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District Court Judge Invalidates Part of FISA:
District Judge Ann Aiken of the United States District Court in Oregon has just handed down a surprising opinion striking down parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and specifically 50 U.S.C. §§ 1804 and 1823, as facially unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. The opinion is here; I just printed it out and will be blogging a reaction shortly. Thanks to Eric Freedman for the tip.
Smokey:
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 7, 1997...

See? Judge shopping finally pays off.
9.26.2007 10:06pm
jpe (mail):
Clearly, Mayfield was aware that a clinton appointee would hear this case when he was born in Portland.
9.26.2007 10:24pm
scote (mail):
Seems like a sound decision to me upon reading.

Judge Aiken points out that the update of FISA allows surveillance without probable cause in criminal cases. Additionally, FISA bypasses the 30 surveillance limit, the constitutionally required specificity and the need to reveal to subjects that they have been searched.

Aiken declines to allow the government to ignore the plain language of the 4th Amendment and to eliminate the judiciary from their constitutional duty to vet searches and seizures.
9.26.2007 10:34pm
Kurt Opsahl (mail) (www):
A critical legal issue for the judge was that in the Patriot Act, Congress amended FISA to change the language from requiring "the purpose" of the search or surveillance be to obtain foreign intelligence information, to only "a significant purpose" of the search or surveillance.

Thus, this decision has interesting ramifications for 105B of the Protect America Act, which also purports to authorize warrantless surveillance when a "significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information."
9.26.2007 10:42pm
OrinKerr:
FWIW, it'll probably be a while before I post; the post I'm writing is becoming long already, and I need to go to the gym before it closes. Stay tuned....
9.26.2007 11:04pm
Eli Rabett (www):
No sweat.
9.26.2007 11:12pm
John (mail):
The judge, as far as I could tell, did not spend much time on the Supreme Court's 4th amendment rulings that specifically say they are not ruling on matters that may affect national security, saving that for another time. Instead, she used those cases as if they would apply to FISA searches even if those searches did have something to do with national security.

She writes a lot of words, but really skips discussing the important distinctions, it seems to me.
9.26.2007 11:20pm
Truth Seeker:
I went to the comments to ask if she was a Clinton or Carter appointee. Smokey already figured that out. Why are these things so obvious?
9.26.2007 11:28pm
cboldt (mail):
A facial challenge to the statute, and Judge Ann Aiken expressly found contrary to the FISC Court of Review's conclusion in "In re: Sealed Case," regarding the "significant purpose" hurdle that is used to export the fruit of a foreign intelligence search into a criminal prosecution.
.
In my opinion, it'll be best to have this issue settled outside the FISA Court apparatus anyway, and this case sets up a possibility to have SCOTUS weigh in on the issue.
9.26.2007 11:46pm
Bart (mail):
Judge Aiken is not breaking any new ground here. The Truong line of cases held that the 4th Amendment did not require a warrant when the primary purpose was foreign intelligence gathering, but did require a warrant when the primary purpose shifted to gathering evidence for a criminal prosecution.

The government's only real argument was standing. Given that I do not see that the plaintiff is asking the court to order the government to destroy the fruits of the allegedly illegal searches, I have a hard time taking seriously plaintiff's the argument that the retention of those fruits provide the ongoing injury necessary for standing. Plaintiff's request to find the statute facially unconstitutional does not provide a remedy for the alleged ongoing injury.

However, in finding standing, the Court was obviously and understandably influenced by the willful and egregious violations of the 4th Amendment here as well as the difficulty in bringing one of these cases.

I personally support pretty broad Article II powers to conduct foreign intelligence gathering. There is nothing in this decision which at all limits those powers. Rather, this opinion remedies a clear abuse of search and seizure for criminal prosecution. This criminal defense attorney cheers the court providing that remedy.
9.27.2007 12:27am
Guest231:
Aren't there serious problems with using the Fourth Amendment to declare a statute unconstitutional? That seems wrong, but I know little about the Fourth Amendment.
9.27.2007 12:58am
CrazyTrain (mail):
Aren't there serious problems with using the Fourth Amendment to declare a statute unconstitutional?

Why? The Fourth Amendment says "no warants shall issue but upon probable cause" (or something close). If Congress passed a law that said "all warrants shall issue upon a finding of a hunch," you don't think a Court should invalidate pursuant to the Fourth Amendment?

