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Court: Warrantless Domestic Spying is A-OK
One And Only Challenge to Citizen Spying Ended
by Karl Bode 08:37AM Wednesday Aug 08 2012
The one and only case to successfully challenge Bush area domestic spying operations has been shot dead by an appeals court. The government may continue to engage in domestic surveillance without warrants and without fear of being sued. "This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the executive branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization," a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in their ruling (pdf). The domestic spying program was unearthed by the New York Times in 2005; later leaks indicated carriers like AT&T helped the government spy on citizens by providing wholesale direct access to all data that crosses their networks.

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bnceo

join:2007-10-11
Bel Air, MD

Super Sad

This is probably one of the saddest things to happen in our country. The warrants to begin with were never hard to get. The gov is simply lazy and wants carte blanche to spy on anyone at any given time.

cdru
Go Colts
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Fort Wayne, IN
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Re: Super Sad

said by bnceo:

This is probably one of the saddest things to happen in our country.

You'd rank warrant-less wiretapping as one of the saddest things to happen to the US? It wouldn't rank even in the top 10 things on my list of sad historical events (in no particular order):

1. Slavery
2. Civil Rights
3. Suffrage
4. McCarthyism
5. Internment camps
6. 9/11 and subsequent effects/reaction (in general, not just to warant-less wiretapping)
7. Indefinite detainment of "enemy combatants"
8. Vietnam
9. WWII
10. Civil War

Yeah it's definitely not a great moment in US history. And trampling on constitutional rights is always a problem. But put it in just a little perspective on what impact it will have on how many people. Then tell me if it's still one of the saddest things to happen to our country.
stone12

join:2012-02-01
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Super Sad

because you don't value your freedom.
National Security Agency is really National Spy Agency. Why are they afraid of us?

cdru
Go Colts
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Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: Super Sad

said by stone12:

because you don't value your freedom.

I'm impressed that you can judge my value of freedom based on one comment that said that this wasn't one of the saddest things in US history. My original reply said nothing about how I felt specifically about the the wiretaps. I just said put it in perspective with other sad moments in history.

It's a phone call. Yes you have a right to privacy. And no the government shouldn't be listening in on it without a warrant. But you're really going to tell me that it ranks above slavery, where the government a big f-u to millions of slaves saying they had no rights, including fundamental rights of humans? Or that women had less rights then men? Or the hundred-thousand-plus Japanese-, German-, and Italian-Americans who were "housed" in internment/relocation/detention camps during WWII without any due process?

vikingfannsc

@aol.com

Re: Super Sad

everyone has a right to their view and where it falls based on their beliefs. that is one of the rightd we have as amricans- the right to our own thoughts even tho they conflict with others. the travesty is that the government can continue to run roughshod over its citizens. It may not compare to past events but the question really is where will it lead and what other rights will we lose in the future. if we continue to let the government take theswe little "rights" we will not have any and will not be able to do anything about.

i1me2ao
Premium
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TEXAS

Re: Super Sad

you do not have any rights according to this ruling.
Donut

join:2005-06-27
Romulus, MI
When people fear the government there is tyranny. When Governments fear their people there is liberty. (Thomas Jefferson)

Guess the "People" of this country are doing their job.
--
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bTU

join:2009-04-22
Aurora, CO
It could have a huge impact on a lot of people. Maybe it hasn't yet, and maybe it won't if you think the gov't will use this power with restraint and in an ethical fashion. I agree that maybe it shouldn't called the saddest thing to happen to our country, though it has the potential to outrank quite a few of those that you listed.
--
He who controls the Spice, controls the universe.

cdru
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Re: Super Sad

said by bTU:

It could have a huge impact on a lot of people.

