Blogs > Cliopatria > David Kahn: Bush's Surprising Resort to Eavesdropping without a Warrant

Dec 24, 2005 5:07 am


David Kahn: Bush's Surprising Resort to Eavesdropping without a Warrant



David Kahn is the author of The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. He received a Ph.D. in modern history from Oxford University.

He was interviewed by HNN's Rick Shenkman on Dec. 22, 2005.
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Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Dear Mr. Hick,

You're better served to save your effort, time and sanity than to argue with a Bush sycophant like Bill Heuisler.

He continues to repeat, ad nauseam, the same tired trash about 911, dirty bombs and the Brooklyn Bridge bombing conspiracy as gleaned, as if gospel, from Newsmax or Powerline or some other right wing rag where his kind worship.

The government has had over three years to make a case against Padilla and have failed losing in court again this week.

The Brooklyn Bridge bombing conspiracy is a proven fabrication. What terrorist group would waste valuable resources to attack a target with absolutely no strategic value?

And 911... according to Bill "Abu Ghraib is a Good Thing" Hueisler... was orchestrated by Saddam in a coordinated effort with bin Laden drawn up on the back of a match pack by Atta in a Prague cocktail lounge.

Now, he's going to try to convince you, or out talk you, into believing that Bush's spying is both ethical and legal... You know, for your protection and that the very existence of the USA depends upon it. Never mind the Constitution... What was it Bush called it? Oh yeah! "Just a God damn piece of paper" and this from the lips of a born again Christian.

People like Heuisler are the type who would smile when assigned the task to turn on the gas and do so without reservation. A mindless, little drone who puts The Party line first and to hell with the rights of the individual man.

Thank God this is not November '38 Germany for Heuisler would be one to break out your window then claim it is for the betterment of the state.


Patrick M. Ebbitt - 9/25/2006

Dear Mr. Heuisler,

Whether Mr. Hick's comment is a compliment or not is irrelevant...

You write, "As I am dedicated to the ideals that have made our United States great, I would have detested the National Socialists and would have made my scorn very clear. Perhaps I'd have lasted a year."

Here's a little rant for Bill...

First , what is it... You scorn National Socialism but you would have lasted a year... Therefore, you support Nazism but only as a temporary respite in order to save your worthless skin... Why not fight injustice from day one and give of your life from that very first day... Obviously, either you don't understand the concepts of liberty, freedom and justice for all or you're a despicable and gutless cur... Anyway the wind blows is your motto ...

Don't fool yourself. You sir, will never be accused of or confused with a Patriot...

Get a conviction, any conviction, stick to it and start thinking for yourself... instead you continually regurgitate recycled, tired right wing rhetoric to pawn off as if it were your own original and personal dogma...

You're a lemming leaping off a cliff with the other Republican douchebags of freedom... Instead of law enforcement you should have made a career as a FOX News talking head or columnist at Stormfront.org or the Moonies Wash Times...

Second, I have read many of your past posts so spare me about your dedication to the ideals that made the United States great...

If one's ideals of greatness include support for chickenhawks illegal warring against brown people in a third world backwater to gobble up their natural resources [OIL] in the name of Democracy at the end of a bayonet while not supporting our troops/veterans and honor war dead & wounded or support feeding tax breaks/dollars/no bid contracts to mega-billion corporations or undivided/unquestioned loyalty/support for an idiotic/syntax challenged/illiterate President who is an alcoholic/drug addict, failed student/soldier/businessman with unnaturally close ties to the bin Laden family, a homophobe/Jeff Gannon mark, bigot and far right wing pseudo-Christian nutcase who wouldn't know Jesus if he leaped off a cross dancing or a supporter of rigged elections/Florida & Ohio/Diebold or supporter of numerous wrongheaded policy decisions that have caused irreparable harm to fellow Americans/the Constitution/rule of law/common decency or stifles free speech and right to protest/is a proponent of press controlled propaganda or supports the re-creation of this great secular nation into a theocratic police state or supports vile, money grubbing, treasonous, bribery riddled Republican Congressmen or the smear machine politics of right wing shills then your ideals and mine for this great nation are polar opposites...

Everything that you purport to detest within and about National Socialism you wholeheartedly support within and about the current Bush administration... The apple doesn't fall far from the tree... Prescott Bush was a world-class Nazi sympathizer and the Bush's I and II have continually sought ways to dismantle this great nation in favor of corporate fascism... Sieg Heil, Heuisler..

