Monday, January 02, 2006

Eavesdropping versus Wiretapping

Back in 2004, speaking about the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, Alleged President Bush said:

Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.
The Alleged President now claims that when he said "wiretap," he referred only to a roving wiretap, in which the government seeks permission to monitor all communications sent or received by a particular person in the United States, whether he uses his home phone, office phone, cellphone, or corner payphone. The warrantless eavesdropping that the Alleged President authorized was different.

Alleged President Bush authorized the NSA to monitor all communications sent or received by a particular person outside the United States, to or from people in the United States. That's just eavesdropping, apparently, not an illegal wiretap in violation of 50 USC § 1809. We get warrants to chase down terrorists, but we don't bother getting warrants to spy on innocent citizens. After all, unlimited domestic espionage is explicitly sanctioned by Article II, Section 5, of the United States Constitution:
5. Nothing in this Constitution shall ever be construed to limit the prerogatives of the President of the United States, as ordained by divine right, Praise Jesus! P.S. Please don't print this section in copies of the Constitution available for public viewing, because that would only embolden our enemies.
What could be clearer?