Friday, January 16, 2009

Wiretapping With No Warrent Upheld

Thanks to Weer'd World Arrrr regular commenter, Queenfan04 for the link. The New York Times reports that a secret federal court upheld the constitutionality of warrentless wire-tapping.
In a rare public ruling, a secret federal appeals court has said telecommunications companies must cooperate with the government to intercept international phone calls and e-mail of American citizens suspected of being spies or terrorists.

Where are we, for crying out loud, Saudi Arabia, North Korea? What is this "secret" business anyway? Plus, weren't we supposed to be getting away from this kind of thing now that we're on the threshold of a new era?

After much debate about whether this actually violates the 4th Amendment's Guarantee to the Right to Privacy, the court decided it meets the criteria for an exception.
Coming in the final days of the Bush administration, the ruling was hailed by the administration and conservatives as a victory for an aggressive approach to counterterrorism. The Justice Department said in a statement that it was “pleased with this important ruling.”

Didn't Obama promise to lessen the power of executive privilege? Didn't he criticize President Bush for secretly ordering the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the international communications of American citizens without the approval of Congress or the courts? I guess we'll soon see if he sings a different tune as President.

What do you think he'll do? Do you think he'll live up to his promises? Do you think this is too much power invested in one branch of government and therefore too much temptation for abuse?

Please feel free to comment.


  1. With only hours left in the reign of this junta, what else could the citizens expect but this?

  2. Mike,

    If you honestly expect a politician to give up power, you are optimistic at best.

    I'll believe it when I see it as far as the government giving up warrant-less wiretapping.

    "Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

    Notice how this amendment allows for "reasonable searches and seizures", (unlike the 2nd which doesn't allow for "reasonable laws" it is shall not be infringed)

    This is how the "loophole" has and will be exploited.

    I think the FISA is set up to handle such cases and the government should be required to explain to a court why it wants to wiretap people but I doubt we will see an end to the warrant-less wiretapping.

  3. +1 To Bob.

    I hope Obama has the stones to crush this facist bullshit.

    I'll be the first to praise him if he does.

  4. needless to say, i agree with the above comments.

    i can't figure out why the bush administration is doing this kind of thing, at this late date. they've got to know it's going to look like childish spite, whether it is or not.

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  7. Has wiretapping, without warrants, helped us catch criminals and assassins and would-be bombers/terrorists?

    Is wiretapping warranted wherever there is suspicion?

    I hope we maintain vigilance on any suspected of being dangerous to our national security. Better safe than sorry --after a national tragedy like 9/11.

    If your profile is vague, and you don't know who the enemies are except by ethnicity and connections between US and middle east, is it justified to eavesdrop on those connections?

  8. This is another example of how The Bushg Administration has been working behind the scenes, passing environmentally destructive laws, signing acts benefiting their buds and pushing through decisions such as this up to the wire....
    Bush was officially named the worst president in regards to civil liberties.
    We certainly have seen the Bill of Rights ignored and treated like an outdated document which seems to have ended up in the circular file under Dick Cheneys' desk....

  9. And Mike, the operative phrase here is, Obama is not the president yet.
    We all hope for the best, but must accept the reality that no politician is the one we wish could be.
    The world has pinned a lot of hope on this man, we have to give him space to breath.

  10. Three comments from the Bush-apologist...

  11. Here's another comment from me.
    I have read a few pieces about this and the rare nature of the circumstances of the court ruling have guaranteed it will be questioned.
    It was a highly disputable, suspiciously pro goverment ruling done in an unorthodox manner in a big hurry.
    Things done in this matter, if challenged, rarelyy ever stand.

  12. Bob said, "If you honestly expect a politician to give up power, you are optimistic at best."

    I hope he has the stones, as Weer'd said, to do just that.

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