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Warrantless wiretapping ruled legal

So President Bush's extraordinary efforts to keep us safe were ruled legal after all the hand wringing by the left that Bush is shredding the Constitution. And the ruling has come just in time for Obama to pull back the program anyway in order to appease the hand wringing left. However, considering how the media worship Obama, their stance on this program will probably shift and Obama will be seen as the savior of America should he decide to keep the program going.


A federal intelligence court, in a rare public opinion, is expected to issue a major ruling validating the power of the president and Congress to wiretap international phone calls and intercept e-mail messages without a court order, even when Americans' private communications may be involved.

The court decision is expected to be disclosed as early as Thursday in an unclassified, redacted form. It was made in December by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which has issued only two prior rulings in its 30-year history.

The decision marks the first time since the disclosure of the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program three years ago that an appellate court has addressed the constitutionality of the federal government's wiretapping powers. In validating the government's wide authority to collect foreign intelligence, it may offer legal credence to the Bush administration's repeated assertions that the president has constitutional authority to act without specific court approval in ordering national security eavesdropping.


This creates a problem for George Stephanopoulos who pushed Obama to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Bush's warrantless wiretapping.


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Comments (16)

Slight nit. The new ruling... (Below threshold)
James H:

Slight nit. The new ruling upholds the Protect America Act, which Congress passed in 2007. Previous to that, you could conceivably argue that the warrantless wiretapping was illegal under then-existing law. I'm not totally up on all the relevant law, but I think the distinction is worth pointing out.

Does no one remember Echelo... (Below threshold)
doug in colorado:

Does no one remember Echelon? I think it started in Bush I's presidency, but it was definitely in play for all of Clinton's years...with the acquiescence of the Left Stream Media...

See http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/01/under_clinton_ny_times_called.html

It was reportedly a lot more pervasive and invasive and less discriminating than the Bush II era wiretaps of international phone calls, and I'm quite sure the press would want Obama to have "all the best tools to rule the fools."

Does no one remember Ech... (Below threshold)

Does no one remember Echelon? I think it started in Bush I's presidency...

ECHELON has been around since the 60s. During the Clinton years, some thoguht the US was using it for industrial espionage rather than intel gathering.

Any-who, this is good news. I'm sure the Obama Admin. will queitly going on using wiretaps after recognizing the value of the program as a tool in the GWOT.

Oh the court ruled it. So, ... (Below threshold)
jmc:

Oh the court ruled it. So, guess that means you agree that Gitmo prisoners deserve to be treated under the Geneva convention. Since you know, the supreme court ruled they were entitled to those rights. I'm glad we all now agree the courts ruling is final. Luckily, they supreme court ruled Abortion was legal years ago so I don't have to listen to any conservatives whining about how activist judges are ignoring the Constitution.

So, guess that means you... (Below threshold)

So, guess that means you agree that Gitmo prisoners deserve to be treated under the Geneva convention. Since you know, the supreme court ruled they were entitled to those rights.

The SC didn't say that at all. The SC gave the illegal combatants constitutional priviledges, granting them "the right to pursue habeas challenges to their detention", but it said ZIP about the GC.

I'm glad we all now agree the courts ruling is final.

Yes, they are. And in many instances (ex: Boumediene v. Bush ) that's not a good thing.

You're not ruling out pr... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

You're not ruling out prosecution, but will you tell your Justice Department to investigate these cases and follow the evidence wherever it leads?"

That's a really good way to encourage support from the Republicans.

Of course, it's useful to know that nothing done was illegal, as none of it had been defined.

Snuffleupagus is such a jerk.

james h - "Slight nit. ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

james h - "Slight nit. The new ruling upholds the Protect America Act, which Congress passed in 2007."

Not to nitpick your slight "nit," but I will.

The linked NYT piece contains this passage:

The FISA court rejected the telecommunication companies' challenge. It found that the Protect America Act did not violate the Constitution because the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, contained an exception for the collection of foreign intelligence information.
Your conceivable argument based on the previous law fails the smell test when viewed in this context.