Operative key word is "could", meaning the future. You can't have "one of the saddest things to happen in our country" and the impact really not felt yet.
bnceo

join:2007-10-11
Bel Air, MD
If you don't want your freedom, feel free to mail your entire whereabouts and information to the NSA via Fed Ex.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net
Yes the listed atrocities are much bigger in scope than this and from my viewpoint, most of them were approved by the Courts as legal despite the obvious trampling of Human and Constitutional rights that "should" have prevented them. God help you if you are on the wrong side of "justice" and/or disagree with populist mentality.
etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1
No list should be complete without including domestic chemical warfare 'incidents' like using chicken pox against native Americans. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Ame···pidemics or to infect African Americans with syphilis »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_s···periment

but hey the US is the greatest nation on earth... right?

cdru
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Re: Super Sad

said by etaadmin:

No list should be complete without including domestic chemical warfare 'incidents' like using chicken pox against native Americans. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Ame···pidemics

Did you read what you linked to? It wasn't chicken pox, it possibly was small pox if it actually occurred. And other diseases were brought over by early European settlers just like in many other parts of the world where an outsider infects a local population that has built up an immunity to a disease or pathogen. While such vulnerability might have been used as a weapon of sorts, I'd imagine that far more people were caught by the pandemic that just naturally progressed vs. malicious intent.

or to infect African Americans with syphilis »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_s···periment

No one was intentionally infected with syphilis. All of the individuals that were directly involved with the Tuskegee syphilis experiment already had it. The experiment just withheld treatment, particularly after penicillin was widely accepted for treating syphilis. There were secondary or tertiary infections with wives and kids but they were also not intentionally infected.

Definitely not a shining moments in US history, but not "chemical warfare" by any means.
etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1

Re: Super Sad

said by cdru:

said by etaadmin:

No list should be complete without including domestic chemical warfare 'incidents' like using chicken pox against native Americans. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Ame···pidemics

Did you read what you linked to? It wasn't chicken pox, it possibly was small pox if it actually occurred. And other diseases were brought over by early European settlers just like in many other parts of the world where an outsider infects a local population that has built up an immunity to a disease or pathogen. While such vulnerability might have been used as a weapon of sorts, I'd imagine that far more people were caught by the pandemic that just naturally progressed vs. malicious intent.

Yes I did read the content but I'm not a doctor to know what exactly what pathogen it was (chicken, small or whatever) all I know is that according to some statements the then US Army knowingly distributed contaminated blankets among the native American community to wipe them out.

said by cdru:

or to infect African Americans with syphilis »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_s···periment

No one was intentionally infected with syphilis. All of the individuals that were directly involved with the Tuskegee syphilis experiment already had it. The experiment just withheld treatment, particularly after penicillin was widely accepted for treating syphilis. There were secondary or tertiary infections with wives and kids but they were also not intentionally infected.

Probably not but the doctors left those people in the dark about their medical condition and left them untreated so they can watch them die of syphilis.

said by cdru:


Definitely not a shining moments in US history, but not "chemical warfare" by any means.

Absolutely! I wonder what is going on today?

cdru
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Re: Super Sad

said by etaadmin:

Yes I did read the content but I'm not a doctor to know what exactly what pathogen it was (chicken, small or whatever)

Real quick medical lesson: Chicken pox typically causes a rash and blisters (pox) over the body. You get a fever, the rash, and a sore throat. Start to finish is about 2 weeks with only a portion of that where the symptoms are evident. It's uncomfortable, but almost everyone that catches it survives. There are vaccines now, but it is still very prevalent in the world. Prior to the vacination introduction, around a 100 people died annually out of 3-4m infections.

Smallpox gets the fever and rash. Plus bodyache, nausea, vomiting. Then the pox come about 2 weeks later and start to fill with puss, then rupture scabbing over. The scabs fall away leaving permanent scarring. There is no cure once infected. Once infected, mortality rate is about 30% with specific types usually fatal.

Comparing the two is like comparing a sunburn (chickenpox) to a 3rd degree burn (smallpox) over most your body. Both are burns, but they are very different in what they can cause and how they ultimately get treated.

all I know is that according to some statements the then US Army knowingly distributed contaminated blankets among the native American community to wipe them out.

French & Indian War was fought from 1754-63. The Continental Army wasn't formed until 1775 and the US Army until 1784 after the Revolutionary War. It couldn't have been the US Army as it wouldn't be formed for another 2 decades. If anything, it was the British Army that proposed it. And there is no conclusive evidence one way or another how it was transmitted, whether intentionally, unintentionally, or accidentally.

Probably not but the doctors left those people in the dark about their medical condition and left them untreated so they can watch them die of syphilis.

