Friday, December 23, 2005

There is no serious question that the Bush-approved NSA electronic surveillance is perfectly legal

George Will, not a lawyer, claimed the NSA electronic surveillance program was illegal here.

Powerline - John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Miregoff, all lawyers - show that it is perfectly legal here and here.

In sum, George Will claims, "The President's authorization of domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency contravened a statute's clear language." Not so. The statute reads:

"(1) the acquisition ... of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes..."

The NSA's broad, unfocused data gathering simply did not target "a particular, known United States person who is in the United States." Once the data is distilled, and specific monitoring of a know US person is considered, then, and only then, is a FISA warrant required. Simply read the Powerline posts (specifically, the second one) linked above.

Chalk up another win for the lawyers (well, it's really no contest when the question is about the law).

2 Comments:

Blogger Cardinal Martini said...

Seems pretty clear to me.

5:52 PM  
Blogger lenni said...

You bring up only a way out of trouble because the White House lawyers seem not to provide a good enough answer for you or the public. So you try to refine it for everybody else. It's only trying to get out of trouble. All, ALL Americans have a reasonable expectation of privacy no matter that information may be direct or indirect.

10:40 AM  

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