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February 05, 2006

The SSCI Bites Back on NSA Wiretapping

Once again, Howard Dean has opened his mouth and inserted both feet:

“President Bush’s secret program to spy on the American people reminds Americans of the abuse of power during the dark days of President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew.”

Sen. Pat Roberts, head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, didn't waste any time setting Howie straight, however:

Any suggestion that a program designed to track the movement, locations, plans, or intentions of our enemy – particularly those that have infiltrated our borders – is equivalent to abusive domestic surveillance of the past is ludicrous. When Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson approved the electronic surveillance of Martin Luther King, those Presidents were targeting American citizens based on activities protected by the First Amendment. When President Richard Nixon used warrantless wiretaps, they were not directed at enemies that had attacked the United States and killed thousands of Americans.

...the careful and targeted program authorized by President Bush has no relation to the abuses of the past. Indeed, its closest antecedent is the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Attorney General Robert H. Jackson on the eve of World War II. With war looming and reports of lurking enemy saboteurs, President Roosevelt ordered the use of domestic electronic surveillance to target “persons suspected of subversive activities.” As President Roosevelt noted, “It is too late to do anything about it after sabotage, assassinations and ‘fifth column’ activities are completed.” Significantly, President Roosevelt’s direction was issued despite a statute (Section 605 of the Communications Act of 1934) and Supreme Court precedent (United States v. Nardone, 302 U.S. 379 (1937)) that prohibited such wiretapping.

I am starting to like this Pat Roberts very much.

Posted by Cassandra at February 5, 2006 08:37 AM

Comments

The more Howie Dean runs his stupid piehole, the better for the future of the Republic(ans)...

Posted by: camojack [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2006 01:46 PM

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