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December 27, 2005

Secret court blocked Bush's efforts

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer...

A review of Justice Department reports to Congress shows that the 26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap requests from the Bush administration than from the four previous presidential administrations combined.

The court's repeated intervention in Bush administration wiretap requests may explain why the president decided to bypass the court nearly four years ago to launch secret National Security Agency spying on hundreds and possibly thousands of Americans and foreigners inside the United States, according to James Bamford, an acknowledged authority on the supersecret NSA, which intercepts telephone calls, e-mails, faxes and Internet communications....

The Bush administration, responding to concerns expressed by some judges on the 11-member panel, agreed last week to give them a classified briefing on the domestic spying program. U.S. District Judge Malcolm Howard, a member of the panel, told CNN that the Bush administration agreed to brief the judges after U.S. District Judge James Robertson resigned from the FISA panel, apparently to protest Bush's spying program.

It's always amusing to see people take an Amendment, written under very specific circumstance, and try to impose their own interpretations of it to twist it into something very different. Two hundred some odd years ago British troops would enter people's home without permission, and search for anything that could be used to charge them with a crime. To stand by while soldiers ransacked your house was a horrifying ordeal to go through, therefore our Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, which was only added after the Constitution was written on the insistence of some of the states, included an Amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy. We still have people huddling watching police, agents or whoever ransack their house, but only after a judge has decided there's enough reason to cite that he won't be embarrassed if the people turn out innocent. But when we have demented maniacs trying to kill as many Americans as they can, we want to interpret that Amendment in such a way as to hamstring the government's efforts to protect us?

Yes, a government that is allowed to eavesdrop on its citizens can abuse that power, but then a government that arms its military while attempting to disarm its citizens can use that power just as easily. Which would leave us more vulnerable: the government hearing our telephone conversations or the government confiscating our guns? Interesting which one the Liberals choose, isn't it.

We arm our military and police out of necessity. We bestow upon them the power to lock people up or even shoot at them. Does that mean we are handing over our freedom? The problem comes in how the power is used, not if it's allowed. When it comes to preventative intelligence, the problem comes in leaving the government blind and deaf yet still demanding that they protect us.

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 27, 2005 07:32 AM

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