Administration Surveillance Policy Fails First Legal Test
A majority of Americans don't have a problem with wire-tapping suspected terrorists or their acquaintances, regardless if they are in or out of the country. The trouble is, just as the administration now has a doctrine of unilateral, first-strike, pre-emptive war (how has that turned out so far? Do you feel like the world is a safer place at the moment?), it has developed a similar view of its place in our government. Certainly in wartime the executive has stretched the boundaries stated in the Constitution in the name of national security, but in the end the reason for three branches is basic oversight and checks/balances. No one argues that there are national security concerns. No one argues that surveillance needs to be secret, because we don't want the bad guys to know when they are being tapped. But I think most will sleep better at night when there is a system in place where someone, such as the secret court already allowed under the 1978 FISA law, keeping an eye on the scope of the program. A Republican Congress has already come out and said it will work with the administration to modify FISA. What is the administration's issue at this point? What Americans want is simply a system for someone else to ensure there is a check to make sure it is only suspected terrorists and any associates within that network who are being monitored ( and keep that as secret as you want), and that flagrant abuses of executive power are not taking place on the general American public.