Monday, February 13, 2006

Jimmy Carter..Hypocrite

From a story in the Washington Times on warrentless surveilence:

But 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."

This also shows a clear legal basis for Bush's operation that was done with congressional oversite.


Blogger Germanicu$ said...

You should read your FREAKONOMICS. While there may be a correlative relationship between a past president's behavior and the current one's, this does not indicate a "clear legal basis."

Besides, in your zeal to defend the Infallible President, you skipped right over this key paragraph:

"The Truong case, however, involved surveillance that began in 1977, before the enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which established a secret court for granting foreign intelligence warrants."

Bush's circumvention of FISA is what legal scholars, attorneys, senators, citizens - heck, even some Republicans who haven't taken the fealty oath - take issue with.

I'd also take care to consider your source: The Moonie - sorry, Washington Times is not exactly known for its ability to establish clear legal basis.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Two things:

1. Is a president "hypocritical" for not complying with a law that hasn't been passed yet (FISA)? I don't know what Carter said exactly, so I understand the charge if he made it into a big moral to-do, but short of that, I don't see why a hypocrisy charge is relevant.

2. "This also shows a clear legal basis for Bush's operation that was done with congressional oversite."

How can something that happened in 1977, before FISA, show a clear legal basis for an act that is said to be in violation of FISA currently?

3:15 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

More important still...

How is FISA too restrictive when it allows for retroactive warrants? Seriously, I haven't heard a single answer to that question from defenders of the president.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

Re: retroactive warrants - I heard this question put directly to Al Gonzales, TWICE. The first time he evaded answering it. The second time he claimed answering the question would compromise the program.

4:08 PM  

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