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4th Amendment... and Wrong

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posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 04:22 PM
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Lt. General Michael Hayden, who was the director of the NSA in 2001 when upon the orders of the President, he started the domestic surveillance program showed an interesting insight into the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution on Monday at a press conference before the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Since political opinion is not allowed in this forum (at least some political opinion), I will let General Hayden speak for himself. Following is a transcript of a question and answer session between General Hayden and Knight-Ridder reporter Jonathan Landay. After this exchange, General Hayden stopped taking questions.

The public press conference was broadcast on C-Span, and an article about the press conference was published in Editor and Publisher (see link below). The transcript below was created from both sources.




NOTE: The following is a transcript from a public press conference. All attribution is in the previous paragraph and a link to the article describing it below. This poster does not claim to have written this material.


LANDAY: General, I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use --

GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually -- the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure.

LANDAY: But the --

GEN. HAYDEN: That's what it says.

LANDAY: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.

GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.

LANDAY: But does it not say probable --

GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says --

LANDAY: The court standard, the legal standard --

GEN. HAYDEN: -- unreasonable search and seizure.

LANDAY: The legal standard is probable cause, General. You used the terms just a few minutes ago, "We reasonably believe." And a FISA court, my understanding is, would not give you a warrant if you went before them and say "we reasonably believe"; you have to go to the FISA court, or the attorney general has to go to the FISA court and say, "we have probable cause."

And so what many people believe -- and I'd like you to respond to this -- is that what you've actually done is crafted a detour around the FISA court by creating a new standard of "reasonably believe" in place of probable cause because the FISA court will not give you a warrant based on reasonable belief, you have to show probable cause. Could you respond to that, please?

GEN. HAYDEN: Sure. I didn't craft the authorization. I am responding to a lawful order. All right? The attorney general has averred to the lawfulness of the order.

Just to be very clear -- and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me -- and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one -- what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is "reasonable." And we believe -- I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable.


***

www.editorandpublisher.com...



NOTE: The above is a transcript of a public press conference. All attribution is in the preceding paragraph and a link to an article describing the press conference follows. The author of this post makes no representation as having written the above words. It is a TRANSCRIPT OF A PUBLIC PRESS CONFERENCE.


I won't offer an opinion about the General's answer, in keeping with the rules of this forum. But as a service to the ATS community, I am quoting the 4th Amendment to the Constitution below:



"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. "


God Bless America.

Mod Edit: Posting work written by others. – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 26-1-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 08:21 PM
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vuoto,
I really think this does belong in PTS, US Politics and I am moving it there.
So, feel free to discuss the politics of this issue.



posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 09:11 AM
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How is it politics to post a direct transcript of the statements of a Lt.General who happens to be in charge of the NSA's domestic surveillance program? I didn't offer any opinions, I just put it out there for people to see.


Mod edit:
After a discussion with member, this thread is being moved to Political Conspiracies.


[edit on 27-1-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 11:44 AM
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For those that skiped the US law part in history class here is the 4th Amendment


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.


1. Probable cause is needed
2. Place to be searched and items that will be seized must be described.

the probable cause requirement -- lie in English and American colonial history. Prior to the framing of our Constitution by the founding fathers, the government had virtually unlimited power to believe, right or wrong, that any illegal items they were looking for would be found. In England, this all-purpose power took the form of what were called general warrants; in colonial America, they were called writs of assistance. To protect against the abuses inherent in this kind of power, the Framers added a probable cause requirement.

If the Executive Branch is allowed to have warrentless searches, or wire-taps on domestic soil (Remember the 4th amendment protects ANYONE on american soil) then our privacy is nothing, and the Executive branch could easily use this power to aid it's power base.

Even moderate republicans can see that this is a blatent abuse of power that defies the constitution



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