Monday, February 27, 2006

War time wiretapping cont. II

Applicable Laws Must Be Determined
At the link rep. Dan Lungren has a good article on the war powers justification for wiretapping possible terrorist communications.

Lungren says:

"The unique role played by the president in the conduct of war and over foreign affairs has long been recognized in the American legal and historical tradition. John Jay, who served as both secretary of State and as chief justice of the United States, suggested in Federalist paper No. 64 that the president would be best suited “to manage the business of intelligence in such manner as prudence may suggest.” Similarly, the Supreme Court acknowledged presidential power is greater over foreign affairs than over domestic policy, stating, 'The president is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations and its sole representative with foreign nations.'"

He also quotes Byron White from Katz v. United States:

“Wiretapping to protect the security of the nation has been authorized by successive presidents. The present administration would apparently save national security cases from restrictions against wiretapping. We should not require the warrant procedure and the magistrate’s judgment if the president of the United States or his chief legal officer, the Attorney General, has considered the requirements of national security and authorized electronic surveillance as reasonable.”

As I have argued in an earlier post, and comments have agreed, the currently controversial program for wiretapping international phone calls from or to suspect people are clearly legal despite political attempts to argue otherwise.

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