It's been fun this week watching the left ignoring the last sixty years of the history of Presidential authority in regard to the practice of warrantless searches/wiretaps.

Absolutely comical is the total ignorance of the six years of abuse of power during the Clinton administration wherein - and incidently not in the interest of national security - his administration used warrentless searches in law enforcement operations. In fact Clinton's use of warrantless wiretap of US citizens is to this day in law enforcement circles - legendary, so much so it prompted even the leftist ACLU to refer to his administration as :"the most wiretap-friendly administration in history."

Of course that is why the left is trying SO HARD to assert that "It's not the same", or "Clinton didn't do that". But the fact is that he did, as did Carterand every President back to Roosevelt, even when it was purely for political purposes as was discovered by the Church Report:

Each administration from Franklin D. Roosevelt's to Richard Nixon's permitted, and sometimes encouraged, government agencies to handle essentially political intelligence. For example:

-- President Roosevelt asked the FBI to put in its files the names of citizens sending telegrams to the White House opposing his "national defense" policy and supporting Col. Charles Lindbergh.

-- President Truman received inside information on a former Roosevelt aide's efforts to influence his appointments, 43 labor union negotiating plans, 44 and the publishing plans of journalists.

-- President Eisenhower received reports on purely political and social contacts with foreign officials by Bernard Baruch, 46 Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, 47 and Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas.

-- The Kennedy Administration had the FBI wiretap a Congressional staff member , 48 three executive officials, 49 a lobbyist, 50 and a, Washington law firm. 51 Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy received the fruits of a FBI "tap" on Martin Luther King, Jr. 52 and a "bug" on a Congressman both of which yielded information of a political nature.

-- President Johnson asked the FBI to conduct "name checks" of his critics and of members of the staff of his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. 54 He also requested purely political intelligence on his critics in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic Convention from FBI electronic surveillance.

-- President Nixon authorized a program of wiretaps which produced for the White House purely political or personal information unrelated to national security, including information about a Supreme Court justice.

The point of discussion divorced from politics should be whether or not the President has the authority to order such surveillance. What is clear is that what the President ordered is by precedent and accepted practice was not as such illegal.


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