No doubt they were left in the dark. But that is different then intentionally infecting people.

capecoddah

join:2005-03-18
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:1
WW2? Really?

cdru
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Re: Super Sad

said by capecoddah:

WW2? Really?

Yeah, I would call WW2 with 400k deaths a slightly sadder moment in US history then a few organizations or individuals labeled terrorists.

NormanS
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Re: Super Sad

said by cdru:

Yeah, I would call WW2 with 400k deaths a slightly sadder moment in US history then a few organizations or individuals labeled terrorists.

Of course, we pretty much brought that war on by our own devices; the cause of the war in the pacific pretty much links back to Commodore Matthew C. Perry's unprovoked bombardment of certain Imperial facilities around Edo Wan.

NormanS
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I'd strike #4 and #9 from your list. I'd move #5, #6, and #7 up one place each, and #8 down one place. The replacement #7 would be the "Trail of Tears". The replacement #8 would be the "Alien and Sedition Acts".
--
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Camaro
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said by cdru:

4. McCarthyism


What is going on now is much worse than that. The others on your list belong there no argument there. But the amount of info they have access to, now they can do a lot more on a much bigger scale of accusing people for being a terrorist or whatever label of a particular person and there isn't any oversight, sorry that scares the hell out of me, and I know the "if you aren't doing anything wrong then you don't have to worry" well that can turn into a huge debate but I will stay on track.

McCarthyism only lasted for 4 years, I have a strange feeling that this type power they have is probably going to last a lot longer
etaadmin

join:2002-01-17
Dallas, TX
kudos:1
... and this is only the beginning.

Mr Fel
Premium
join:2008-03-17
Louisville, KY
Sad yeah a bit, but I'd say it's closer to one of the stupidest moments than anything else.
--
Change the scheme, alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you'd be so kind.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA

Oh look, the 9th circuit again

Anyone else not surprised by the 9th circuit ruling this way? They seem to take a perverse pleasure rulings that go against the flow instead of ruling with law and the Constitution.
ShellMMG

join:2009-04-16
Grass Lake, MI

Re: Oh look, the 9th circuit again

They're called the "9th Circus" for a reason.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA

US Supreme Court

The Plaintiffs should try to appeal it to the US Supreme Court when they go into session on the first Monday in October.

Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:1

Re: US Supreme Court

said by IowaCowboy:

The Plaintiffs should try to appeal it to the US Supreme Court when they go into session on the first Monday in October.

I don't think it would do much good. If you read the actual ruling, the Circuit Court reversed the lower court decision primarily due to a recent SCOTUS ruling on similar wording in a different law.

It is also worth noting that this entire case boiled down to financial compensation for the warrant less spying, and not whether it was right or wrong. The court didn't say the Government was right, just that the plaintiffs aren't entitled to compensation under the sited law.

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

Re: US Supreme Court

You have to love the manner in which the decision was made. Reading the decision I have to wonder how one can prove they were being under surveillance if it is illegal for anyone involved to reveal that someone or some organization was under surveillance. The "Sealed Document" was excluded from evidence for the plaintiffs in this case (the Feds shouldn't have furnished it).
I guess its okay to do domestic spying because one cannot prove it happened nor can one claim any damages because nothing can be accepted as evidence as it is all State secrets and if by chance one has such evidence they are committing a federal crime!
Whats next for America?

Camelot One
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Greenwood, IN
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Re: US Supreme Court

The same thing is happening at the ISP level. The national security letters from the FBI demand not only monitoring, but prohibit the company from disclosing it's existence, even in court. Its a nice little loophole for the Government.

marigolds
Gainfully employed, finally
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The sealed document was not excluded. It was specifically included on the remand.
Expand your moderator at work

Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net

9th Circuit Court of Amerika

Even if its appealed the Supreme Court can (and probably would) refuse to process the appeal. You would expect that this sort of kangaroo court in a third world dictatorship not the bastion of democracy but truth is stranger than fiction and the truth is painful. Another Appeals Court whoring to political pressures.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Can only sue over misuse of info from spying

quote:
“Under this scheme, Al-Haramain can bring a suit for damages against the United States for use of the collected information, but cannot bring suit against the government for collection of the information itself,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote for the majority. She was joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins and Judge Harry Pregerson. ”Although such a structure may seem anomalous and even unfair, the policy judgment is one for Congress, not the

You can only sue over misuse of info from spying, not spying itself. IOW, you have no right to privacy. Only to harm done to you as a result of that spying can be redressed.
--
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»www.mittromney.com/issues/health-care

AnonFTW

@rr.com

Re: Can only sue over misuse of info from spying

said by FFH:

IOW, you have no right to privacy.