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel."
Patrick Henry

Mr. Heuisler you are definitely suspect as an enemy of liberty and the true ideals that make America great. Spare us from your anointed self-righteousness and the continual wrapping of yourself in the American flag.

Avedazane.


Arnold Shcherban - 1/4/2006

Fraud and clown!


Bill Heuisler - 12/31/2005

Arnold,
Sentenced to death for treason when all they did was try to leave your Soviet Worker's Paradise?

That's a legal charge? And "court"? Maybe in a Communist hellhole this would be considered "legal", but in any legitimate country with a free and reputable system it's a disgrace.

Khanokh, sentenced to 15 years for being the wife of a dissident Jew? You call that a "legal" charge?
That's not legal, it's demented.

BTW, call me any name you want. Each exposes a sadly frantic inadequacy.
Bill Heuisler


Arnold Shcherban - 12/31/2005

You're not only a clown, but disgustingly smelly clown at that!
I owe you?
<Charged with high treason for trying to flee Communist Paradise, Mark Dymshits, Eddie Kuznetsov, sentenced to death - late 60s, early 70s. Yosef Mendelevitch, Yuri Fedorov, Aleksey Murzhenko, Silva Zalmanson, Arieh-Leib Khanokh, Anatoli Altmann, Boris Penson and Israel Zalmanson were all sentenced for helping from 5 to 15 years>
"Charged" and "sentenced" (by court)! Exactly my point, you pretending to be moronic, clown!
Anf the challenge was: <...give me one single example of one single person who was arrested, sent into undisclosed location and was held there WITHOUT ANY LEGAL CHARGE FORWARDED AGAINST THEM FOR YEARS by
Soviet authorities in the period from
1960-1989...>
There is really no limit to your contempt to the letter and spirit either of facts, discussion, elementary logic or challenge!

Since now on, to all your "COMMENTS" my comment will be 'FRAUD AND CLOWN'!


Bill Heuisler - 12/31/2005

Arnold,
Your anger betrays you. Calling me names means you have nothing else.

You owe me. I'll give you just ten who were imprisoned for wanting to leave the USSR. With moderate time I can come up with hundreds more. Look these up and let me know what you lost in our bet. I trust you.

Charged with high treason for trying to flee Communist Paradise, Mark Dymshits, Eddie Kuznetsov, sentenced to death - late 60s, early 70s. Yosef Mendelevitch, Yuri Fedorov, Aleksey Murzhenko, Silva Zalmanson, Arieh-Leib Khanokh, Anatoli Altmann, Boris Penson and Israel Zalmanson were all sentenced for helping from 5 to 15 years (The Gulag, Arnold).

This was followed by a crackdown on Jewish dissidents throughout the USSR. Activists arrested, centers for study Hebrew language and Torah were closed. More trials followed. More Jews sentenced to the Gulag.

Do you know anything about the USSR?
Or are you just posing to be exotic?
Bill Heuisler




Arnold Shcherban - 12/27/2005

<Why would he bother?>

Your logic is almost as ridiculous, as your miserable, always failing
attempts to justify the criminal deeds of perpertual liers and crooks -right-wing politicians.
Why would FBI bother to ILLEGALLY spy
on left-oriented organizations and leaders in the past? But they did, which has been proven beyond the reasonable doubt - the widely known fact of history!
This is probably tenth occasion when you affirmed yourself as the 'clown from history', the title I gave you months ago.

You referred me to Arthur Koestler, Solzhenitzyn and Conquest...
Therefore, I turn my previous statement into a challenge: give me one single example of one single person who was arrested, sent into
undisclosed location and was held there without any legal charge forwarded against them for years by
Soviet authorities in the period from
1960-1989 (and that's the period I indicated in my initial statement, right?). Just don't give me Stalin's
times; it's very well understood by you that I excluded them by specifying
the period of time above.
Again, I bet you any amount of money
you want to, noone is able to present such case! (We already had a betting precedent didn't we?. So, being a lying coward as you're, I can bet 10:1 you won't take this one either.)


Graham Hick - 12/27/2005

Just a few more thoughts about the issues brought up by Mr. Heuisler about Hamdi, war powers and plenary power.

The arguments regarding the War Powers have always centered on whether the President has the power to wage war without Congressional authorization. Emblematic of this dispute is the War Powers Resolution. And that debate is entirely about who has the power to initiate hostilities. Once hostilities are properly commenced there is no dispute that the President is the sole Commander in Chief.

