Why Now?
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
  The Kerry Defense
Everyone should remember this quote from John Kerry: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

Via djhlights at Exit Stage Left I arrived at a Glenn Greenwald post about the Bush administration rejecting a Senate bill to amend the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2002 to permit a "reasonable suspicion" vice "probable cause" test for eavesdropping warrants.

So when General Michael V. Hayden starts talking about how legal what he started at NSA is, and the problems of the FISA requirements, he doesn't bring up the fact that Congress attempted to give the administration more power, but the Justice Department discouraged the move as being of questionable constitutionality.

To paraphrase: they did it, before they were against it, before they were for it.

Full disclosure: When Hayden was a lieutenant he was assigned to Strategic Air Command headquarters. I was a Staff Sergeant at the time stationed at Offutt AFB and regularly gave classified briefings at SAC HQ, which he probably attended. As he was only a lieutenant and not on flying status I would haven't even recognized his existence. At SAC HQ there was nothing lower than a lieutenant.

There is no evidence of his having any criminal procedure training, which is obvious from his use of the term "reasonable belief", rather than the term of art, "reasonable suspicion". You can't be believable in any discussion of warrants if you don't have "reasonable suspicion" and "probable cause" burned into your brain. The ability to find the razor's edge of the boundary any particular judge has between those two is the key to obtaining warrants.

I would be interested in hearing exactly how he believes "hot pursuit" applies to a warrant. "Hot pursuit" is normally "incidental to an arrest" and they haven't arrested anyone. I would think that Osama's continuing recording career makes it rather obvious that they are not really interested in catching anyone.

On a more pleasant note, one of my favorite Texans, Molly Ivins, is now included on the CNN site, and she wonders what the reaction would be if "President" Hillary had tried warrant-less wiretaps, among other things.

 



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