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Friday, December 23, 2005

More on Bush's "Violation" of the "Right to Privacy"

First, there is no right to privacy specifically stated in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. If the right to privacy was to be protected by the government, or in this case, seemingly protected from the government, you would think that they would have stated it, as it would be important. Now, some of you have mentioned the 4th and 5th amendments. For my reference, I will paste them below.

Amendment IV - Search and seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "

Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."


So, I am wondering which exact part some people think contains a right to privacy, and exactly how the unspoken right to privacy has been violated.

Secondly, there is the issue of the FISA of 1978. Now, I must admit that it seems to me as though by this, the President should have gotten warrants. However, in an executive order of 1979, by Jimmy Carter, it states-

"By the authority vested in me as President by Sections 102 and 104 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802 and 1804), in order to provide as set forth in that Act (this chapter) for the authorization of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1-101. Pursuant to Section 102(a)(1) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(a)), the Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order, but only if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section.

1-102. Pursuant to Section 102(b) of the Foreign Intelligence Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(b)), the Attorney General is authorized to approve applications to the court having jurisdiction under Section 103 of that Act (50 U.S.C. 1803) to obtain orders for electronic surveillance for the purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence information.

1-103. Pursuant to Section 104(a)(7) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1804(a)(7)), the following officials, each of whom is employed in the area of national security or defense, is designated to make the certifications required by Section 104(a)(7) of the Act in support of applications to conduct electronic surveillance:

(a) Secretary of State.

(b) Secretary of Defense.

(c) Director of Central Intelligence.

(d) Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(e) Deputy Secretary of State.

(f) Deputy Secretary of Defense.

(g) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

None of the above officials, nor anyone officially acting in that capacity, may exercise the authority to make the above certifications, unless that official has been appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

1-104. Section 2-202 of Executive Order No. 12036 (set out under section 401 of this title) is amended by inserting the following at the end of that section: ''Any electronic surveillance, as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, shall be conducted in accordance with that Act as well as this Order.''.

1-105. Section 2-203 of Executive Order No. 12036 (set out under section 401 of this title) is amended by inserting the following at the end of that section: ''Any monitoring which constitutes electronic surveillance as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be conducted in accordance with that Act as well as this Order.''.

Jimmy Carter."


I must also admit that I am puzzled by how both can be conducted at once, as they seem contradicting to my inexperienced eye. But, it would seem that Bush was most definitely acting in accordance with the law, if he has attained the certifications listed above. Now, has he?

It would seem so- "The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President."

Now, some of you are probably saying that it doesn't matter whether it was legal or not, and that you are concerned the government is making such a "sea change."

Well, not really. The National Review says that in "1994, the Clinton administration argued that the president has "inherent authority" to order physical searches "— including break-ins at the homes of U.S. citizens"— for foreign intelligence purposes without any warrant or permission from any outside body."

Now, Clinton is probably not the best person to be an example of what to do, but I think we can agree that it is suspicious that when Clinton goes even further to have physical searches, it only makes page A-19, but Bush's electronic eavesdropping is on the front page.

So, in summary, it would seem that Bush has acted in accordance with the law, not in violation with the Constitution, in a manner less intrusive than Clinton had in 1994, yet the front page story is "Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say."

No, the MSM isn't biased at all...

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