Thursday, April 1, 2010

NSA Wiretaps Illegal

Finally, finally, someone is actually realizing that maybe (just maybe) the stuff our government has been doing in the name of our "safety" is wrong. A federal judge found that the NSA wiretaps done during Bush's reign were illegal. (Like imagine that- NSA has to get a warrant! *gasp*)

Of course, this also shows, once again, just how little difference there is between the Bush policies and current Obama policies: both insist upon maintaining the nationalist idea that America can do whatever she wants both to the international community and to its own citizens, and that anything goes in the quest for "safety."

Furthermore, they are also akin in that they both have and are insisting upon claiming superiority to every law, Constitutional and otherwise, on the books merely because they happened to have a face the media liked. Mmm-hmm.

"“Judge Walker is saying that FISA and federal statutes like it are not optional,” Mr. Eisenberg said. “The president, just like any other citizen of the United States, is bound by the law. Obeying Congressional legislation shouldn’t be optional with the president of the U.S.”"
So perhaps, just maybe, somebody in the actual framework of our government is starting to wake up. Would be nice.


Teresa said...

You are on the ball, liberty! Beat me to the posting of this very important topic. After much thought, I have reversed my position on this-If the police or CIA etc. are able to get a warrant than awesome, but if not then tough luck. This does violate privacy rights of Americans.

But, I am waffling as to whether a foreigner either residing or visiting America should be afforded the same rights as citizens of our country (with regards to wiretapping).

Liberty said...

I think they should be. Why? Well, mostly because of principle. True, they may not legally be citizens, but I am a freedom-loving person, and I want to be protected just as much as I'm sure they do, so I have to make sure they're protected from my government, too.

Now there's another side to that- for instance, foreign people can be held to a different standard at times, and they should be liable for what they do. Deportation is a valuable tool in this context. So it's a bit of an iffy subject but in the long run, I think yes, foreign nationals residing in the US should receive just as much protection from warrantless wiretaps as American citizens.

Teresa said...

Would you agree that the U.S. Constitution is for U.S. citizens. Would you agree when the laws in our country are applicable to foreigners it is primarily to protect U.S. citizens? By having our Constitution apply to foreigners along with us than what makes us(citizens) so special? Shouldn't U.S. citizens be afforded additional or special protections different from that of foreigners? With that said, I don't think that foreigners have the same rights as U.S. citizens when either visiting or living within the U.S. And, what if it was known that terrorists entered this country and the police wanted to monitor their activities to make sure that they did not cause harm to us would the police need a warrant to make sure that we were safe?

Liberty said...

The Constitution was designed to keep the government in check, not "for" US citizens. With that said, yes, I do think that certain freedoms in it should be afforded to every person living within the US- for instance, the freedom of speech. Would you say we shouldn't let certain people say certain things just because they aren't "citizens"?

My thinking is this- foreign nationals are still humans. Like it or not, they are living here. Hence, we should afford them the same courtesy and the same freedoms we would give to any other human. I don't think we should deny people basic human rights merely because they aren't "one of us."

A warrant is required for any wiretapping operation, even one being done on an international target. The status of said subject is not a factor, nor the current residence of said subject.

suntzusays said...

The US Constitution is for US citizens when it says specifically that it is for US citizens (such as the sections of eligibility for higher offices). It makes no distinctions for foreign nationals as to their rights and privileges under US jurisdiction except where it explicitly specifies rights apportioned to citizens only (such as the rights to run for and hold elected national offices).