Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bush defends violating 4th Amendment

Let's review the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
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.
Now from Reuters:
President George W. Bush defended a secret order he signed allowing for eavesdropping on people in the United States, as he fought on Saturday for the renewal of the anti-terror USA Patriot Act...

He insisted his role as commander-in-chief gave him the authority to allow the surveillance. He said the program was constitutional, was reviewed by legal authorities and that leaders in Congress were aware of it.
Let's think about this. The NSA is not part of the military, so I'm not sure what being commander-in-chief has to do with anything. Further, I think we need to let the courts decide whether it's constitutional, not Bush. Especially when he says things like, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

From FAS:
The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ... prohibits the NSA from deliberately eavesdropping on Americans either in the United States or overseas, unless the agency can establish probable cause to believe that they are agents of a foreign government committing espionage or other crimes. When any communication to, from or about an American is incidentally intercepted by the NSA in the course of intelligence gathering abroad, the law says, such information cannot be disseminated within the government and must be destroyed within 24 hours unless it contains "a threat of death or serious bodily harm" to some person.
So, we have president who said publicly that he wanted to be dictator, who believes that he can do whatever he wants because he is "commander-in-chief," who says that he can do whatever he wants to anyone labelled a "terrorist," who flouts U.S. law and the Constitution whenever it suits his purposes, and who claims that he is the final judge of what is and is not constitutional. Am I the only one who sees anything wrong with this picture?

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