Why didn't Bush just declare this guy an enemy combatant? Could have avoided paying him or having this case adjudicated. Serious question.
9.27.2007 1:03am
CrazyTrain (mail):
Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 7, 1997...

See? Judge shopping finally pays off.


Either that post was facetious or Smokey does not know the first thing about the federal judiciary. There are many conservative Clinton appointees. The second most conservative active judge on the 9th Circuit is a Clinton appointee (Tallman).
9.27.2007 1:04am
Juliana Klovquist (mail):
Why? The Fourth Amendment says

Arguably the 4th Amendment sets a floor, not a ceiling. The government can establish a regime that complies with the 4th Amendment as a minimum, and anything above and beyond that (in the case of individual protections) or outside the scope of the 4th Amendment (in the case of limitations on government power) is purely statutory. I imagine the entire statutory regime operates in an exception of 4th Amendment precedents, which makes the judge's findings a bit off. But what do I know. I didn't feel like reading the opinion, and I'm sure Orin has something far smarter to say.
9.27.2007 1:40am
Dave N (mail):
I will be interested in how the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court end up ruling on this.

With respect to Judge Tallman being the second most conservative member of the Ninth Circuit, I respectfully disagree. While Judge Tallman is certainly the most conservative Clinton appointee on the Ninth Circuit, he is less conservative than Judges Rymer, Kleinfeld, Bea, and Bybee--to name four (and there may be others as well, those were just the Judges more conservative than Tallman I could come up with off the top of my head).
9.27.2007 1:57am
TruthInAdvertising:
"But what do I know. I didn't feel like reading the opinion, and I'm sure Orin has something far smarter to say."

And? That's never stopped VC commenters from sharing their uninformed opinions. There are even a few in this discussion.
9.27.2007 2:30am
Kenny D (mail):
Speaking of uniformed opinions (I was able to get about halfway through before my engineer brain had enough), I wonder if someone can explain this:

Two or three different Government fingerprint experts stated that they had a match to Mr Mayfield's print found at a crime scene. It appears they were wrong - the reason for the error is somewhere between honest mistake (even the defense expert identified it as Mayfield's) and outright bigoted malice - but it seems to be not important for the issues in this case.

My question is: If there were no Patriot act or even FISA at all, can the government obtain a warrant to do covert electronic and/or physical searches as a purely domestic criminal matter? That is, can the FBI go to a magistrate and say: "Hey, we have this guys fingerprints at a crime scene. Can we do a search of his house without alerting him and tap his phone?" Is this enough probable cause? Or is there a huge difference between the standard for covert searches and overt ones?

Additionally, does it matter if the evidence for probable cause was found in the US or overseas? (assuming, as in this case, that the evidence found overseas was found in an above board way, and not through some illegal entry or coercive manner).
-Kenny
9.27.2007 4:39am
肿瘤 (mail):
9.27.2007 4:47am
chad (mail) (www):
I'm not a lawyer but from my reading of the opinion it sure seemed like the Judge had to stretch to find standing. It also seemed like she was ignoring previous precedent on matters of this type because she didn't like the FISCR courts reasoning. I though appellate court rulings were binding.
9.27.2007 5:10am
Guest231:
CrazyTrain, I didn't say you could never invalidate a statute on Fourth Amendment grounds. But the statute as written could be applied constitutionally. How can you facially invalidate it? Why not require as applied challenges?
9.27.2007 8:39am
jpe (mail):
The statute provides an exception to probable cause for criminal investigation. There is no set of facts in which that statutory exception would be constitutional.
9.27.2007 8:45am
Temp Guest (mail):
My reading of the PATRIOT ACT is that it allows "warrantless" use of investigative tools such as taps in cases that involve both national security issues and criminal activities. FISA, as written and interpreted before amendment by the PATRIOT ACT, explicitly prohibited such investigations if there was any probability that the results might be used in criminal prosecutions. I believe that the PATRIOT ACT closed a loophole in FISA as originally written. Since detecting/prosecuting criminal activity is ancillary to the primary intent of "warrantless" searches and siezures under amended FISA (obtaining critical foreign intelligence info) and since the courts have held that obtaining foreign intelligence info under loosened 4th Amendment restrictions is constitutional, I think this judge's opinion is a stretch and will probably be overturned on appeal; maybe even by the 9th Circuit. Although that last idea is probably expecting too much!
9.27.2007 9:39am
Just Dropping By (mail):
It also seemed like she was ignoring previous precedent on matters of this type because she didn't like the FISCR courts reasoning. I though appellate court rulings were binding.

