Sunday, January 01, 2006

Impeach Bush for spying?

I recently sent an e-mail to someone who insists that Bush should be impeached for non-warrant searches (spying to be precise) on Americans. Here is my e-mail back to that person (Edited for protection of the recipient).

...I completely disagree with your position on Bush and this Intel spying matter. I do have a disdain for Bush and all the promises he has failed to deliver to the citizens of the US. Big government is the call of the day (not a conservative idea) for Bush. He (and most all so called republicans) has failed miserably to stop abortions in this country. He has failed us at the borders. I could go on, but you know all this administration's failures.

However - We are at war. I don't think it's been all luck that we have not been attacked within our borders since 9/11. Being at war entails the government to do a few things. #1 - Protect the citizens. #2 - Kill first other people who are trying to kill you. #3 - Spy. Sometimes the result of spying on bad guys is that innocent people may be spied on. That is why war is war. I would prefer that we win against the bad guys, not the other way around. Sometimes extreme people (terrorists) need extreme measures (spying) taken against them.

I don't think Bush is spying on Grandma to see that secret recipe she has for her treasured Christmas cookies that all the relatives go bonkers over. No, Bush is spying on the people who want to kill Grandma and all she loves about America. This is one area (spying on bad guys) that I don't think violates anyone's civil liberties. And if an innocent person happens to be spied on while we are hard at work trying to prevent another 9/11, well too bad. I would much rather hear about someone crying that their civil liberties have been violated than hear that 500,000 folks just got incinerated in NYC from a suitcase nuke.

The 4th Amendment has been interpreted many ways over the decades. Here is an example that a property could be searched reasonably without a warrant because of circumstances that would lead authorities to believe that the owner of the property, although innocent himself, housed documents that were needed for prosecution of criminal activity.


In Zurcher, the Supreme Court held that a search of the offices of a university newspaper, which was not involved in any criminal activity, for photographs of demonstrators who had assaulted police officers did not offend the Fourth Amendment's ban against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court concluded: '[T]he Amendment has not been a barrier to warrants to search property on which there is probable cause to believe that fruits, instrumentalities, or evidence of crime is located, whether or not the owner or possessor of the premises to be searched is himself reasonably suspected of complicity in the crime being investigated.' Zurcher v. Stanford Daily ('78) 436 U.S. 547, 549-50.

I think this ruling is a clear case for incidental spying on someone that may have some knowledge or possesion(s) of items that, although, said person may be innocent them self, may be a link to terrorist activity or planning. I know that power can and sometimes is abused. Where it is abused, actions should be taken. But in this case of Bush, the charges are non-sense. I think millions of Americans are alive because of activities like this. This is one area of the current administration that I support and would congratulate on being pro-active and not waiting for the next 9/11 to hit and then have everyone say 'What did you know and when did you know it?' Only to hear the Bush administration say 'Uh, we didn't know anything was going to happen. We were too afraid of violating a civil liberty.'

From the immortal words of Spock in 'The wrath of Kahn', "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."

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