Friday, January 20, 2006

out-Nixoning Nixon

Wow. The Justice Dept. is claiming that Bush can wiretap Americans without a warrant: "The report argued that a 1978 law regulating intelligence-gathering in the United States did not close the door on surveillance that had not been approved by a special court created by that law." But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, amended several times after 1978 and specifically in 1995, requires warrants both for physical searches and for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes... and in those amendments, several times during legislative discussions and in the law itself, Congress specifically said that the executive was still required to come inform Congress about such programs.

Bush did not get warrants and did not inform Congress. Item #4,269 as to why you should be feeling a great deal of 1973 deja vu.


At Monday, 23 January, 2006, Anonymous John said...

Makes me long for the good old days when this sort of thing didn't happen. No Jefferson and his sedition act, no Lincoln with his suspension of habeas corpus. No Clinton with his Project Echelon which listened in on phone conversations of American citizens AT RANDOM to mine for information (about what is quite unclear) or Ms. Clinton's forgetting that hundreds of FBI files just happen to be stored in the basement of the White House. Ah, to go back to those days when politicians were not corrupt, unethical, amoral criminals. Unfortunately, I can't imagine how far I would need top go back!

At Thursday, 26 January, 2006, Blogger the RaptorMage said...

John, you fail to distinguish differences. For example, the Clinton wiretaps were not clearly legal or illegal at the time; when a court test and new statute clarified their status, Clinton's executive branch stopped.

Bush's wiretaps, on the other hand, are clearly illegal. The difference is between having a leg to stand on before the law and not having one. Sure, Bush claims to have one (the same leg Nixon claimed!--see link), but he's wrong.


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