You're exactly right. I don't think a single person I've ever heard screaming about their privacy being invaded has ever actually read on the matter. The Supreme Court was very clear in their 1923 decision, an individual has no right to "generalized" privacy ... only specific privacies which some choose to misinterpret to make their point more dramatic. Or for hits.

meeeeeeeeee

join:2003-07-13
Newburgh, NY

1 recommendation

Stalin is beaming

The Untied States of Amerika, soon the be the ultimate dictatorship. Sad what's become of this place in the last 50 years.

••••

w0g2

@comcast.net

Synthetic telepathy

This shit is just the tip of the ice berg. Sure they have sophisticated computer software that reads over, scans and interprets every voice conversation, text communication, service usage, video and photo graph. They have drones flying over everyone making recordings and listening in on things for miles. Very sensitive microphones can hear through walls and track mutliple targets for miles, terahertz and ultrasound are used to see through walls. But they are also secretly using mind reading technology called synthetic telepathy and psychotronics to read peoples thoughts, memory and feeling, secretly communicate with one another, and occasionally target and attack people in secret. This technology fits into devices the size of cellphones, vehicles, they drive around monitoring, tracking, and spying on us from miles away. Stealing information and peoples private thoughts and conversations. They know everything about you and they hardly say a word about it. They can figure out how to target you this way and basically entrap or control you if they want to target you. It's seriously how it's being done.
Expand your moderator at work
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Bush area (sic) domestic spying?

Is our fearless blogger suggesting that the current administration has ceased this activity?
Rekrul

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Milford, CT
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...

So basically, everyone openly admits that the government broke the law and violated the Constitution, but no court wants to hold them accountable? They all basically say that Congress, can decide if they can be held accountable?

Yeah, that's the way government is supposed to work. While we're at it, why don't we let the fox decide if he should be held accountable for raiding the chicken coop...

marigolds
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A minor difference...

While the appeals court said section 1080 did not waive sovereign immunity, they also made it quite clear that section 2712(a) does.

What's the difference? 1080 allows you to sue persons for the act of wiretapping. 2712(a) allows you to sue the federal government for damages caused by use of the information from wiretapping.

Which is better than not having FISA in the first place. Before FISA, sovereign immunity made the federal government immune to any and all suits for wiretapping (you could only exclude the evidence in criminal trial under the 4th amendment, but not recover any damages nor injunction). FISA at least waives sovereign immunity to the extent that you can recover damages if the information from a warrantless wiretap is used against you.
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Methadras

join:2004-05-26
Spring Valley, CA

9th Circuit does it again...

I don't see how this can't go to SCOTUS. Even so, remember, it's the leftist 9th circuit that did this. Who's the enemy now?
Ahuacamolli

join:2001-11-30
Rancho Santa Fe, CA
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Time to again amend the US Constitution!

Citizens of the United Kingdom, the successor to the country we once declared independence from, now have more privacy rights than the citizens of the US.

The Constitution of the United States of America is clearly in need of well worded amendment better defining it's citizens rights to privacy.

I wonder if the Electronic Freedom Foundation is up to the task?
PX Eliezer7
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Headline is wrong.

The decision does NOT say that the actions of the government were "A-OK".

In fact, the judges' ruling implicitly praised the plaintiffs for raising the issue, and criticized the government for trivializing it.

This was a narrow technical ruling that said that, because Congress did not put a waiver of sovereign immunity into the wiretapping law, people could not sue the government for monetary damages.

If someone had sued asking for a court order to bar the government from DOING this again, the court probably would have agreed.

And it's up to the executive branch to comply with laws, and up to Congress to change them if needed.

This decision specifically said that if you've been victimized, you can't sue for money. That's unfortunate, and Congress can change that, but it is not the same as saying that anything goes.

