ndt: "I stated that it had to do with status as either an U.S. Person or as an Agent of a Foreign Power, which it does."
Good, then you agree that in the present case, we are dealing with foreign intelligence intercepts, and that the holdings of the Truong and In re: Sealed Case courts are controlling, in that the President does have inherent constitutional authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information.
posted on 01/26/2006 10:50:04 PM PST
by Boot Hill
("...and Joshua went unto him and said: art thou for us, or for our adversaries?")
To: Boot Hill
OK, I'm sick of typing U.S. Person, from now on it is USP
NOTE: All quotes below are from the Truong case
Taps on the phones of known international terrorists do not require a warrant, that is not at issue. When those taps intercept a third party, and if that third party turns out to be a USP, yes, a warrant becomes required for that conversation. It can be issued retroactively, and if that U.S. person is calling a known international terrorist, I can think of no reason why the FISA court would turn down that warrant.
The Truong case does not allow the president or his agents to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on USPs without reasonable evidence that they are acting as agents of a foreign power.
" Even if a warrant is not required, the Fourth Amendment requires that the surveillance be "reasonable."
A USPs name being in the phone book of a terrorist may be reasonable evidence of possible wrongdoing, or he might be the pizza guy. What it is not, is proof of being an agent of a foreign power. That would be a case that required a warrant, even for the president.
So, does the president have inherent power to conduct warrantless eavesdropping even when the subject is a USP and is not previously known to be an agent of a foreign power? Lets see what the Truong court had to say.
"Because the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement is a critical constitutional protection of individual privacy, this discussion should conclude by underscoring the limited nature of this foreign intelligence exception to the warrant requirement which we recognize in the instant case. The exception applies only to foreign powers, their agents, and their collaborators."
Yes, I guess I do agree with them. NO! the president does not have the power to conduct warrantless eavesdropping unless the target is already known to be an agent of a foreign power.
posted on 01/26/2006 11:18:29 PM PST
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