December 21, 2005

Why is it suddenly controversial now?

On the whole subject of NSA intercepts, you should be reading PowerLine. It's certainly looking like the President's right to monitor foreign calls is a constitutional one, overriding FISA. And, as I noted previously, Democrat Presidents have been doing much more extensive surveillance, without any objection from our guardian saints of the NYT. From John at PowerLine:

...Has any administration ever backed the position now urged by the Times? It doesn't appear so. Matt Drudge points out that the Clinton administration engaged in warrantless wiretapping. Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick wrote that the President "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes." That is an accurate summary of the holding of every federal court decision that has addressed the issue.

On May 23, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed an executive order that said, "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."

The Clinton-era "Echelon" electronic surveillance program went far beyond anything now under discussion, and became controversial precisely because of its extraordinary scope. A transcript of a 60 Minutes program on Echelon is available here. But the basic concept that the President could order warrantless searches for national security purposes wasn't controversial during the Carter administration or the Clinton administration. Why is it suddenly controversial now?...

Why oh why oh why? Because they are on the other side (in both the war and politics) and would gladly hinder our war efforts to help put Dems back in power. Scoundrels.

Oh how I hope the administration takes off the gloves and starts prosecuting these slimeballs. The hypocrites howled that the Plame leak should be investigated, and it was. Now the NYT has openly said that their story contains classified information from anonymous "sources." a clear violation of the law! I hope the Justice Department is demanding the names of the leakers right now, and preparing to lock up reporters AND editors if it is not forthcoming.

Posted by John Weidner at December 21, 2005 8:29 AM
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