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Surveillance Lies of the Day

April 16th, 2009 · 1 Comment

From Powerline:

For example, [Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn] Johnsen has objected to warrantless surveillance of suspected al-Qaeda communications into and out of the United States. The special appellate court created by Congress to review executive branch surveillance programs upheld the foreign wiretap activities of the Bush administration that Johnsen had denounced as based on “an extreme and implausible Commander-in-Chief theory.”

This is, of course, a complete fabrication. Details for those who require them here. But wait, it’s a twofer:

The Clinton Justice Department (in the person of Jamie Gorelick, no less) also defended the president’s authority to “conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes” and concluded that the president “may delegate this authority to the Attorney General.”

Gorelick asserted the president’s power to authorize warrantless physical searches for foreign intel because Congress had not established a procedure regulating such searches. In the testimony Powerline quotes, she went on to acknowledge that Congress could and should set rules for physical intel searches in FISA, just as they had for electronic surveillance. And Congress proceeded to do so.

I leave to the reader the question of whether this sort of casual dishonesty bespeaks contempt for the audience’s intelligence, or simply indifference to truth.

Tags: Law · Privacy and Surveillance



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