HEY, CONSERVATIVES!!<... (Below threshold)
Herman:

HEY, CONSERVATIVES!!

Let's consider what your Moron King has to say about the matter:

"Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, ANY TIME you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- A WIRETAP REQUIRES A COURT ORDER. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're tahttp://wizbangblog.com/cgi-bin/mt.cgi?__mode=list_pings&blog_id=1lking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act,
constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." -- Chimpy, April, 2004 ( http://thinkprogress.org/2005/12/20/bush-caught-on-tape/ )

So the question is, conservatives:

Was Bush lying about this matter, or was he telling the truth? IS HE A LIAR, OR A LAW-BREAKER?

Either way, YOU LOSE.
depp=true
notiz=No. You lose.

herman - "Was Bush lyin... (Below threshold)
Marc:

herman - "Was Bush lying about this matter, or was he telling the truth? IS HE A LIAR, OR A LAW-BREAKER?

You give no choice, as the post proves the program is legal.

As to your "second choice" forgive me but... THINK[LESS] PROGRESS! Surely you're joking.

Make ya a deal, you find and post the entire speech/interview they excerpted the quote from so it can be judged in its entirety and within context I might give it some consideration.

'Til then....pfftt!

Okay, Marc,You wan... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Okay, Marc,

You want to read all that Bush said that day? Go ahead:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040420-2.html

Enjoy!

"So President Bush's extrao... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"So President Bush's extraordinary efforts to keep us safe were ruled legal" -- Kim

Complete crap. Bush's illegal violations prior to 2007 of the FISA statute passed by Congress around 1978 and signed into law by President Jimmy are just as illegal as they ever were. All the FISA court did recently was rule that the Protect America Act was legally okay and did not violate the Fourth Amendment.

If Kim would simply read p... (Below threshold)
Herman:

If Kim would simply read past the damn headlines she would have seen this in the New York Times article:

"The opinion did not directly rule on the legality of the once-secret operation authorized by President Bush between October 2001 and early 2007, which allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the international communications of Americans suspected of ties to terrorists."

I love it; all you liberal ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I love it; all you liberal absolute retards were wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

It must suck to be the regularly wrong. I mean, it's really pathetic.

Heh.

Hermie, you saying it's ok ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hermie, you saying it's ok it the Congress allows it, but not ok if the Prez. does it under his authority as commander in chief?

That's plain nutty. The President has authority, and there have been other FISA courts which have said as much.

You little toad.

Mitchie, get this through y... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Mitchie, get this through your thick skull,

It isn't what "congress allows" that matters, it's what THE LAW ALLOWS that matters.

I believe that only 2 judges have ruled on the matter (if I'm not mistaken), both ruling against Bush, both ruling that Bush broke the law. Here's what one of those judges declared:

"In this case, the President has acted, undisputedly, as FISA [i.e., "The Law']forbids. FISA is the expressed
statutory policy of our Congress. The presidential power, therefore, was exercised at its lowest ebb and cannot be sustained,"
she wrote -- http://www.privacytimes.com/wiretap.html

HEY CONSERVATIVES!!!<... (Below threshold)
Herman:

HEY CONSERVATIVES!!!

Let's consider what your Moron King has to say about this matter, IF, FOR NO OTHER REASON, TO SHOW WHAT MARC WAS REPLYING TO (ELSE HIS POST ABOVE BECOMES WORTHLESS as no one knows what he's referring to)!!!

"Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, ANY TIME you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- A WIRETAP REQUIRES A COURT ORDER. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." -- Chimpy

So the question is, conservatives:

Was Bush lying about this matter, or was he telling the truth? IS HE A LIAR, OR A LAW-BREAKER???

Either way you lose!! Deal with it.

Now, I better save my post in case some fool disemvowels it, thereby making Marc's post worthless.




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