NSA Constitutional Law for the “Uninformed”
Far too many folks across the political spectrum are all up in arms about the purported information gleaned from the leaks of the traitor Edward Snowden. “Obama is out to get us” summarizes their illogical rant. Here is concise coverage of the applicable law from former U.S. Attorney (07-09) General Michael Mukasey.
[T]hese programs [do not] violate the law. Start with the Constitution. The applicable provisions lie in two clauses in the Fourth Amendment. The first bars “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The second provides that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause” established by affidavit, and it requires that warrants describe with particularity what or who is to be seized, and from where.
Notice that the first clause does not forbid warrantless searches, only unreasonable ones. And the second simply creates a warrant requirement that is read, with some exceptions, to bar evidence at trial if it is obtained without a valid warrant. The first clause has been read to protect the content of communications in which the speaker has a reasonable expectation of privacy—telephone conversations being an obvious example. It does not protect the fact of communications. Even in routine cases, prosecutors may obtain permission from a court to monitor the source of incoming calls and the destination of outgoing calls, as well as their date and duration, solely by averring that the information has to do with a criminal investigation.
As to intercepting the content of foreign communications, I think it is best put starkly: The Constitution and U.S. laws are not a treaty with the universe; they protect U.S. citizens. Foreign governments spy on us and our citizens. We spy on them and theirs. Welcome to the world. (block Quote credit Michael B. Mukasey “Leaking Secrets Empowers Terrorists” Wall Street Journal 6/10/13)
If you are one of the uninformed folks jumping on the “this is wrong bandwagon”, reevaluate your position in light of the law. Also, put aside your ideological prejudice against the Obama Administration. Viewing the facts as known with an open mind along with knowledge of the law may help you to recognize, as I posit, that trying to lump this issue into the Obama Scandals file does our Counter Jihad operations a great disservice. By “Grizzly Joe”
My other posts on the NSA leak: