Tuesday, February 21, 2006

NSA's spying is illegal

Notice the salient sequence of historic events here:


The Philadelphia Convention (also known as the Constitutional Convention or the Federal Convention) took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787


The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. It was completed on September 17, 1787, with its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia,

The U.S. Constitution was completed and adopted on September 17, 1787.

And then the Bill Of Rights was proposed, passed and approved by December of 1791.


The amendments were proposed by Congress as part of a block of twelve in September 1789. By December 1791 a sufficient number of states had ratified ten of the twelve proposals, and the Bill of Rights became part of the Constitution.


Bill of Rights

Amendment IV

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.

The sequence:

First, the Constitution;

Second, the Bill of Rights.

So that the Bill of Rights amends the Constitution.

That is, everything that is in the Constitution to the contrary is superseded by the Bill of Rights.

And because the Constitution, as amended, is the Supreme law of the Land,

violating the Fourth Amendment is/has been/remains Illegal



the Fourth Amendment is repealed or restricted by the passage and approval of such subsequent constitutional amendments.

How else would the Originalists look at this issue?

How are they and their conservative siblings not screaming for impeachment?

The data mining of the telcoms' telephony/data switches by the NSA amounts to a massive serial violation of the very idea of the Right to Privacy. The feds have cast the widest imaginable net over every byte of information and then mine it for whatever they want. "Mine" in this case means putting to work the not trivial capabilities of the NSA supercomputers to filter out whatever information of whatever interest. This is a totally indiscriminate intrusion of everybody's right to privacy. And getting a warrant from a judge with the demand for probable cause is impossible. Because there is no probable cause. Because this is a pure fishing expedition. You have to identify your suspects to have probable cause that they'd do something to justify a warrant. And these data-mining expeditions are massive non-specific illegal violations of the Fourth Amendment.

But our BushCo. regime says they are only looking for the bad guys and because they have "unitary executive authority" they are absolved of any illegalities.

How do we know they are looking only for bad guys?

They say, "Trust us."

"Trust us."

We are to trust them because they are looking for terrorists.

I have an acquaintance I see from time to time who I can tell is very politically conservative.

Well, I can tell she is a Bush supporter.

A while back she offered this analysis of the support for her "president".

"Well, you know, it's just like everybody always says,

When people get scared, what do they do?
Run hide behind a Bush!"

She was completely nonplussed when I pointed out to her that it is only in the world of cartoon animation that they hide behind a bush And even then it always proves comically ineffective.

"Surely, you don't intend the Bush supporters to appear as fools, do you?"

"Well, that's what they say and Bush's support proves it."

It does explain a lot.

Even if she doesn't seem to understand the consequences.

I would not expect her to follow the details about the Constitution I present here.

She votes.

The inescapable problem (especially for the originalists) is that the BushCo. regime's illegal wire tapping has been in clear and undeniable violation of the intention of the Founding Fathers in the Fourth Amendment.

When they say, "Trust us", we have to find out why they do not trust the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court? And if they say they can not comply (as they have), then we must doubt their wisdom because any evidence gained through illegal surveillance can not to be used in prosecution of suspects and hence undermines our government's case against these suspected terrorists.

A separate yet underlying question is whether these terrorists pose a sufficient threat to justify abolishing the Right to Privacy, as BushCo. has already done. When I was younger it was the communists who were the bogey man. Now it is the terrorists. I'm supposed to be too afraid to still want a Right to Privacy.

Oh, whenever you see this term "unitary executive authority", it is just a substitute for "monarchy".

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