Appellate court rulings are ordinarily only binding on inferior courts within their jurisdiction. Courts outside of their jurisdiction can treat them as persuasive, but have no obligation to.
9.27.2007 10:10am
Anderson (mail):
In place of the Fourth Amendment, the people are expected to defer to the Executive Branch and its representation that it will authorize such surveillance only when appropriate. The defendant here is asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. This court declines to do so.

The typical showing before a magistrate to get a regular search warrant is pretty dang thin. It seems that the feds' burden to show "a significant purpose" of foreign intel gathering is even more slight.

As a side note, the incompetence of the FBI, who can't even wiretap a house without leaving signs that they broke in, is a much greater danger to the U.S. than the judge's quaint notion that the Fourth Amendment binds the Congress.
9.27.2007 10:15am
Clayton:
I find this part of the opinion interesting:

For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised.

So, I take it she's not a fan of Griswold and its progeny. Yeah, I'm sure she would have dissented in Roe.
9.27.2007 10:26am
AntonK (mail):
She'll be overturned like all the rest of the crazies.

'nuff said
9.27.2007 10:28am
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
I think this is a wonderful holding. It re-establishes the wall of separation between intelligence cases and criminal cases that we were all in favor of, right up until 9/11, after which we were always all against it. Until now, when we're all in favor of it, and always have been, just look in the 4th Amendment... Either a terrorism investigation will have to be a criminal case (it involves crimes, right?) or a national security case (it's just an intel matter, right?).

Oh, I don't think the results are going to be very good from this kind of thinking, especially for the individuals whose security gets compromised. But the people who insist that *everything* the government does in the GWOT should be vetted in open court need to get their way for a while. I can think of nothing more useful to refute argument than the results of letting them have their way for a while. Those who would trade civil liberties for security may deserve neither, but those who would trade in the main part of our security in favor of the fringes of civil liberties, shouldn't get a cookie either.
9.27.2007 10:45am
AntonK (mail):
Al Maviva says, "I think this is a wonderful holding. It re-establishes the wall of separation between intelligence cases and criminal cases that we were all in favor of, right up until 9/11, after which we were always all against it."

Related: Wall Nuts: The wall between intelligence and law enforcement is killing us.

Snippet:

There's a quiet scandal at the heart of Sept. 11; one that for different reasons neither the government nor the privacy lobby really wants to talk about. It's this: For two and a half weeks before the attacks, the U.S. government knew the names of two hijackers. It knew they were al-Qaida killers and that they were already in the United States. In fact, the two were living openly under their own names, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. They used those names for financial transactions, flight school, to earn frequent flier miles, and to procure a California identity card.

We couldn't find al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi in August 2001 because we had imposed too many rules designed to protect against privacy abuses that were mainly theoretical. We missed our best chance to save the lives of 3,000 Americans because we spent more effort and imagination guarding against these theoretical privacy abuses than against terrorism.

I feel some responsibility for sending the government down that road...
9.27.2007 11:00am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
This ruling is truly great and deserves to be applauded. It is too bad more federal judges do not have similar courage to uphold our most basic Freedoms. And now, DOJ is faced with an appeal to the Ninth Circuit ...
9.27.2007 11:09am
Anderson (mail):
She'll be overturned like all the rest of the crazies.

I'm sorry -- what was the "crazy" part of the opinion?
9.27.2007 11:10am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"Nominated by William J. Clinton on January 7, 1997...

See? Judge shopping finally pays off."

Translation: 'Darn -- its too bad the President didn't have enough time to cleanse all those pesky judges from the federal bench who can fairly see both sides of an issue, and replace them all with conservatives the likes of so many we have seen leave the Administration -- Gonzalez, Rove, Taylor, etc. (think of Doan, the Hatch Act, and politicing the federal government)'

This is why the Mother Nature is causing the sea levels to rise and doom so many of us and American's economy -- a Karma-esque kind of Justice completely out of our hands that is being delivered because so many of our courts have failed to uphold Justice. Sodom and Gomorrah -- history does repeat itself.
9.27.2007 11:17am
R. Richard Schweitzer (mail):
Do I misread this opinion? Does it not say that the standard set by the wording of FISA ("significant purpose") does not meet (or provide the protections of) the required "upon probable cause" as stated in Amendment IV?

