Bush Administration Claimed Immunity From 4th Amendment?!

April 19th, 2008 | Posted in domestic spying, Last Days, News, NSA, Opinion, Politics, Privacy, Security, Tracking | Comments Off on Bush Administration Claimed Immunity From 4th Amendment?!

I ran into another one of those pages that just leaves you with just that much more certainty that we are in fact, living in the last days.  In this case The Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF found a footnote in a recently declassified Bush Administration memo which says:

‘our Office recently [in 2001] concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.’

This basically says that the Administration believes that the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping and data mining programs are not governed by the Constitution.  I’m not an expert in constitutional law but I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I doubt that this is right.  The forth amendment is very specific and does not say one word about exceptions for domestic military operations.  Read it for yourself:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now this is pretty clear.  It requires that search warrants be supported by probable cause.  In no case does it leave an exception for the requirement for a warrant.  What I think a lot of people don’t realize is that one of the big purposes of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is to serve as sort of a governmental Orovo, keeping it from gaining too much weight and power where it doesn’t belong.

Technorati Tags: bill+of+rights, bush+administration, constitution, domestic+spying, forth+amendment, NSA, warrant, warrantless+wiretaps, wiretap

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