Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, a Carter appointee, has helped put our country at risk by ruling the interception of telephone calls between a foreigner and an American is unconstitutional. This is better known as the NSA wiretapping controversy that the New York Times exposed several months ago. Judge Diggs Taylor has put her partisans politics ahead of our national security by making this ruling as there are several glaring omissions.
First, the ACLU brought the suit claiming they were harmed by the wiretapping. They were unable to show that they were or are actual victims of harm. The Constitution only allows actual cases, not hypothetical or imaginary ones to be heard in court. This judge said that the ACLU had a standing in this case without citing any factual evidence.
Second, she claims that the wiretapping violates the Fourth Amendment which bans unreasonable searches and seizures, not all searches and seizures. Trying to discover and stop terrorist actions seems to be a reasonable search to me.
Third, many other and higher courts have already ruled that warrantless searches are legal. In U.S v Truong Dinh Hung the fourth circuit held "the Executive need not always obtain a warrant for foreign intelligence surveillance." It makes no sense to delay the President's response to foreign intelligence threats by asking judges for warrants in the modern era of fast moving communications.
Fourth, The FISA court held in 2002 that the President "did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. ".
How can we have probable cause when we are trying to discover terrorist threats? We don't know all the players out there. In our attempt to find them, we have to hunt for them and that sometimes means listening in on phone calls between foreigners and Americans if there is the possibility that one or both are terrorists.
Bottom line is that the surveillance is designed to provide investigatory leads, not prosecutions.
What is the ACLU afraid of? Are they talking to overseas terrorists?? If they are, I want our NSA to know about it.
Pre-Emptive Surveillance by James Q. Wilson -WSJ August 21, 2006