Since FISA is currently under legislative review, this is probably not the case best taken forward by DOJ for SCOTUS review, to meet SCOTUS deference to "another time."

As one who much prefers security to privacy, this writer reluctantly recognizes the extreme difficulty of defining "probable" down sufficiently to meet the current conditions of, and need for intelligence gathering required to provide that security.

The lyrics of an old song of my childrens youth may be apt:
"It's only words, and words are all I have to take your ... away!"

R. Richard Schweitzer
s24rrs@aol.com
9.27.2007 11:17am
Henri Le Compte (mail):
Anton K:
Thank you for that highly enlightening article link! I always thought that mindful members of the legal community recognized that in times of war it becomes necessary to contract civil liberties in favor of public safety. No longer-- or at least not while Bush is president. Some folks here will only realize that we are at war when Hillary becomes president, I guess.
9.27.2007 11:18am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I had a lot of problems with the decision. Yes, the FBI screwed up. Yes, the FBI is incompetent here. But the judge attributing knowledge of one part of the government to another is a bit unrealistic. I didn't see any indication that the agents pushing this case had any actual knowledge of the Spanish govt informing ours that they had better suspects. Rather, it was imputed knowlege, which is unrealistic.

I am going to assume standing, since others are attacking that. I would agree that there may have been a 4th Amdt. violation. The finder of facts paints a persuasive picture there (regardless of the judge's personal biases). But I still don't see how that would affect the Constitutionality of FISA.

We start with legally obtained evidence of the fingerprint having some likelyhood of matching that of a Spanish bomber. Fine. That is perfectly legal. With perfect 20/20 hindsight, the judge found more than incompetence in the verification of the fingerprint. But a more realistic interpretation would be incompetence. In any case, the Sneak and Peak of the home and office of the one plaintiff was likely a 4th Amdt. violation. So, that tainted evidence is used to get a FISA warrant. And that is the reason that those sections of FISA are unconstitutional? Let me further point out that I don't remember seeing a finding that most, if not even many, FISA warrants under those sections were issued for anything except true foreign intelligence reasons.

What is unsettling to me though is that if we removed the FISA element here, and assumed that we had the same fact pattern, except that the bomb was set off in the U.S., the FBI would likely have been able to get a warrant based on the facts presented (i.e. FBI matched fingerprint), the warrantless Sneak and Peaks would have invalidated whatever was found, and that would have been it. Maybe some damages for violation of 4th Amdt. rights, but no facial invalidation of any statutes.
9.27.2007 11:20am
Anderson (mail):
See Marty Lederman's post, which links to the USDOJ's IG report.

Shockingly, in comments thereto, Bart DePalma opines that the FISA provision in question probably goes too far.
9.27.2007 11:36am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"I always thought that mindful members of the legal community recognized that in times of war it becomes necessary to contract civil liberties in favor of public safety. No longer-- or at least not while Bush is president. Some folks here will only realize that we are at war when Hillary becomes president, I guess."

I am enlightened, as an autistic, to learn that I am not the only one who sometimes suffers from the defect of being able to see only the trees at the expense of the whole forest.

In my opinon, "public safety" will no longer matter if the entire Nation is thrown into coastal land area destruction, seal level rise, mass migrations, and economic ruination chaos resulting from the Republicans' failed global warming agenda, that is already noticeably causing the sea level to rise in Florida (I have personally witnessed an 8-12" rise in sea level with perpetually high tides and almost no low tides whatsoever this last month post-the Northern ice melting events).

At least Hillary understands that to maintain National Security, we have to address and react to the global warming destruction underway caused by so many years of shameless Republican capitalism run amok without checks and balances for our environment, because then and only then can we worry about public safety as to foreign Nations.

