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Oh, that absent-minded press!

Let me give you an inside tip the cardinal rule of the Mainstream News Media:

1. The public has a short attention span and even a shorter memory. So remember that when you devise a story.

So when they are harping this tired old mantra of the Democrats that the NSA Surveillance Program was illegal, or that President Bush overstepped his authority, they're banking on our memories not being so good. Specifically with what the courts have already ruled on.

Point of fact, does anyone remember this from 2002?

COURT UPHOLDS EXPANDED U.S. WIRETAPPING POWERS

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the U.S. government has an expanded authority to use wiretaps and other surveillance techniques in its efforts to track suspected terrorists.

The court's ruling said that expanded powers to wiretap those suspected in foreign terrorist operations – including U.S. citizens – outlined in the U.S.A. Patriot Act do not violate the Constitution.

The ruling, made by a select panel from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, overturns a decision limiting the government's surveillance authority by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court – a top secret body created in 1978 to review the attorney general's requests to authorize electronic surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence information.

"We are deeply disappointed with the decision, which suggests that this special court exists only to rubberstamp government applications for intrusive surveillance warrants," Ann Beeson, litigation director of the Technology and Liberty Program of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.It is unclear whether the ACLU intends to appeal Monday's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.In a May ruling, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decided against the Justice Department's proposed plan for greater information sharing between intelligence officials and domestic law enforcement.

The court argued the proposal would eliminate congressionally-mandated barriers between the intelligence community and criminal prosecutors that could allow prosecutors to "advise FBI intelligence officials concerning 'the initiation, operation, continuation, or expansion of [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] searches or surveillance'" – a change from previous procedure.The court said the proposed rules were "not reasonably designed" to protect Americans' privacy.The Justice Department argued before the appeals court that the lower court had "wholly exceeded" its authority, saying Congress had approved the enhanced surveillance powers when it passed the Patriot Act.

In Monday's ruling, the three-judge appeals panel agreed, saying that "FISA's general programmic purpose, to protect the nation against terrorists and espionage threats directed by foreign powers, has from its outset been distinguishable from 'ordinary crime control.' After the events of September 11, 2001, though, it is hard to imagine greater emergencies facing Americans than those experienced on that date.

"The judges said the Justice Department's proposal is "constitutional because the surveillances it authorizes are reasonable."

Point? The program is and has been legal for quite a while. In fact, warrantless searches are an everyday occurrence in America OUTSIDE the NSA, and are just as legal. Did the MSM tell you that?

Truth - it's a bitch.

Tracked: Michelle Malkin




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