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Re: [Full-disclosure] Spy Agency Mined Vast Data Trove
From: Benjamin Franz (snowharenihongo.org)
Date: Tue Dec 27 2005 - 16:49:18 CST
On Tue, 27 Dec 2005, Paul Schmehl wrote:
> Well, no, they are not "clearly illegal". That is a matter of opinion and
> not law. In fact, all legal precedents indicate that the program is legal,
> within the purview of the President's powers under Article II of the
What he has done is attempt to completely gut the 4th Amendement of the US
Constitution of any meaning. To wit:
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.
I don't see a 'except in time of war' clause anywhere. Do you?
It was simply never conceived that an administration would attempt to gut
the 4th Amendment by force of sheer linguistic trickery. The second
sentence clearly is defining when warrants for searches allowed by the
first sentence may be issued. _Implicitly_ those searches may only be
legally done using a legally issued warrant (no warrantless searches or
the entire Amendment would be meaninglesss). But it fails to say so
Sooner or later the courts will very likely slap him down. If he is very
unlucky, he will lose his impeachment-proof majority in Congress next year
and be impeached for it.
But if the rest of us are very unlucky, this huge step towards
totalitarianism by the Bush administration will be let stand as a very bad
I will guarantee you that, if it stands, historians in a century or so
will point to Bush's administration as the point when the Republic clearly
had made the transition to a Dictatorship where laws were in practice
whatever the President said they were, and the "goddamned piece of paper"
 called the US Constitution was just irrelevant.
 GW Bush, Nov. 2005
"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,Itsājust a goddamned piece of paper!ā
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