Reducing destructive carbon emissions IS a civil liberty encompassing and protecting the Freedom and future prosperity and legacy of every American and our children and grandchildren -- and is not separable from our Nation's National Security since an internally weak Nation bogged down in the chaos of global warming invites on itself foreign attack.
9.27.2007 12:07pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"seal level rise"- sea level rise
9.27.2007 12:10pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Is the personal greed of this Republican vision worth the destruction of our great Country? I, for one, living near a coastal area, want peace, prosperity, and protection not only from the enemy but from rising temperatures and sea levels as well, and not the chaotic tribal existence the Republicans failed global warning agenda threatens to bring upon all Americans, including me.
9.27.2007 12:15pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"global warning"=global warming

I am not the greatest fan of Hillary; however, at least she is getting it about the gravity of the global warming threat to our National Security. And THAT is a primary function of the Commander-in-Chief.
9.27.2007 12:18pm
srg:

"Reducing destructive carbon emissions IS a civil liberty encompassing and protecting the Freedom and future prosperity and legacy of every American and our children and grandchildren -- and is not separable from our Nation's National Security since an internally weak Nation bogged down in the chaos of global warming invites on itself foreign attack."

No, it is not a civil liberty. It is either good or bad policy. This sounds hysterical to me. BTW, Ms. Day-Petrano, you are a scientist, I presume?
9.27.2007 12:21pm
Steve:
But the people who insist that *everything* the government does in the GWOT should be vetted in open court need to get their way for a while.

Since he made the statement, I wonder if Al Maviva is able to identify even one such person.
9.27.2007 12:28pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"No, it is not a civil liberty. It is either good or bad policy. This sounds hysterical to me. BTW, Ms. Day-Petrano, you are a scientist, I presume?"

It IS a civil liberty to protect life and property and live in a safe and peaceful society under our Constitution. Since the reckless carbon emissions capitalism run amok policies of the past decades of Republicans threatens to undermine and irreparably burden and threaten the protection of life and property, safe and peaceful existence under our Constitution and famous Americans Freedoms of millions of coastal living Americans, reducing destructive carbon emissions IS a civil liberty encompassing and protecting the Freedom and future prosperity and legacy of every American and our children and grandchildren. Where did you go to law school?

Oh, I am not "hysterical." I have gotten out of all my Florida coastal property holdings and have taken personal responsibility to be prepared to move to higher ground where I will be safe and my financial security and my family will fare better. But I do feel sorry for the poor victims who will be taken under by abrupt climate change, left only with their foreclosure counterclaims against the realtors, sellers, and banks for failure to disclose to them the numerous RAND corporation studies dated to the 1970s concerning global warming risks associated with the properties sold under mortgages to them.

BTW, it is an irrelevant and immaterial inquiry whether I am a scientist, researcher, or simply a concerned Republican constituent -- because what IS relevant is that eveyone BELIEVES in global warming and the destructions almost upon us.

A grim reminder -- Florida's tanking real estate market.
9.27.2007 12:35pm
srg:
No doubt Florida's tanking real estate market violates your civil liberties too?
9.27.2007 1:03pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
How did this turn into a global warming thread?

I've got to say... the "Real Estate Market As Proof" argument was good for a laugh, though.
9.27.2007 1:11pm
Dave N (mail):
I am not sure if Mary Katherine Day-Petrano is attmepting parody or really believes the nonsense she is spewing. Even under Al Gore's worst case scenario we will all be worm food before Florida real estate loses value due to global warming.

Alarmist rhetoric is not discussion--it is hysteria.

But since her comment is off-topic, I will not respond further.
9.27.2007 1:16pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"No doubt Florida's tanking real estate market violates your civil liberties too?"

No, I got out. Dumped my property before the big price decline slide. I have a joint J.D./M.B.A. -- I saw the bubble burst coming.

But if you are referring to those poor victims still caught in the cross-hairs, I truly do feel for them. But as I mentioned, they will come out ok in the long run when they cross-claim the realtors, former property owners, and banks involved in the properly sale and mortgage lending for failure to make required real estate disclosure of the risks of global warming sea levelr rise, adverse weather events, public panick over global warming causing people in droves not to buy, etc.

BTW, global warming IS the cause of the real estate bust, at least here in Florida. Has anyone considered why the banks gave all those variable rate upward adjusting mortgages to all those people who could not afford homes?

