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Warrantless wiretapping .vs. Unwarranted wiretapping

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject: Warrantless wiretapping .vs. Unwarranted wiretapping Reply with quote

The notion that the executive can engage in "warrantless wiretapping"
was affirmed in Congress today. The idea of using the FISA court to
approve and monitor wiretaps was rejected. I fear that this action is
taking us one step closer to a return to the bad-old-days of FBI
eavesdropping and infiltration of groups for political purposes and
not based on any kind of probable-cause evidence.

I propose we use the term "Unwarranted wiretapping" instead.
The word "unwarranted" suggests "unjustified", hence the administration
is engaged in "unjustified wiretapping".

The distinction that could theoretically differentiate between
"warrantless" and "unwarranted" is in the case where an investigation
is "justified" but no warrant is obtained. Given our legal system
(in particular, the constitution and bill of rights), this is a distinction
without a difference. If the requirement to provide justification
(probable cause) for a warrant is removed, then there is no way
to regulate and oversee the investigative power of the executive.
There is no way for the other branches of government or the people
to learn whether particular investigations are justified, or are
done for political reasons, or merely to protect the administration from

Given the US government's involvement in unjustified spying on
US citizens and residents (Martin Luther King, Jr, and John Lennon
as two examples from the past), and the current administration's
clear record of lies and distortions, a skeptical person would be
justified in suspecting that so-called "terror investigations" include
unjustified (a la the constitution) eavesdropping solely for the
political advantage of the current administration and its party.
It does not wish to apply for warrants because that would entail the
possibility that the applications might be rejected (something like
4 out of tens of thousands have been), but even more because
there would be a paper trail that could be reviewed at a later date
that would provide clear evidence of lawbreaking by the investigative
agencies and the administration.

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