But never before has a President argued that this power as Commander in Chief provides the President carte blanche to violate federal law. Indeed, in Hamdi, the idea is treated as beneath consideration as the Court does not even address the idea that the President, acting as Commander in Chief, can abolish the right to a writ of habeas corpus, as that power resides SOLELY with the Congress:

"All agree that, absent suspension, remains available to all persons detained in the United States. U.S. Const., Art. 1, Section 9 . . . Only in the rarest circumstances has the Congress seen fit to suspend the Writ. . . . At all other times, it remains a critical check on the Executive, ensuring that it does not detain individuals, except in accordance to law."

Well maybe it is only Constitutional rights that check the power of the President as Commander in Chief? Well no. The Hamdi court said:

"It is undisputed that Hamdi is properly before an Article III court under 28 U.S.C. Section 2241. Further all agree the Section 2241 and its companion provisions provide at least the outline of a skeletal procedure to be afforded a petitioner for habeas review."

Implicitly, the Hamdi Court rejects the notion that the President, acting as Commander in Chief has plenary power, unchecked by federal law or the Constitution. And Hamdi involved an act, as the Court expressly acknowledged, that is a traditional and recognized military function -- the detention of enemy combatants in a war zone. In this case, Hamdi was captured in Afghanistan. Bush's deliberate violations of FISA involves actions which clearly do NOT fall into the realm of traditional military activity. Electronic surveillance, wiretapping and other similar activities IN THE UNITED STATES are far removed from the capture of enemy combatants in Afghanistan.

Thus, if the President's actions in Hamdi are subject to Congressional acts and judicial review, it is unfathomable that his violations of FISA somehow escape these checks.

It is particularly interesting how the Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress were able to pass a law restricting the right to habeas corpus without arguing that the President had unfettered Commander in Chief power in response to Hamdi.

If they could do it for the traditional military act of detaining enemy combatants, why not with FISA? Why did the President of the United States choose instead to deliberately violate federal law? Because the law is beneath his contempt and he believes he is above it. He is the true enemy of our country.


Graham Hick - 12/26/2005

Of course they recognize those things Bill. From what I've read you've been posting here a long time.

Confused? Angry? How so? Would you mind backing up those statements with substance or at least point out how my quotes above relate to what you are saying? Because there is no coherence here. You have yet to refute any point I've made other than to say I'm wrong and then put forth some fo what I've said. I said those things, but so what? What is your point there? I've attacked in detail every position you've put forth.

500+ word responses quoting the Constitution and detailing how you are incorrect over the inherent powers and the court decisions ignores that aspect of your argument? Are you not reading me when I was talking about those exact things? Go back through it. I won't repeat what I said already.

You complain of insults as you call me names? You don't even see the irony of that fact do you?

Defending the Constitution makes me a leftist? You still haven't explained that one Bill. Where is your evidence of my left leaning views? Scholars from the Enterprise Institute think that Bush over reached. Are they pinko commie reds too Bill? Is George Will of the Washington Post or Charles Krauthammar Stalinists too when they disagree with what Bush did? They're not calling for impeachment but they sure see what the problem is better than you.

You would allow the President to set his own rules, without ovesight from Congress or the Judiciary, and youc all yourself a defender of the ideals of America? The dismantling of checks and balances is Patriotic? Did you just step out of a George Orwell novel?

I won't bother witht his anymore, you can defend yourself against what I've just asked, or you just can come back with something about how I'm a commie leftist or some such nonesense because I'm defending our system of governmetn.

So, nyah nyah I got the last word! That's what really drives you isn't it? Not...getting....the....last...word...


Bill Heuisler - 12/25/2005

Mr. Hick,
Your confusion and anger betray you.
Hatred foils any attempt at rational thought, and argument is replaced with name-calling. But I don't mind.

For a Leftist to call me a National Socialist shows an addled mind. Let me quote you:

"Deflect, distort and deny. What a typical and transparant tactic. Why not try an argument with some substance instead of fluffing it with ad hominems." 12/24/05
Graham Hick

"To answer your question for the first 15 days of the conflict no warrant is required. After that it requires judicial oversight."
12/24/05
Graham Hick

"Why are the "leftists" all of a sudden the true conservatives?
You and your ilk are treasonous, sir, and the real patriots in this great nation know it.
Ben Franklin said "those who would give up essential liberty to gain temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." If you prefer a police state you can emigrate to Putin's Russia, but please, leave our free Nation alone." Finale?
Graham Hick

First you whine. Then you call me treasonous, goose-stepping etc. but your argument about judicial review ignores the inherent war powers and US vs US District and Hamdi position.
So you compensate for incapacity with miscued insult.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the art of insulting as part of give and take - many HNN posters insult quite well - but your insults are inept and reflect badly on you.

