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Saturday, 11 February 2006
Jimmy Carter Is a Sorry Hypocrite
Ed Morrissey tells us about this report in the Washington Times:

[...In] 1977, Mr. Carter and his attorney general, Griffin B. Bell, authorized warrantless electronic surveillance used in the conviction of two men for spying on behalf of Vietnam.

The men, Truong Dinh Hung and Ronald Louis Humphrey, challenged their espionage convictions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which unanimously ruled that the warrantless searches did not violate the men's rights.

In its opinion, the court said the executive branch has the "inherent authority" to wiretap enemies such as terror plotters and is excused from obtaining warrants when surveillance is "conducted 'primarily' for foreign intelligence reasons."
"Inherent authority," eh? That sounds eminently reasonable.

But you will notice that this monstrous abuse of authority happened a year before the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hmmm... is Carter himself the reason why we are now saddled with an unConstitutional law that gives our enemies free rein to work against us on our own soil?

For one reason (or the other), you have to know the answer's yes.


Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:05 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink

Sunday, 12 February 2006 - 12:47 AM CST

Name: Rider

an unConstitutional law that gives our enemies free rein to work against us on our own soil

Please explain how surveilling Americans who are suspected terrorists with a warrant "gives our enemies free rein to work against us on our own soil"?

It's the law. It's constitutional. It was written with bipartisan cooperation and enacted with strong bipartisan support. Not one of the previous four presidents has ever objected to it. The Bush Justice Dept. is not claiming that it is unconstitional either. So, when you say "unConstitutional" you're pounding a purely political talking point; not raising a point of law.

Of course the president has "inherent authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes." That's the whole basis of foreign espionage. That power was given to the president by the Constitution. And then on December 15, 1791 the Fourth and Fifth Amendments were passed, which delimited that power insofar as the searching of American citizens is concerned. The FISA Court was established to empower presidents to use their inherent surveillance powers fully within the limits imposed on the Executive by the Bill of Rights.

Just when we thought the Republicans couldn't get any more outrageous, they bring up a case in which President Carter broke up a Vietnamese spy ring in order to accuse Democrats of being "soft on defense" and then try to paint Carter as a hypocrite for carrying out warrantless surveillance in a manner ruled consistent with the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Quelle fromage!

Sunday, 12 February 2006 - 10:12 PM CST

Name: Sluggo

I still don't understand why they didn't get warrants for monitoring these communications. Do you think it's possible that they might have done something a little....questionable? Given our understanding of the way strong central governments can drift into abuses of power, wouldn't it be a good idea to get a little oversight on this program?

Of course, this is an issue that should be hit on selectively by the opposition. The real issues should be a huge trade imbalance, enormous deficit spending, corruption and incompetence...you know, the sort of things that used to be the Democrat problems that these people were somehow going to end.

When does the lying stop?

Monday, 13 February 2006 - 2:17 AM CST

Name: TP

I honestly believe that if the Democrats didn't think this was 1968 and were on the right side of the security and military issues, they would have all the moral force in the world to insist upon domestic issues that would help schlubs like you and me.

But the public hates their equivocations on the war and their manipulations of the anti-war Big Media and will have nothing to do with them in the White House.

Think about all that wasted energy spent defending the rights of terrorist sympathizers to communicate and move about freely all because we are too worried about violating their fucking civil rights.

Outrageous.

Monday, 13 February 2006 - 8:30 AM CST

Name: Rider

But the public hates...

Are you talking about polls now? You are whistling in the dark. Nearly two out of three Americans think Bush lied in order to get us into Iraq and also don't approve of his handling of the war.

The energy is being spent defending the Bill of Rights. We don't want fucking secret police in America, thank you. What the hell do you think it means "to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America"? Just blowing people up and having parades?

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