12/24/2005: There is no such thing as a 'Minor Infringment'...
...of Constitutional Rights.
Here is good run down of the situation concerning the "Warrant-less Domestic Survelliance" undertaken by Our Government in this CBS News article: Wiretap Debate Should Go To Courts:
"...First, we were told the program only targeted calls that had some international connection. This was supposed to give us some solace about the lack of legislative or judicial oversight for the secret spy program because the express limitation indicated that the eavesdropping efforts would be targeting domestic calls to and from Tora Bora, for example, and not calls from Toledo to Tucson. Even with this limitation the president's directive is constitutionally suspect. But, politically the "international" focus on warrant-less eavesdropping at least allowed White House operatives to say with straight faces that this wasn't some willy-nilly, spy-on-your-neighbor program.
Next, we learned from Tuesday's New York Times that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the name of conducting its war on terror, has "conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief." The FBI isn't the NSA, of course, but the story makes you wonder. If the FBI in the name of fighting terrorism could end up eavesdropping on the Vegan Community project (as the Times reported) why wouldn't the NSA, in the name of fighting terrorism, end up eavesdropping on, say, the ACLU, especially if it didn't have to get a warrant from a judge to do so?
And, sure enough, next came word, again from the Times, that the NSA has been unable to limit its surveillance to communications that have some international context -- purely domestic eavesdropping has occurred as well without a warrant. According to the paper's report, "technical glitches" at the NSA caused its computers to believe that targets of electronic eavesdropping were outside of the United States when in fact they were not. So that call from Toledo to Tucson that wasn't supposed to be monitored by the feds without a warrant may have been monitored after all. And so much for the we're-not-spying-on-our-neighbors argument..."
And Crooks & Liars has this video of the droll lies Child-In-Chief has told repeatedly in speeches to the American people covering all types of wiretaps (whether foreign/domestic, under FISA or the Patriot Act, ALL wiretaps conducted by the government.) CIC says these NEED a court order and judicial oversight.
Yet, CIC now argues this kind of Survelliance (in violation of the FISA laws and the 4th Amendment of our Constitution) is his inherent RIGHT by virtue of his Office as President.
One commentator on CNN remarked that "It's not that the President says he's above the law...but that he says he IS the Law."
I do hope this amnesiac electorate and MSM follow this story through to the end. It's time for everyone to realize how utterly disdainful of our Constitution and American Values this CIC has been and always will be.
UPDATE: Here is yet another good compilation of the issues from various sources, MSM and commentators with their *takes* on the illegality of the secret wiretap program authorized by CIC: from Media Matters.
Karen on 12.24.05 @ 06:55 AM CST