The funny part? You don't realize that (aside from people like Ebbitt) most readers of HNN are smart enough to recognize a sloppy side-step and an inept insult.
Bill Heuisler


Graham Hick - 12/25/2005

Actually my message was accidently truncated when I posted it but I didn't bother to fix it. But the sentence should have read "..Mr. Heuisler would have been one of the first to goose step his way to ignorant bliss."

Sorry to burst your bubble. Violating the Constitution is NOT one of the ideals that has made our United States great. That's what you support when you support Bush.


Bill Heuisler - 12/25/2005

Mr. Hick,
Whether you meant your response to Mr. Ebbitt as a compliment or not, I am quite pleased to thank you.

As I am dedicated to the ideals that have made our United States great, I would have detested the National Socialists and would have made my scorn very clear. Perhaps I'd have lasted a year.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas.
Bill Heuisler


Graham Hick - 12/25/2005

Haha. Thank you Mr. Ebbit. If it was germany 1938 I suspect that Mr. Heuisler would be one of the first to go.


Graham Hick - 12/25/2005

Wow you really need to lighten up a bit Bill and learn how to laugh. I thought you had a sense of humor?

I've said nothing about my education other than I have one and have studied Constitutional Law. I have however presented detailed information along with my position as well as displayed a much greater understanding of the issues at hand and their complexity than you have. You in turn have called me a "commie" and a "socialist" which is strange because I am defending the Constitution and not the Communist Manifesto. Is that the best you can come up with? To try to discredit me by saying I'm a "commie"?

I understand checks and balances quite well. In fact, what we are discussing is that very concept. In particular the question of did the President overreached and if there should be a check to that. You argue he can do what he wants when he wants, and I argue that that's incorrect and have backed that up with detailed information.

I've pointed out your errors in understanding not only the Constitution's inherent powers but how surrevillance is supposed to work 15 days after an AUMF, as well as shown how the Supreme Court upheld the checks that the President has over reached.

If it's my tone that bothers you I can say I would be more respectful if you could do the same. You apparantly can't, so I've lowered my discourse to your pedestrian level as low as I can stomach.

However, this is all beside the point and just petty bickering because you still have not disputed any particluar points, just made vague references to how I am ignorant. Here you again retreat to attacking me instead of the substance of my argument. You have not refuted any points beyond saying that I am wrong and stupid and don't understand. Great argument, sir, my hat is off to you.

Happy Jesus McJesus Day,
Mr. Hick


Bill Heuisler - 12/25/2005

Mr. Hicks,
You, "...don't waste time with political parties of any sort, they are counterproductive." The parties probably wouldn't find you very valuable either, since you can't, or won't, understand issues at hand.

Our three branches of government, executive, legislative and judicial,
each have inherent powers that check and balance each other. Congress authorizes war, executive wages it and judicial interprets the law and the Constitution.

You wrote, "...asked Congress to pass legislation authorizing it." Thereby exhibiting ignorance of the inherent powers argument of the executive or of the fact we are at war according to Congress (AUMF) and according to the Supremes (Hamdi).

Argue one or the other, but please stop telling me how learned and intelligent you are.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 12/25/2005

Arnold,
Answering a chimerical query like,
"interceoting communications INSIDE the US, of theperson(s) not linked to any terrorist or otherwise criminal organization, will you finally admit that agency violated the American laws and have to be criminally prosecuted?"

Would be a complete waste of my time.
You obviously do not understand the controversy. NSA intercepts millions of wireless communications daily and "sifts" them for certain words or phrases connected to terrorism. When an alert is found, they listen for more specifics (and usually cast 999,999 away as innocent. But that one call overseas, or from overseas, intercepted is part of the war on terror and perfectly legal.

Most of my life has been in law enforcement, obeying and enjoining the laws of my State and Country.
Look at the logic. Examine evidence.

You say Bush lies and intercepts domestic calls. Why would he bother? There's no way to prosecute with evidence achieved illegally and the NSA isn't going to waste resources better spent stopping the Padillas.
Further, there's not going to be a witness who saw/heard the President order illegal surveillance - even if your suspicions are true. So your question begs the issue and sets up a false premise.

