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Cold War Warrantless Wiretapping 85

Posted by kdawson
from the all-your-call-are-well-you-know-the-rest dept.
somanyrobots writes "President Gerald Ford secretly authorized the use of warrantless domestic wiretaps for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes soon after coming into office, according to a declassified document. The Dec. 19, 1974, White House memorandum, marked Top Secret / Exclusively Eyes Only and signed by Ford, gave then-Attorney General William B. Saxbe and his successors in office authorization 'to approve, without prior judicial warrants, specific electronic surveillance within the United States which may be requested by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'" And reader jlaprise1 adds, "My research [from 2009] makes the news! President Ford authorized warrantless wiretaps in December 1976 and laid the foundation (PDF) for US telecommunications security policy."
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Cold War Warrantless Wiretapping

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  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff@@@gmail...com> on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:05AM (#31723444) Homepage Journal

    If you believe in Democracy, then you implicitly endorse secret police.
    If you believe in anything else, then you explicitly endorse those same powers out in the open.

    Citation needed so we can better understand this apparent crazy talk.

    The only difference is how much we are willing to delude ourselves. We call ourselves Free, but we haven't been so since September 24, 1862.

    Nice semi-cryptic pseudo-conspiracy-like reference.

      September 24, 1862 is the date President Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus during the American Civil War, a time of rebellion (certainly as defined from his perspective). It was only suspended for those considered to be in rebellion.

    Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the Constitution states, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." Nothing unconstitutional or illegal with what Lincoln did no matter how much you dislike it. At least he did it out in the open.

    I would argue that until there are no others who wish to control us, no one will never be "Free". That won't occur until there is only one person left on Earth. Until then, your point is moot.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:30AM (#31723560) Homepage

    President Gerald Ford secretly authorized the use of warrantless domestic wiretaps for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes soon after coming into office, according to a declassified document.

    Obligatory image link:

    http://images.google.com/images?q=ford+cheney+rumsfeld [google.com]

  • Re:A Little HIstory (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:43AM (#31723646)

    Very interesting. All supporting my claim that Bush Jr. was basically a facade for those really running the show.

    What good is the Constitution without mandatory jail time for violating it? These men all knew (and we can now throw Ms. Rice into that mix) that they were violating the Constitution they swore to uphold. Yet our Congress will not hold those accountable. Where is the office of Special Prosecutor when you really need it?

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:51AM (#31723686) Homepage Journal

    What finally pushed the Congress into preparing to impeach Nixon was the revelation that Nixon was secretly (and, of course, warrantlessly) wiretapping Congress. Keeping Vietnam going, using the CIA to break into Democratic campaign HQ at the Watergate (and a shrink's office) - all just "business as usual". But the wiretapping was enough to push them over the edge.

    So George Bush Sr, Republican National Committee Chair, went to Nixon to explain that enough Congressional Republicans would vote to impeach that he would be impeached. So Nixon resigned. And Ford, who Nixon had got to replace his original VP, Spiro Agnew, when Agnew was convicted of income tax evasion (on massive bribes he'd taken but not reported to the IRS), inherited Nixon's evil empire. George Bush Sr inherited the CIA.

    And then Ford started warrantlessly wiretapping people, just like Nixon had. Nixon was wiretapping not only Congress, but all kinds of political enemies, including anti-war and environmentalist activists, counterculture figures like John Lennon. Nixon turned the White House into a Republican Kremlin. And Ford kept it that way.

    In 1978, with Democrat Carter in the White House a Democratic Congress passed FISA, which was designed to be the supreme law controlling wiretapping. Nominally subordinate to only the 4th Amendment, which it violated by allowing exceptions to the Amendment's requirement of a warrant issued prior to any wiretapping.

    Republican George Bush Jr inherited the presidency in 2000. And soon wiretapped every American, all our phonecalls and email, without a warrant. Even though the FISA court issued a warrant, before or after the fact, for every single one of the hundreds of thousands of requests it got, however invalid any of those requests might have been.

    Even to the point of wiretapping conversations between defendants and their lawyers in cases brought by the Bush "Justice" Department, which was just ruled illegal [scienceblogs.com], years later. With Bush leaving office unimpeached.

    The Congress should've impeached Nixon. It should have impeached Bush. Hell, it should've impeached Reagan, for running the secret Iran/Contra wars, illegally supplying Iran with weapons and shipping drugs like cocaine and opium around on CIA planes - the investigation probably would have turned up warrantless wiretapping to protect the other illegal programmes.

    But we didn't. And Republicans, even Bushes (and Cheneys) get to walk around free, free to run for office. And a large section of the public that believes "it's only a crime if you get caught" treats those criminals and traitors to their oaths to protect the Constitution as "statesmen".

    As every time before, the next one will be even worse. Hi, president Romney, how ya doin'?

  • by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @12:22PM (#31724776) Journal

    Nominally subordinate to only the 4th Amendment, which it violated by allowing exceptions to the Amendment's requirement of a warrant issued prior to any wiretapping.

    Um, no. The Fourth Amendment says no unreasonable search or seizure, not no unwarranted search and seizure. It does, however, set out what a warrant requires, but it does not require a warrant for a lawful search:

    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.

    There are many cases where a warrentless search has been held to be reasonable, and thus not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    That being said, warrantless wiretapping of the entire US population is, indeed, an unreasonable intrusion, in my opinion.

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