Friday, August 18, 2006

NSA Wiretapping

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of United States District Court in Detroit ruled that the National Security Agency's program to wiretap the international communications of some Americans without a court warrant violated the Constitution, and she ordered it shut down.

She ruled that the program violated both the Fourth Amendment and a 1978 law that requires warrants from a secret court for intelligence wiretaps involving people in the United States. She rejected the administration's repeated assertions that a 2001 Congressional authorization and the president's constitutional authority allowed the program.
Fourth Amendment: "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."
The government said it would ask Judge Taylor to stay her order at a hearing on Sept. 7. The Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union -- which brought the case in Detroit on behalf of a group of lawyers, scholars, journalists and others -- agreed that her order would not be enforced until then, but lawyers for the A.C.L.U. said they would oppose any further stay.

All kinds of red flags go up here:
-- This judge is on record as being a left wing appeaser.
-- Jimmy Carter's mistakes continue to rear their ugly heads (he appointed this wack-job).
-- The ACLU never has the best interest of the country in mind.
-- Many in this country still feel that a GWOT does not exist.
-- The NSA activities do not appear to violate the FISA ruling, although there is some grey area in the 1970's law (maybe Congress should clarify the law?)
-- Individuals think it is okay for the government to turn a blind eye for people in the country to talk with known terrorists outside of the country.
-- We continuinterpretrprut the Constitution along the Bill Clinton lines of defining what "is" is.

Is this monitoring program unreasonable? Are American rights being trampled upon?

I also am very concerned about big brother watching our every move. At the same time, the one thing I want my federal government to do -- and not much more -- is to provide for the defense of this nation.

Our biggest enemy -- pick the topic -- is right here in America. History has shown again and again that successful societies (Egyptian, Greek, Rome, British, Nephite, Jaredite, Israel/Judea, etc.) are destroyed from within.

1 comment:

brett said...

If someone makes a decision you don't like, it automatically means it is wrong. Your red flags are red herrings. First of all, if this judge is such an "appeaser" (i challenge you to justify that statement--with real cases); second, the ACLU had the best interest of the country in mind when they represented the MORMONS in Texas who fought against prayer in football games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Independent_School_Dist._v._Doe , http://www.mormonstoday.com/000312/N1SchoolPrayer01.shtml). Third, I believe most Americans do want to fight a global war on terror; they just actually want it fought globally and within the law. They want UBL caught, not bogging us down in iraq; they want liberty AND security.
Fourth, if the administration thought the law should have been changed, they should have asked Congress BEFORE they went ahead with the program. You have to reach back into your memory to 5th grade civics: Congress passes laws, the President executes the law, Courts interpret laws and application of the law. If there are grey areas, THAT IS WHAT THE FISA COURT IS THERE FOR! It was set up to clear up the grey areas. That is why FISA says words like "exclusive."
I, and most Americans, do want the government to track, find, prosecute, and kill terrorists. Our demand is that they obey the law to do it. We don't need to break the law to keep our freedom. That is like saying we need to tell little white lies to our families to keep them happy. That is not right.
Finally, Bill Clinton did not give this decision. The duly appointed judge gave the decision; she ruled on the law existing (FISA, the Constitution). Those documents precede Bill Clinton.
So to answer your questions; the monitoring programs, as the administration has used them without warrants and in the face of FISA's clear standards, is an unreasonable search and seizure. Our rights are being trampled on.
If we are being destroyed from within, all the more reason to spend more money on local law enforcement, FBI, TSA, etc. All of them, since 9/11 have complained about limited funds. We should realize that while this program may be good to have if it is made legal, we also have other needs.