Your claim about your history must be taken just as seriously as your claim about my President. You say he lied. I ask, "Are you lying?" Why should I believe you about anything?

Your claim about Soviet probity is also a joke. Read Arthur Koestler, Solzhenitzyn and Conquest...or are they liars too?
Bill Heuisler


Graham Hick - 12/25/2005

Oh and by the way, calling me a communist or a socialist? Is that what defenders of the US COnstitution are now? I'm not a political idealist Mr. Heuisler, my only ideal is in America and in what the Founders created and following it's instructions. I don't waste time with political parties of any sort, they are counterproductive.

I ask you again Mr. Heuisler, why do you hate America so much?


Graham Hick - 12/25/2005

Deflect, distort and deny. What a typical and transparant tactic. Why not try an argument with some substance instead of fluffing it with ad hominems.

"Hick and Shcherban, if you're told to believe warrantless surveillance is illegal spying, ask why FISA allows warrantless surveillance
"during times of war"?" I'm told to believe that? What crap. I study and think for myself. You just repeat the right wing echo without considering the issues or the substance. Heuisler, just how long have you been beating your wife?

To answer your question for the first 15 days of the conflict no warrant is required. After that it requires judicial oversight. Certainly, there was an emergency need after the Sept. 11 attacks to sweep up as much information as possible about the chances of another terrorist attack. But a 72-hour emergency or a 15-day emergency doesn't last four years.

The bulk of your argument is a skewed interpretation, the rest omits and obstructs. Can you at leats TRY to display intellectual honesty since you claim to be so well informed and intelligent?

Now answer my questions about Clinton and future Democratic presidents wiping their asses with the Constitution. You have no problem with that? Also, just because Clinton's AG said so doesn't make it law. That was an argument, not legislation, so maybe you should ponder what the difference is before putting it forth as evidence. You know, actually THINK about what you're saying instead of just parroting it.

You can certainly argue that new technologies and tactics require new approaches but that's not the point. The point is that it appears to be illegal, and if George Bush believed it was genuinely critical to our national security he should have asked Congress to pass legislation authorizing it. The president is simply not allowed to decide for himself to break the law simply because it's inconvenient, and the excuse that he couldn't go to Congress because that would expose valuable secrets to al-Qaeda is laughable. It's tantamount to saying that he never needs to ask Congress for approval of any program because that might somehow tip off al-Qaeda to its existence. Not only is that untrue (Congress routinely holds closed hearings to discuss sensitive issues), but it's a transparent rationalization for the president to do practically anything he wants with no oversight at all, and that just doesn't fly, wartime or not.

If it comes to impeachment it would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law.

Your argument is dishonest. You've made Jesus cry on his birthday. You're upset that I've schooled your flimsy lie of a position and you're firing as many partheon shots as you can to disguise your retreat.

And I don't want to have to tell you again, it's MR. Hick to you. When you become an adult you'll understand why we call each other "mister" Mr. Heuisler.


Bill Heuisler - 12/24/2005

Dear Sirs,
We Tories are usually amused when costive Commies and slobbering Socialists assume high dudgeon over the Rights of Americans. These irate hypocrites expect us to forget the American women and children killed for their beliefs or associations in Waco and Ruby Ridge; we're also not supposed to remember how FBI files of enemies lists were perused, and how a young refugee was torn from his family's arms and sent back to Communism after a nighttime raid on a private home by jackbooted thugs sent by fellow traveler, Janet R.

(Not a peep from the main gauche phonies who supposedly love our Constitution. Not until now.)

Now, Hick, if you must cite case law, try to stay on point. For your information, there's a distinct difference between domestic security and national security - a difference and distinction made quite clear in 2B of the US vs. US Disrtict Court you cited above. Go on, go on, look.
"domestic security surveillances"
Get it now?

Don't understand the issue, do you? Well, lets try another tack from more recent findings than 1972:

First, we are at war. You probably have been told not to acknowledge this, but Bush has said he'll do everything in his power to stop another 9/11. We know NSA ops have prevented 2 attacks in US already:
In 2003 NSA's warrantless intercept program caught a terrorist who was trying to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge in 2003. NSA caught Padilla before his dirty bomb was ready.

So, can the US president intercept communications between people here and al-Qaida terrorists overseas without a warrant?