Sovereign immunity is a well established doctrine that goes back to English common law. You can't use the King's courts to collect money from the King.

And even today in our country, sovereign immunity applies unless it has been waived by law. Many waivers are written into the law, those cases are handled by the US Court of Claims.

SwanSword

@amazonaws.com

Online Privacy is a Function of ISP log files.

If anyone pays attention to how the Internet is actually constructed, they know several providers maintain clouds that many websites use for global connectivity. A cloud can layer IPs so as to translate many ISP DHCP assigned addresses to one address, and tunnel them to their common destination.

At the destination router, the packets are translated back to ipv4 IPs unique to the region.

Clouds by nature hold 'some' data for a very long time, so 'mining the cloud' might turn up clues or evidence. But it's random chance dictated by the age of the information sought.

But there are some sticky points. Electronic network communication is not easily admissible as evidence, for reasons similar to parking tickets being legally attached to a certain vehicle, not the driver!

The driver is revealed only if the citation is contested, or the fine is paid by check, credit card, etc. But most computer users place themselves by admission, behind the keyboard long before law-enforcement bluntly poses the question. Unless a certain individual can be placed behind a certain keyboard at a certain time, there's no case.

But even if evidence is found, it can be linked to a location, and possibly an identity, only before the ISP log file containing the identity of the user of that IP, on a certain date, at a certain time of day, rotates off into oblivion.

ISPs don't want to use resources to identify users, because they don't get anything out of it. It's a cost of doing business that all ISPs want to minimize. So, unless there's a court order, the ISP won't reveal customers' identities.

Time Warner challenges such court orders, just to discourage their use. Federal law-enforcement can monitor traffic at the ISP level, but generally they don't retrospect.

However, most law-enforcement do not capture full-content packets. It's difficult to obtain a warrant to monitor outgoing content, but incoming traffic is fair game, because it lies completely outside the domain of privacy--that is, it both originates and is captured outside the sovereignty of the walls of a man's domicile.

Law-enforcement is generally not concerned with packet content, but only traffic analysis. Every laptop is unique. Every network adapter is unique, and the identity of the NIC is included in most network packets!.

A laptop can be tracked around the world, and all of its communication can be mapped. If law-enforcement secures probable cause, they just seize the laptop, and sometimes the person in possession of it, and copy the hard drive on the spot.

If they're not going to keep the owner, he gets his computer back. If anything suspicious or incriminating is found, then the guy is busted.

Finally, governments are not much concerned by phishing, malware, online fraud, spam, port-scanning or cracking, because private enterprise enforces measures to prevent those.

Except in the most egregious and chronic violators, online fraud is controlled by private security. The FBI once advertised for high-paying computer job, using a pseudo-shady corporate front.

They were after 2 very wary Russian crackers. They fell for it, accepted air-fare and hotel, and when they arrived they were met by federal agents. The agents posed as racketeers in organized online crime, and proceeded to interview the Russian crackers.

The more they gave reverence to the crackers, the more the crackers bragged about exact details. Several hours into the video-recorded "interview," arrests were made.

It is not possible to anonymously surf the web without leaving a single trace. Your mom might not be able to catch you with porn, but if you try anything illegal you're probably toast.
iknow
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Treason!.

Federal Executive and Legislative Branch Oaths

In the United States, the oath of office for the President is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1):

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."[59]

The oath may be sworn or affirmed (in which case it is called an affirmation instead of oath). Although not present in the text of the Constitution, it is customary for modern presidents to say "So help me God" after the end of the oath. For officers other than the President, the expression "So help me God" is explicitly prescribed, but the Judiciary Act of 1789 also explains when it can be omitted (specifically for oaths taken by court clerks): "Which words, so help me God, shall be omitted in all cases where an affirmation is admitted instead of an oath."[60]

The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

At the start of each new U.S. Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, newly elected or re-elected Members of Congress – the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate – must recite an oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.[61]

This oath is also taken by the Vice President, members of the Cabinet, federal judges and all other civil and military officers and federal employees other than the President.

[edit] Federal Judiciary Oaths

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.[62]

The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.[61]

Federal statute specifically says that the latter oath "does not affect other oaths required by law."[63]

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_office