polls say number two issue is healthcare … President vetoed SCHIP … President wants billions for Iraq … extend coverage to people without insurance … everyone pitches in

Legislative candidate forum

Lois Wolk … solutions for probs. … protecting native areas … worked and supported API

Greg Agazarian (sp?) … from an immigrant family … California dream … California better place

Jim Neilson (sp?) … opportunity

Jim Cook … 30 years serving the country … here to serve you …

Alyson Huber … came from nothing … not a politician … living the American dream … need affordable edu., healthcare

[Taking a break from transcribing]

I’m looking out at the audience and I think every seat is filled, which really is great because you have to get involved to make change no matter what change you want. Kids all over the place.

OK, Cindy Sheehan is up now … talking about the value of human life … zero soldiers should have been killed … over a million Iraqi’s are dead … we’re all immigrants … immigrants have only made our country better … her son’s life was expensive … mothers are fierce when their children are in harms way … we can’t allow our leaders to kill our children … most homeless are Veterans … Iraq is making homeless vets … 30 k people a day die from starvation … we all deserve human rights … right to self determination … government is taking away our freedoms … fight for our voting rights … make sure our leaders keep their promises … make them accountable … we all have a part

2nd thousand dollar prize giveaway … (drumroll) the name is, Yang Lee Her (sp?)

That’s the end.

(Sorry for any spelling mistakes)

Great program APAPA!