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December 19, 2005

Shredding Party

Kieran Healy has written up an excellent list of rationales for supporting the President’s Executive Order authorizing domestic spying without Judicial oversight. I’d been trying to draft such a list myself, but Kieran’s is wittier than I could have come up with.

But the thing that I find most puzzling about the current fuss over renewing the Patriot Act has not been much discussed. It’s apparent that, under the Yoo Doctrine, the President can, by Executive Order, authorize all of the activities covered by the Patriot Act, with or without Congressional approval.

So who cares whether the Patriot Act is renewed?

I assume it’s just a matter of principle. One can’t let the namby-pamby Democratic “enemies of freedom” in Congress give aid and comfort to the terrorists by denying the President their approval for his activities.

Posted by distler at December 19, 2005 11:50 AM

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Re: Shredding Party

Jacques,

a good question is why the president signed these orders, when FISA was willing to hand out warrants after the fact.

The answer can only be that the number of cases was too high. E.g. if NSA scanned ALL phone- and internet-traffic in/out the US.


Posted by: Wolfgang on December 19, 2005 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Shredding Party

Monitoring all such traffic would be an NSA-style operation (though not one that could be set up on short notice).

But simply monitoring the communications of people against whom they could never obtain a warrant (even from the super-lenient FISA courts) would be reason enough for wanting to eliminate the pesky requirement to obtain a FISA warrant.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on December 19, 2005 5:08 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Shredding Party

And here is the confirmation (via CNN):

The New York Times on Saturday reported that the NSA has been monitoring “large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States” - a larger volume than previously indicated by the administration.

Posted by: Wolfgang on December 24, 2005 4:33 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Shredding Party

Yes. You were right.

The Bush Administration is always worse than you could have imagined … even after you have taken account of the fact that they are worse than you could have imagined.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on December 25, 2005 12:58 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

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