Let's skip the authority Congress gave the President to fight al-Qaida in the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Act. You know the President has "inherent authority" in the Constitution, as commander in chief, to conduct war.
AUMF? Congress said, "all necessary and appropriate force" against
"nations, organizations, or persons" associated with al-Qaida.

The Supreme Court treated the AUMF as a declaration of war in "Hamdi".

Therefore, DOJ believes, all case law supports and I hold, that the president has inherent authority under AUMF'01 to conduct warrantless searches connected to our enemy for foreign intelligence purposes.

President Clinton's deputy AG said the same before the Senate Intel Committee about ten years ago.

More recently, in Sealed Case No. 02-001, FISA Court said in 2002: "The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information..."
"We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."

Hick and Shcherban, if you're told to believe warrantless surveillance is illegal spying, ask why FISA allows warrantless surveillance
"during times of war"?

Maybe you people don't think we're at war? Terrorists are supported and supplied by Communist North Korea and Communist Cuba and Communist China, aren't they?

That explains it.

But please don't stop the comedy.
Merry Christmas,
Bill Heuisler


Arnold Shcherban - 12/24/2005

<If at some time in the near future proof is delivered that Leftists are found to have been giving aid and comfort to terrorists planning to kill Americans, will you admit they should be prosecuted under our laws prohibiting treason?>

Yes, I will, Bill.

Unfortunately, I've never received any similar straight answer from you
on any issue, and there were many occasions like this one.

Thus, what's really still hanging up there is my initial question: will you have elementary integrity to admit your ideological and political fallacies, if the respective proof is delivered? Do we ever hear the definite response from you? I strongly doubt it, since you know you're lying along with dear to your heart right-wingers in Washington - perpertual liers and war criminals
and organizers and sponsors of pro-American terrorism around the world.

Apparently you see no irony in calling
"Stalinist" a person, who was persecuted by KGB for criticising not only the brutal Stalin's regime, but much more (comparingly) liberal Soviet regime in 70s and 80s.

(By the way, there was not a single
person, the worst terrorist or otherwise criminal, who was held in undisclosed location without any legal
charge and for years in the former Soviet Union in 60s-80s. Who's the "evil empire" now?)

Therefore, if I'm gulag-loving Stalinist, you're definitely the death-camp loving, worst kind of Nazist.


Gerald Pechenuk - 12/24/2005

All the discussion has missed the essential point. Cheney is the one that did this, and when he knew the hammer was about to fall on him- he left the country and sent Bush out to confess to impeachable offenses to save is hide and dare the nation to impeach the President!! Well- guess what? Cheney HAS FOOLED NO ONE!!


Graham Hick - 12/24/2005

Since Mr. Heuisler appears to misunderstand the case he cited above, or wishes to misdirect the discussion-

407 U.S. 297 US Supreme Court decision
UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN ET AL. (PLAMONDON ET AL., REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST) CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
No. 70-153.

Argued February 24, 1972
Decided June 19, 1972

The United States charged three defendants with conspiring to destroy, and one of them with destroying, Government property. In response to the defendants' pretrial motion for disclosure of electronic surveillance information, the Government filed an affidavit of the Attorney General stating that he had approved the wiretaps for the purpose of "gather[ing] intelligence information deemed necessary to protect the nation from attempts of domestic organizations to attack and subvert the existing structure of the Government." On the basis of the affidavit and surveillance logs (filed in a sealed exhibit), the Government claimed that the surveillances, though warrantless, were lawful as a reasonable exercise of presidential power to protect the national security. The District Court, holding the surveillances violative of the Fourth Amendment, issued an order for disclosure of the overheard conversations, which the Court of Appeals upheld. Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, which authorizes court-approved electronic surveillance for specified crimes, contains a provision in 18 U.S.C. 2511 (3) that nothing in that law limits the President's constitutional power to protect against the overthrow of the Government or against "any other clear and present danger to the structure or existence of the Government." The Government relies on 2511 (3) in support of its contention that "in excepting national security surveillances from the Act's warrant requirement, Congress recognized the President's authority to conduct such surveillances without prior judicial approval." Held:


1. Section 2511 (3) is merely a disclaimer of congressional intent to define presidential powers in matters affecting national security, and is not a grant of authority to conduct warrantless national security surveillances. Pp. 301-308. [407 U.S. 297, 298]

2. The Fourth Amendment (which shields private speech from unreasonable surveillance) requires prior judicial approval for the type of domestic security surveillance involved in this case. Pp. 314-321; 323-324.

