Since the revelation yesterday that both ex-presidents Clinton and Carter both signed orders reference to warrentless searches, the left has swapped to "debunk" mode trying to say that Apples don't compare to Oranges.

Witness this from this from the premier moonbat site:

"CLINTON DID NOT ORDER WARRANTLESS SEARCHES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS

Here's what Clinton signed:

Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section.

You don't have to be a lawyer to understand that Clinton allowed warrantless searches if and only if the AG followed section 302(a)(1). What does section 1822(a) require?

* the "physical search is solely directed at premises, information, material, or property used exclusively by, or under the open and exclusive control of, a foreign power or powers." Translation: You can't search American citizens.
* and there is "no substantial likelihood that the physical search will involve the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person." Translation: You can't search American citizens.

Moreover, Clinton's warrant waiver consistent with FISA refers only to physical searches. "Physical searches," as defined by 1821(5), exclude electronic surveillance."


Ah.....wrong.

I was a law enforcement officer in the 90s, and I will tell you that it is unequivicolly wrong that this order precluded searches on American Citizens. IN fact, in actual practice it when way beyond it's original scope as this article produced in 1997 from the CATO Institute details, citing what would appear to be massive and questionable applications of Clinton's order, to the point of Deriliction of Duty.

"The Clinton administration claims that it can bypass the warrant clause for "national security" purposes. In July 1994 Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick told the House Select Committee on Intelligence that the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes." [51] According to Gorelick, the president (or his attorney general) need only satisfy himself that an American is working in conjunction with a foreign power before a search can take place.

The warrant clause was designed to give the American people greater security than that afforded by the mere words of politicians. It requires the attorney general, or others, to make a showing of "probable cause" to a magistrate. The proponents of national security searches are hard-pressed to find any support for their position in the text or history of the Constitution. That is why they argue from the "inherent authority" of the Oval Office--a patently circular argument. The scope of such "authority" is of course unbounded in principle. Yet the Clinton Justice Department has said that the warrant clause is fully applicable to murder suspects but not to persons suspected of violating the export control regulations of the federal government. [52] If the Framers had wanted to insert a national security exception to the warrant clause, they would have done so. They did not.

The Clinton administration's national security exception to the warrant clause is nothing more, of course, than an unsupported assertion of power by executive branch officials. The Nixon administration relied on similar constitutional assertions in the 1970s to rationalize "black bag" break-ins to the quarters of its political opponents. [53] The Clinton White House--even after the Filegate scandal--assures Congress, the media, and the general public that it has no intention of abusing this power.

Attorney General Reno has already signed off on the warrantless search of an American home on the basis of the dubious "inherent authority" theory. [54] The actual number of clandestine "national security" searches conducted since 1993 is known only to the White House and senior Justice Department officials."


I was involved in several cases which specifically cited this law as the basis for warrantless searches of residences where suspected drug activity was taking place. By the way, the cases held up. As will any order/law, it is subjected to ongoing interpretation and "growth of application", and yes, sometimes it gets abused.

"Warrantless Searches of Public Housing

In the spring of 1994 the Chicago Public Housing Authority responded to gang violence by conducting warrantless "sweeps" of entire apartment buildings. Closets, desks, dressers, kitchen cabinets, and personal effects were examined regardless of whether the police had probable cause to suspect particular residents of any wrongdoing. Some apartments were searched when the residents were not home. Although such searches were supported by the Clinton administration, Federal District Judge Wayne Anderson declared the Chicago sweeps unconstitutional. [55] Judge Anderson found the government's claim of "exigent circumstances" to be exaggerated since all of the sweeps occurred days after the gang-related shootings. He also noted that even in emergency situations, housing officials needed probable cause in order to search specific apartments. Unlike many governmental officials who fear demagogic criticism for being "soft on crime," Judge Anderson stood up for the Fourth Amendment rights of the tenants, noting that he had "sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution" and that he would not "use the power of [his] office to override it, amend it or subvert it." [56]

The White House response was swift. President Clinton publicly ordered Attorney General Reno and HUD secretary Henry Cisneros to find a way to circumvent Judge Anderson's ruling. One month later the president announced a "constitutionally effective way" of searching public housing units. The Clinton administration would now ask tenants to sign lease provisions that would give government agents the power to search their homes without warrants.

The Clinton plan was roundly criticized by lawyers and columnists for giving short shrift to the constitutional rights of the tenants. [58] A New York Times editorial observed that the president had "missed the point" of Judge Anderson's ruling. [59] Harvard law professors Charles Ogletree and Abbe Smith rightly condemned the Clinton proposal as an open invitation to the police to "tear up" the homes of poor people. [60]"


Again, application. Here we will remember the public outcry that came with these searches and the subsequent "redoubling the efforts" of the Clinton administration to find even more applications of the law such as warrentless drug testing in schools, wiretapping of US Citizens. "The Supreme Court has recognized that electronic surveillance, such as wiretapping and eavesdropping, impinges on the privacy rights of individuals and organizations and is therefore subject to the Fourth Amendment's warrant clause. [65] President Clinton, however, has asked Congress to pass legislation that would give the Federal Bureau of Investigation the power to use "roving wiretaps" without a court order. The president also fought for sweeping legislation that is forcing the telephone industry to make its network more easily accessible to law enforcement wiretaps. Those initiatives have led ACLU officials to describe the Clinton White House as "the most wiretap-friendly administration in history."

Do read the rest of the CATO article as much of what it covers makes the so-called "Scandal" of the present Adminstration pale in comparison. In fact to the contrary, President Bush is shown to have gone out of his way to insure both the Country and the privacy of it's citizens were protected in the difficult process of defending this country against further attack. Nothing in the CATO article remotely comes to that kind of motivation.

Linked with The Political Teen that has Alan Colmes of Hannity and Colmes spliting hairs again. Also Michelle Malkin

UPDATE: Think Progress tries to cover the Clinton abuses of power as well, nice try, no "cigar"....




0 comments

Support our Vets!



Macsmind - Official Blog of The MacRanger Show on Blog Talk Radio