12.23.2005

NSA Eavesdropping

OpinionJournal has more support for the National Security Agency eavesdropping on terrorists here. Quoting Bill Clinton's assistant attorney general John Schmidt:

Four federal courts of appeal subsequently faced the issue squarely and held that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence purposes without judicial warrant.

In the most recent judicial statement on the issue, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, composed of three federal appellate court judges, said in 2002 that "All the . . . courts to have decided the issue held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence . . . We take for granted that the president does have that authority."


and the New York Times:

A Federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency may lawfully intercept messages between United States citizens and people overseas, even if there is no cause to believe the Americans are foreign agents, and then provide summaries of these messages to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Still, the Democrats don't get it:

Domestic spying authorized by the White House "doesn't uphold our Constitution" and President Bush offered a "lame" defense in recent public appearances, Sen. John Kerry said Tuesday.

The [haughty, French-looking] Massachusetts Democrat, who [by the way served in Vietnam and] lost to Bush in the 2004 presidential election, also said the alleged White House leak of a CIA agent's identity was more serious than the media's disclosure of the spying program.


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