Saturday, February 11, 2006

Wonder If This Phrase Catches On?

I've never heard anyone say this, but I doubt I coined it...

Bush Spied; Nobody Died

Rather pithy like the other version of it that so many people like to use. I hope it catches on!

While I'm on the topic, I was recently informed of Section 1802 of the FISA law which allows for warrantless electronic surveillance. I began looking at this section and it is still somewhat vague to me whether or not the current surveillance is legal.

Go read the very first part and you can see that it allows for warrantless surveillance of those parties who are defined in "section 1801 (a) (1), (2), or (3)". Now had this stated "section 1801 (a) (1), (2), (3), or (4)", then there would probably be no question as to the legality of this. This is because the party described in (4) is "a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor". I do believe that the main reason for this current surveillance is simply to stop terrorism mainly caused by Al-Qaeda.

In an interview on FoxNews with Chris Wallace on January 8, 2006, Rep. Jane Harman, D-CALIF, gave some great details about the program and confirmed that the program was aimed at terrorists:

HARMAN: But it was made clear to me that conversations between Americans in America were not part of the program and require — and I think they do — a court warrant in order to eavesdrop on them.

And that's been a point of confusion, because some of the press articles allege that this is a so-called, as you said, domestic surveillance program. That's not what I believe it is.....

You should really read the entire interview - Representative Harman has some good points. But getting back to the FISA Section 1802, it appears that it was basically followed and that the warrantless searches can be legal for one year. In some senses of the term, the terrorist could be accurately designated as a "faction of a foreign nation or nations".

I'm still not entirely certain about this. We do know for certain that the Brooklyn Bridge is still intact (and many lives saved) due to this program and it's murky as to whether this program played a role in preventing an attack on the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles.

So, what say you?

Now Playing: "Again" by Brooks & Dunn

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