(a) The Government's duty to safeguard domestic security must be weighed against the potential danger that unreasonable surveillances pose to individual privacy and free expression. Pp. 314-315.

(b) The freedoms of the Fourth Amendment cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances are conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch without the detached judgment of a neutral magistrate. Pp. 316-318.

(c) Resort to appropriate warrant procedure would not frustrate the legitimate purposes of domestic security searches. Pp. 318-321.

444 F.2d 651, affirmed.


Clearly, Rhenquist et.al. didn't think the Executive Branch has the authority to Warrantless Wiretaps. Why anyone else would think otherwise is one of life's great mysteries.

Happy Holidays!
Mr. Hick


John Cameron - 12/24/2005

WTC 7 was imploded by Silverstein yet has not been questioned.Collapse identical to free fall of WTC towers 1 & 2 911 is a tissue of lies.
Whilst C in C was in kindergarten out of the way.


Graham Hick - 12/24/2005

Oh and by the way, since you mention Clinton, I can assume you were fine with that position and would have no problem with the next Democratic President wiping his ass with the Constitution? It's all to just protect us right? No President would abuse it right? Because the men and women who run this country are above petty concerns right?

That's Mr. Hick to you.


Graham Hick - 12/24/2005

Hey listen up smart guy, I will try to write slowly for you. I am well educated, have studied Constitutional Law AND I have a sense of humor. However, this is a serious situation and your position is a skewed interpretation subject to debate. Got it?

In rationalizing his unconstitutional spying on American citizens, President Bush has claimed that his powers as commander in chief, under Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution, granted him that power. Yet the only place in Article 2 that even mentions the duties of commander in chief is Section 2, Clause 1 of that Article, which simply states: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment." With me so far?

In his interpretation of Article 2, Section 2, Bush seems to be guilty of the same type of "activism" that he continually berates the judiciary for in its interpreting of the Constitution. Article 2 is the only place within the U.S. Constitution that the term "Commander in Chief" is used or its responsibilities described. Nowhere, as one can plainly see when reading it (assuming of course, one CAN read), does it state that the duties or powers of the commander in chief include bypassing the judicial process or negating the protections of the 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Who's being the strict constructionist here? Get it yet?

What President Bush's attempt to cloak his illegal actions in Article 2 should remind us of are Article 1 and its purpose. The first thing the framers created in the Constitution, in Article 1, was the legislature, the Congress. They did this quite deliberately because they believed that power should rest in the hands of the people, through the legislature, and not in an individual, any individual. After all they had just rid themselves of a king named George. Do you see it now?

This clause of the Constitution must be read in the context of the entire document, which gives to Congress the authority to regulate the military and declare war and also provides for the protections of the Bill of Rights. Bush does not have the inherent authority to violate the laws of Congress or the Constitution just because of terrorism. Warrantless surrveillance of Americans involving National Security from the case you cite is limited after a declaration of war, though survelliance of foreign nationals outside the US is not limited. After that limited time surrveillance of Americans requires judicial oversight. In the over 19,000 requests brought to this court since 1978, 4 have been refused, and all can be obtained 72 hours post facto. In the "wake of 9/11" what judge would refuse any valid request? What GOP controlled Congress would deny the President a reworking of any applicable laws? Get it or do you remain a willful fool?

You're right about being ignorant of the law as a reason to stay quiet. Perhaps you can pass that advice on to the White House.

Bush should be impeached for failing to take care that the laws are faithfully executed. And all you Traitors and Torries should be hanged by the neck until dead. (Relax! It's a joke! I'd hate to actually see that happen!)

Try to attack with substance instead of ad hominems next time. It makes you appear nonsensical. You still follow me?

Graham Hick


Bill Heuisler - 12/24/2005

Mr. Hick,
Lighten up. One post is enough and you need to learn enough to laugh.
Do you know what a Stalinist is? One definition involves the ruthless surpression of opposition. Get it?
Get it? Huh? Oh hell, forget it.

Some advice: don't engage in a war of wits unless you're well armed.
Ignorance of law is not an excuse, but it's a damn good reason to keep silent lest you embarrass yourself.

The President has inherent powers under Article II, section 2 of the US Constitution. These are called the Commander in Chief's Warmaking powers. He was authorized to go to war on 10/10/02. So communication with the enemy falls under Article II. Look it up, unless...?

Unless you think gathering intel is not part of making war... Huh?

