[Clips] Clinton Claimed Authority to Order No-Warrant Searches

Perry E. Metzger perry at piermont.com
Tue Dec 20 10:27:08 PST 2005


"R. A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com> writes:
>  The National Review
>  Byron York
>
>  December 20, 2005, 9:46 a.m.
>  Clinton Claimed Authority to Order No-Warrant Searches
>  Does anyone remember that?
>
>
>  In a little-remembered debate from 1994, the Clinton administration argued
>  that the president has "inherent authority" to order physical searches -
>  including break-ins at the homes of U.S. citizens - for foreign
>  intelligence purposes without any warrant or permission from any outside
>  body. Even after the administration ultimately agreed with Congress's
>  decision to place the authority to pre-approve such searches in the Foreign
>  Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, President Clinton still
>  maintained that he had sufficient authority to order such searches on his
>  own.

Nice misdirection, but:

>  Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, provides for such
>  warrantless searches directed against "a foreign power or an agent of a
>  foreign power."

Those are both terms of art in 50 USC. They're not "US Persons".

>  Reporting the day after Gorelick's testimony, the Washington Post's
>  headline - on page A-19 - read, "Administration Backing No-Warrant Spy
>  Searches." The story began, "The Clinton administration, in a
>  little-noticed facet of the debate on intelligence reforms, is seeking
>  congressional authorization for U.S. spies to continue conducting
>  clandestine searches at foreign embassies in Washington and other cities
>  without a federal court order.

Note the phrase "Congressional Authorization".

And, even if Clinton suggested the law could be broken or broke it,
that does not mean that Bush has not broken the law.

Again and again, Bob seems to be forwarding us chaff -- the smoke
thrown up by the President's spin doctors who do not want you paying
attention to the fact that the President broke a criminal law. Do not
be deceived. Do not be misdirected. Keep your eye on what matters, and
not on what the magicians want you to watch.

Most importantly, call your senators and congressional representative
NOW.

Perry





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