February 16, 2011

Obaman's got it right...

Obama assertion: FBI can get phone records without oversight — McClatchy:

...WASHINGTON — The Obama administration's Justice Department has asserted that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight, according to a document obtained by McClatchy....
The Obama Administration is dead right. I told you this was the case back in 2006...
...And for as long as electronic communications have existed, the United States has conducted surveillance of those communications during wartime´┐Żall without judicial warrant. In the Civil War, for example, telegraph wiretapping was common, and provided important intelligence for both sides. In World War I, President Wilson ordered the interception of all cable communications between the United States and Europe; he inferred the authority to do so from the Constitution and from a general congressional authorization to use military force that did not mention anything about such surveillance. So too in World War II; the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt authorized the interception of all communications traffic into and out of the United States....
-- Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez

All the stuff about our right to be free of unwarranted search and seizure are concerned with criminal law. Honest Abe had Lafayette Baker's thugs out tapping telegraph lines all the time. With no crap about search warrants. But if they overheard that you had robbed a bank, you were safe—that admission could not be introduced as evidence against you. Your civil rights were safe. On the other hand, if they discovered that you were a Confederate spy, you were headed to Old Capitol Prison with a gunny sack over your head. And Gawd help you, you were going to... talk. Sorry, that's the way it was. We freed the slaves and preserved the Union, but the brass knucks had to be used to do it.

And that was right. why? Because this is in a different category. the category is not law, but WAR! when the rule of law and diplomacy and fair dealing breaks down, then you are in the category called war. And it is a category error to apply the rules of peace. to paraphrase Talleyrand, "It was worse than a crime. It was a category error!"

Kit Carson, Lafayette Baker (seated) Posted by John Weidner at February 16, 2011 9:39 PM
Weblog by John Weidner