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Archive for January 11th, 2009

Kick Cheney in the Chins: This is what passes for professional writing at the New York Times…

Posted by iusbvision on January 11, 2009

Jan 10 NYT Maureen Dowd:

In the past week, I’ve twice been close enough to Dick Cheney to kick him in the shins.

I didn’t. It’s probably a federal crime of some sort. But a girl can fantasize. I did, however, assume the Stay-away-from-me-you’ve-got-cooties stance that Jimmy Carter used when posing with Bill Clinton at the presidents’ powwow in the Oval.

The first time was Tuesday, when Cheney left the ceremony where he gave the oath of office to senators. The senators seemed thrilled, especially Joe Biden, who was getting sworn in for just two weeks and was excitedly showing off a family Bible the size of a Buick. But I thought it gave the ceremony a satirical edge to have the lawless Vice presiding over lawmakers swearing to support and defend the Constitution that he soiled and defiled – right in the heart of the legislative branch he worked to diminish.

The second time I crossed paths was Thursday night, at a glitzy party at Cafe Milano for Brit Hume, stepping down as a Fox anchor. It required extreme defensive maneuvers – much zigging and zagging – to avoid Cheney, Wolfie and Rummy, all three holding court and blissfully unrepentant about the chaos they’ve unleashed on the world.

This childish editorializing is what has caused the NYT readership and ad revenue falling to crisis levels as the paper struggles to stay a float.

The silliness of this NYT piece speaks for itself. What I find amusing is how those on the far left try to play this “constitution card”. The people that Dowd supports trash the Constitution every day with obviously unconstitutional spending and regulations that violate Article I Section VIII, unfunded mandates and regulations on the states that violate the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and the NYT leftists were none to happy with the Heller decision where the Supreme Court actually stood up for the Second Amendment.

Now here is the irony, the steps that this administration took to protect us have historical precedent going back to George Washington; not to mention court decisions about presidential war powers and what is considered a “reasonable search” during war time.  

Having challenged students and professors alike on these issues they always melt when I ask them the following question, “What exactly did they do in protecting us that violated the Constitution?”

I inform them how past presidents such as Wilson, FDR, Jefferson and Lincoln opened all international mail without a warrant. How other past presidents such as Carter, Clinton, Reagan and Bush 41 signed executive orders making it clear that under presidential war powers that they could use warrantless searches against foreign intelligence threats. I link to them the court cases that make it clear that a warrant is not needed in regards to foreign intelligence threats as the courts have found it “reasonable” for the president to use such power against such threats.

All presidents faced with such foreign intelligence threats have done this, yet ONLY Bush is guilty of violating the Constitution according to the NYT.

You want the proof?

Here you go: 

[Editor’s Note – Before hscott or someone else says “Hey Chuck, you pulled part of this from an old Wikipedia article, why don’t you do your own research?” It is my research. Years ago I authored Wikipedia’s section on warrantless surveillance. I have studied this issue and the case law surrounding it to a great degree. Since then what I wrote has been changed by partisans who vandalize articles for political purposes and is the main reason why Wikipedia can not be considered a trusted source as much of the bias is in what you don’t see because it is removed by partisans.]

History of Warrentless Surveillence

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales briefed Congress on February 6th, 2006 on the history of warrantless foreign intelligence searches”

This fact is amply borne out by history. This Nation has a long tradition of wartime enemy surveillance-a tradition that can be traced to George Washington, who made frequent and effective use of secret intelligence. One source of Washington’s intelligence was intercepted British mail. See Central Intelligence Agency, Intelligence in the War of Independence 31, 32 (1997). In fact, Washington himself proposed that one of his Generals “contrive a means of opening [British letters] without breaking the seals, take copies of the contents, and then let them go on.” Id. at 32 (from that point on, Washington was privy to British intelligence pouches between New York and Canada.). And for as long as electronic communications have existed, the United States has intercepted those communications during wartime, and done so, not surprisingly, without judicial warrants. In the Civil War, for example, telegraph wiretapping was common and provided important intelligence for both sides. In World War I, President Wilson authorized the military to intercept all telegraph, telephone, and cable communications into and out of the United States; 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. See Exec. Order No. 2604 (Apr. 28, 1917). 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. The terrorist surveillance program, of course, is far more focused, since it involves the interception only of international communications that are linked to al-Qaeda.

FISA Court of Review Ruling in 2002

In 2002, in Re Sealed Case No. 02-001 the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review examined all the significant appellate decisions. They noted all the Federal courts of appeal having looked at the issue had concluded that there was such constitutional power. Furthermore, if there was such power, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.” However, In Re Sealed Case “[took] for granted” that these cases are correct.

“The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. It was incumbent upon the court, therefore, to determine the boundaries of that constitutional authority in the case before it. We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power……

….Even without taking into account the President’s inherent constitutional authority to conduct warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance, we think the procedures and government showings required under FISA, if they do not meet the minimum Fourth Amendment warrant standards, certainly come close. We, therefore, believe firmly, applying the balancing test drawn from Keith, that FISA as amended is constitutional because the surveillances it authorizes are reasonable.” [2]

The balancing test from Keith referred to above is a legal test that asks if the primary use of the warrantlesssearch to collect foreign intelligence as per presidential authority, or was the primary use of the warrantlesssearch to gather evidence to use in a criminal trial.

Executive Orders

Executive orders by other administrations including Clinton’s [3] and Carter’s [4]authorized the Attorney General to perform warrantless searches for purposes of foreign intelligence threats. These Executive Orders were exercises of executive power under Article II consistent with FISA.

Clinton Administration

On July 14, 1994 President Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General and later 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that “The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes…and that the president may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General.”This “inherent authority” was used to search the home of CIA traitor Aldrich Ames without a warrant. “It is important to understand,” Gorelickcontinued, “that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities.”[9]

Fore a more comprehensive review of the case law history of legal warrantless surveillance just click HERE.

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