More? The 1972 Supreme Court case pertinent here (US vs. US District Court) ruled the President could not utilize warrentless surveillance involving domestic security cases. But the court refused to limit the President's inherent power to order warrantless surveillance in matters involving national security. Get it?

More? Clinton Deputy AG, Gorelick agrees. She told House Intelligence Committee 7/94 the president had the authority to order searches, break-ins and surveillance for national-security reasons without having to get a warrant from anyone. Gorelick did not retreat from her position that the president held such authority himself. Understand it yet?

Look these matters up, Hick. Learn a little about Con Law and precedent before you presume to spout nonsense to those of us with a smattering of edification, humor...and some sense.
Bill Heuisler


Graham Hick - 12/24/2005

Hmm, since this is a history site lets look at someone like Stalin. He tortured, he detained without warrant, he eavesdropped on his citizens communications be they written, telephonic or telegraphic, and all in the name of securing the state.

Now Mr. Heuisler, who is it again that's the Stalinist?

The people who are outraged and recognize this as an abuse of power are the true patriots Mr. Heuisler. The President swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. 228 years of law and tradition are not disposed of in the name of "security". Who's the "liberal" here?

Why do people with your viewpoint hate America so much? Why would you want to weaken us like that? Why are the "leftists" all of a sudden the true conservatives?

You and your ilk are treasonous, sir, and the real patriots in this great nation know it.

Ben Franklin said "those who would give up essential liberty to gain temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." If you prefer a police state you can emigrate to Putin's Russia, but please, leave our free Nation alone.

Graham Hick


Graham Hick - 12/24/2005

Hmm, since this is a history site lets look at someone like Stalin. He tortured, he detained without warrant, he eavesdropped on his citizens communications be they written, telephonic or telegraphic, and all in the name of securing the state.

Now Mr. Heuisler, who is it again that's the Stalinist?

The people who are outraged and recognize this as an abuse of power are the true patriots Mr. Heuisler. The President swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. 228 years of law and tradition are not disposed of in the name of "security". Who's the "liberal" here?

Why do people with your viewpoint hate America so much? Why would you want to weaken us like that? Why are the "leftists" all of a sudden the true conservatives?

You and your ilk are treasonous, sir, and the real patriots in this great nation know it.

Ben Franklin said "those who would give up essential liberty to gain temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." If you prefer a police state you can emigrate to Putin's Russia, but please, leave our free Nation alone.

Graham Hick


Bill Heuisler - 12/23/2005

Arnold,
If at some time in the near future proof is delivered that Leftists are found to have been giving aid and comfort to terrorists planning to kill Americans, will you admit they should be prosecuted under our laws prohibiting treason? Maybe hung?

"'Cause, if you're not willing to admit this in the described, possible situation, you have no moral right to even participate in current discussion."

In fact, if you aren't willing to allow me moral rights to discuss my President and his attempt to defend this country, then Leftists like you probably have much more in common with al-Qaeda and other terrorists than you'd really like us to know.

But, then again, that wouldn't bother an old doctrinaire, gulag-loving Stalinist like you, would it?
Bill Heuisler


Arnold Shcherban - 12/23/2005

Bill,

I just want to know one thing:
if some time in the near future the proof is delivered that under Bush administration any governmental security agency havebeen interceoting communications INSIDE the US, of the
person(s) not linked to any terrorist or otherwise criminal organization, will you finally admit that agency violated the American laws and have to be criminally prosecuted?
Would you also admit that since under such circumstances Bush administration lied to American public on the matters of national security when saying that the intercepts had been done only to the
communications of Al-Qaeda or other terrorists, some of its members(including Bush and Gonzales) have
to be also prosecuted?
'Cause, if you're not willing to admit
this in the described, possible situation, you have no moral right to even participate in current discussion.


Bill Heuisler - 12/23/2005

Mr. Thomas,
As the letter to Congress today said, "Intercepting communications into and out of the United States of persons linked to al-Qaida in order to detect and prevent a catastrophic attack is clearly reasonable."

In point of fact, not to do so would have violated the President's oath of office. Stopping Jose Padilla's dirty bomb plot and stopping the bombing of the Brooklyn bridge are only two of many reasons this program has saved American lives.

Dems want to make this an issue - as with Reid's "We killed the Patriot Act". Excepting men like Senator Lieberman, they will answer for their pusillinamity at the polls.
Bill Heuisler


Frederick Thomas - 12/23/2005


Did not Jamie Gorelik recently admit to exactly the same thing happening in the Clinton administration, justifying it on the same basis?

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