Maybe because the banks and former rich property owners had the RAND Corp. reports and knew they had to get out from under their land before the sea level rose and stick some poor sucker with worthless land that will soo go underwater. Notably, these variable rate subprime mortgages were made in droves to people who did not have to offer up their income information and to many who could not eve read or understand teh loan documents.
9.27.2007 1:57pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
I guess we all agree Hillary should become President.
9.27.2007 2:27pm
Anonymous Lunatic:
For over 200 years, this Nation has adhered to the rule of law — with unparalleled success. A shift to a Nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill-advised.


So, is District Judge Ann Aiken so ignorant of legal history as to constitute incompetence deserving of removal from the bench, or is she merely a politician using the bench to issue a partisan attack?

I'm no lawyer, but I know Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and then ignored the Taney court ruling that the suspension was unconstitutional. Is that the sort of thing Judge Aiken considers adherence to the rule of law? Was she just ignorant of the event? Or was she conveniently forgetting the fact in her eagerness to write with a poison pen?

Or, more recently, let us consider the forcible detention of thousands of Japanese-Americans without criminal charge, bail, remand, or recourse to habeas corpus under FDR? Is this the rule of law that she means? Or was it perhaps an exercise of extra-constitutional authority in wartime? Take your time, judge; you have life tenure, or at least until Bush throws you in Gitmo.

As an aside, the United States seemed to survive, without too many ill effects, the thirty-nine years when warrantless wiretapping for purely domestic criminal justice purposes was fully blessed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
9.28.2007 1:07am
Smokey:
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano:
I have gotten out of all my Florida coastal property holdings and have taken personal responsibility to be prepared to move to higher ground where I will be safe... BTW, global warming IS the cause of the real estate bust...
BWAAA-A-A-A-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-A-A-A-AAAAAA!!

Oh. Sorry. S'cuse me, there, something just tickled my funnybone. *snicker*
9.29.2007 8:22pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Smokey the Polar Bear posts here and in another thread all bear the same mark of the coastal property price drop sea level rise desperation with which he mocks Rand Corp. and other serious global warming research reports.

Mr. Smokey stated on the other thread he was an environmental engineer: "I'm a retired metrology/environmental engineer."

To address his concerns, as I already told him: That is not mutually exclusive with being a very desperate subprime property owner trying to dump your property in a falling market at a huge loss.

Your true colors show thru.

I believe the Department of Defense has a lot of available material on abrupt cliimate change. You might wish to read it. Additionally, some climate scientists express significantly more concern that yourself at the melting permafrost in West Siberia and the Artic, which could release huge amounts of Methane, and set off catastrophic rapid global warming and torrid chaos as bad, if not worse than that which existed at the end of the Permian era or during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum which resulted in the greatest mass extinction since life emerged from the sea -- 95 percent of all species in existence died. (Probably just a sea of biological dead matter giving rise to all that oil we are digging out of the ground).

An ice free Artic Ocean has not existed for over a million years, and there is evidence West Antartica once was ice free, suggesting that merely looking to the Holocene or Eemian periods will likely grossly underestimate the tipping point triggering runaway climate change and its ghastly consequences, including the potential for temperatures some 10-30 degrees Celsius above now.

Instead of coming across as so desperate to censor, ridicule, and condemn this viewpoint, you should hope hindsight does not have in store for you a big "I told you so," and scream out: How is it possible that we can now contemplate with scientific seriousness whether our children's children will themselves have children?

It's a lot easier, as you have so predicatably, typically demonstrated to bury your head in the sand watching Good Morning Americans and the happy show. And one has to wonder about your scenario telling coastal dwellers such as myself to "run," which assumes there will still be dry land on which to gain traction. It is much more likely I will have to swim or sail aboard a vessel, but I sure do know if that comes to pass, I will be watching as I migrate all those desperate million dollar beach condo owners' nesteggs as they wash away.

Oh, and have you even bothered to ask why Freddie and Fannie don't do jumbo loans over $417 k ???? Maybe the feds don't want the financial risk exposure of having to bailout all those fools who had at their fingertips all those Rand reports dating back to about 1975 predicting exactly this catastrophic global warming scenario and built and bought million dollar beach condos and McMansions.

But of course you know all this and just want to to discredit the unpopular viewpoint and the messenger -- maybe the reason why is because of the failure to disclose, breach of fiduciary duties, and/or fraud liability you likely will personally face in the future in your capacity as environmental engineer.

When you hear a global warming denialist, be sure to ask -- what is his motive?
9.30.2007 2:37am