Skip to comments.Leading Conservatives Call for Extensive Hearings on NSA Surveillance; Checks on Invasive Federal Po
Posted on 01/18/2006 8:10:29 AM PST by Perlstein
Leading Conservatives Call for Extensive Hearings on NSA Surveillance; Checks on Invasive Federal Powers Essential
1/17/2006 6:36:00 PM
To: National Desk
Contact: Laura Brinker, 202-715-1540, for Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) today called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.
"When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans' private information," said Barr. "However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans' private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism."
The following can be attributed to PRCB members:
"I believe that our executive branch cannot continue to operate without the checks of the other branches. However, I stand behind the President in encouraging Congress to operate cautiously during the hearings so that sensitive government intelligence is not given to our enemies." -- Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation
"Public hearings on this issue are essential to addressing the serious concerns raised by alarming revelations of NSA electronic eavesdropping." -- Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform
"The need to reform surveillance laws and practices adopted since 9/11 is more apparent now than ever. No one would deny the government the power it needs to protect us all, but when that power poses a threat to the basic rights that make our nation unique, its exercise must be carefully monitored by Congress and the courts. This is not a partisan issue; it is an issue of safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of all Americans so that future administrations do not interpret our laws in ways that pose constitutional concerns." -- David Keene, chairman, American Conservative Union
"If the law is not reformed, ordinary Americans' personal information could be swept into all-encompassing federal databases encroaching upon every aspect of their private lives. This is of particular concern to gun owners, whose rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment are currently being infringed upon under the Patriot Act's controversial record search provisions." -- Alan Gottlieb, founder, Second Amendment Foundation
Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances is an organization dedicated to protecting Americans' fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment and ensuring that all provisions of the Patriot Act are in line with the Constitution. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.checksbalances.org.
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
Just reading that sentence makes my head almost explode.
Anyone have a link to that thread with the detailed information on all the EOs, case law, etc showing that the wiretapping is within the President's authority?
I've been hunting around for it, and it's probably right in front of my face, but I can't find it.
In the context of taps on international communications of those who have had previous communications with international terrorists. Yes indeed.
The Constitution is not a suicide pact, and it's protections do not extend to enemy combatants, spies or their supporters. Otherwise, if a foreign army took over part of the US, say the West Coast, we'd have to grant all their soldiers the right to keep and bear arms, the right of assembly, free press, etc. We could not conduct raids on their positions without a court order. Patently ridiculous of course, but that is where the logic of extending Constitutional protections to those with whom we are at war leads.
Click on the keyword SPYING at the top of the Latest Posts page; maybe you can scroll through and find it that way.
You're indulging in what logic professors call "ad hominem" argument. Instead of addressing the issue - the danger of putting unchecked power in the hands of any one branch of government - you're diverting the debate by focusing on the individuals the "hominem". Won't work. If Barr were complaining about Hillary snooping without judicial permission, I bet you wouldn't "roll your eyes" and say it's "Barr joingin with algore." But we're giving Hillary that power if we say that the current administration should have that power. I'm a conservative because I believe in constitutional restraints, no matter which party is in power. The other philosophy is just a form of Marxism - "no restraints on government as long as my guys are in power."
I hope that you "well understand" that if these terrorists are not caught that you and we will suffer even more 9/11s. Waiting for the courts to issue a warrant will close the window for getting the information from their phone calls. The President took an oath to protect this country. He is doing just that. Instead of quibbling, you should be thanking him for living up to his oath.
I hate liberals like yourself who post and run. Answer the mods question.
Name ONE CITIZEN who's been subjected to an unconstitutional search.............just curious.
Gee, I guess your "logic" says that bob barr and other "true conservatives" joining hands with moveon.org and al gore means nothing.
I deal in realities, obviously you don't.
THAT was my point, Peach. I've read "Infiltration."
The key word in the Constitution is "Unreasonable Searches".
Such protections were never intended for enemy combatants or their agents operating in the US.
My understanding is that the electronic surveillance was initiated on suspected terrorists on foreign shores. Any 'listening in' on conversations with Americans was incidental - meaning the suspected terrorist on foreign shores called the American.
I know that there are all kinds of threats out there -- and always have been, but that doesn't mean we get rid of the constitution. It would be neater, cleaner, and in a sense, safer, to let police go after all criminals without any constitutional restraint. That was true when the Constitution was written, too. But the Founders wanted this to be free country, not a police state.
If Hillary becomes president, I somehow suspect you won't be as enthusiastic for allowing government spying on people in the US without court permission. I certainly won't be enthusiastic about letting Hillary's goons do that -- but unlike you, I'm consistent. I don't want precedents created now - when our guys are in power - that could be used to undermine freedoms if Hillary gets in. That's what constitutionalism - and conservatism - are all about. A belief in the rule of law, no matter what party is in power. Marxism, on the other hand, believes - as some freepers seem to - that there should be no restraint on government, when "our guys" run the government.
What flaws? Of course the Patriot Act supporters know that Ms President Rodham will enjoy the use of precedent.
Or click on one or more of the below ...
Do you think that government should be required to get a warrant to wiretap the phones of suspected terrorists on foreign soil? (Not American citizens.)
That's not what is at issue. It's wiretaps on calls to or from the US. And the law is pretty loose - it lets the wiretaps happen first, and the investigators can get court approval retroactively. But the administration, reportedly, hasn't even done that in some cases. Yes, it worries me, because I could see myself wiretapped by Hillary's people if she gets power (the way Bill's IRS went after conservatives). And when I complained, Hillary would say, there's precedent for wiretapping domestically without warrant - - and FREEPERS ARE FOR IT!
Like stated earlier, we don't need to commit suicide to keep our rights.
Hillary et al are corrupt, and they will do anything (and already have) to maintain their power base. She and her ilk are the dangerous ones. Gore and these so-called conservatives are way off base.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.