Monday, December 19, 2005

Ales Rarus on Bush, NSA and Wiretapping

Funky Dung of Ales Rarus worries about the constitutional implications of The NSA's domestic surveillance. He even considers whether or not the United States constitution requires ammendment in order to address the issues of our technological times.
Was Bush (Congress, the NSA, whomever) wrong to employ the kinds of wiretaps he did? Did he violate Constitutional law? I don't know. Just because a certain power is not forbidden to the federal government by the Constitution, doesn't mean it's licit.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Tenth Amendment

The government's powers must be explicitly stated, but the people's rights don't have to be. There are though who say that these wiretaps are permissible under Constitutional law. Perhaps they are. Perhaps the framers never envisioned this kind of infringement on liberties, being as dependent on modern technologies as it is. However, I think the framers of the Constitution were concerned about the federal government infringing upon the rights that they thought citizens were entitled to.
I would share his concerns if actual abuses of citizens resulted from this surveillance. There's no evidence that such violations have occured. On the contrary, at least one Al Qaeda operation against NYC's bridges has been thwarted thanks to the NSA's controversial program.

In light of the threats that our society faces from islamofascists, I'm willing to accept the President's authorization of the NSA's surveillance of American citizens without FISA Court warrents. Should legitimate documentation appear of actual abuses that resulted from this program, I'll be the first to demand that the President pull the plug. Until then, I'll trust, but verify, that the government is doing what it ought to keep us safe.