Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sanctifying crime

The Senate yesterday voted to give telecos legal immunity for participating in illegal wiretapping. In a grossly disappointing pander to the right, Sen. Barack Obama went along with the plan.
(Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, on the other hand, led the fight against it.)

Now that this anti-constitutional piece of legislation is about to become law, the ACLU promises to challenge it:

“This fight is not over. We intend to challenge this bill as soon as President Bush signs it into law,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The bill allows the warrantless and dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international telephone and email communications. It plainly violates the Fourth Amendment.”

And please remember: in America, if you engage in serious felonies, it helps to have lots of lobbyists to help rewrite the law to your benefit. Lots of cash for campaign donations helps, too.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is just plain silly.

When the government orders you to comply, you comply.

That is what the LAW requires. No matter how you feel about FISA, the telecom companies didn't do anything wrong and it is idiotic for anyone to argue that they should be sued.

Get a life.

Joe Klein said...

An illegal order is just that - illegal, and does not require that it be obeyed.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Not the President, not the FBI.

The Bill allowing amnesty is illegal.

Article I, Section 10.
...
No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
...

"Are statutes that make an act punishable as a crime when such an act was not an offense when committed. Article I, section 10, clause 1 of the Constitution provides that no state shall pass any ex post facto law; Article I, section 9, clause 3 imposes the same prohibition upon the federal government. The Supreme Court early determined that these clauses prohibit laws with retroactive effect only in the field of criminal law and do not apply to statutes dealing with civil matters. Nonetheless, retroactive laws in the civil area may under certain circumstances violate the Contract or Due Process Clauses of the Constitution. The ban on ex post facto laws operates solely as a restraint on legislative power and has no application to changes in the law made by judicial decision.

"Besides preventing the enactment of laws making acts criminal that were not criminal when committed, the Ex Post Facto Clauses also render invalid the retroactive application of laws that, while not creating new offenses, aggravate the seriousness of a crime. Moreover, a statute that prescribes a greater punishment for a crime already committed violates the clauses. A law that alters the rules of evidence so as to make it substantially easier to convict a defendant is likewise prohibited by the Constitution."

— Edgar Bodenheimer

Under rules of quid pro quo, you can't change a law after the fact unless it is found unconstitutional. If it was unconstitutional, it never should have had effect.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

You apparently advocate disloyal to the Constitution Anonymous. The Internet is a snake den full of anonymous treasonous cowards.