Carol Platt Liebau: Sauce for the Goose . . .

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sauce for the Goose . . .

Why weren't the Democrats upset when news came out that the Clinton Administration claimed that the president had "inherent authority" to order warrantless physical searches -- including break ins at the homes of US citizens -- for foreign intelligence purposes, as Byron York reports?

In the meantime, Justice Kerry has already deemed the warrantless surveillance to be unconstitutional. Talk about "lame."

Just one more reason to be glad about November of 2004. Can you imagine if that guy were in charge?


Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Here is what Bill Clinton authorized.

Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section. [Cite]

The "Act" cited above was FISA (More formally, 50 U.S.C. 1822(a) or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.) So, warrantless searches are allowed provided the Attorney General certified that

(A) the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—

(i) the physical search is solely directed at premises, information, material, or property used exclusively by, or under the open and exclusive control of, a foreign power or powers (as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title);

(ii) there is no substantial likelihood that the physical search will involve the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person; and

(iii) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such physical search meet the definition of minimization procedures under paragraphs (1) through (4) [1] of section 1821 (4) of this title;

In other words, the warrentless searches authorized by Bill Clinton were never, ever, ever to be used on US residents. Since no one has ever argued that the President of the United State government cannot legally engage in covert foreign surveillance (i.e., spying), the outrage here is that President Bush authorized warrantless searches on US residents.

It is surprising that writers of the caliber of Byron and Carol are unable to grasp this distinction.

This post is directly paraphrased from
Think Progress.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Being a "resident" does not a "citizen" make! We have tons of "residents" who do not warrent the protections of a citizen. There are many immegrants, both legal and illegal that could, should be watched! Some guy named Atta might fall into that category - ya think?

8:31 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Pete wrote, "Being a 'resident' does not a 'citizen' make!"

Which is why the FISA statute specifically states, "(ii) there is no substantial likelihood that the physical search will involve the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person."

See, Pete, FISA covers "a United States person" which includes both residents and citizens. Now you can argue that this is limitation is too restrictive. The solution in such a case would be to have the law changed.

What George W. Bush chose to do instead, was to ignore the law at hand. Oh yeah, he also repeatedly lied directly to the American public, claiming that he did not do so.

4:06 PM  

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