Saturday, August 18, 2007

New White House Powers May Include Warrantless Physical Searches and Collection of Business Records

The New York Times is reporting today that recent security legislation passed by Congress and signed by President Bush may allow greatly expanded government powers to physically search American citizens and their businesses, all without court sanction.

The legislation, passed quickly at the end of the Congressional session earlier this month, is being used by the Bush Administration to shore up its claims warrantless spying on American citizens.

Many civil liberties activists and bloggers have blamed the Democrats for giving in to the administration's demands to pass they bill, fearing increased—and illegal—surveillance of U.S. citizens.

According to the Times, even some conservative legal experts are concerned about government overreaching.

Here's the lead on today's NYT story:

Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include — without court approval — certain types of physical searches of American citizens and the collection of their business records, Democratic Congressional officials and other experts said.

Given such concerns, it's time for all of us to start worrying about warrantless government spying on the American people. The potential for abuse in such a program is staggering—and it can all be hidden from view in the name of national security.

1 comment:

Tulsan said...

During the 1990s and before, I often heard guys pop off about how necessary it is to have an armed populace. This, I was told, was in case big government (presumably Democrats) got too intrusive. Very principled stand.

Apparently, if this scenario transpired, a really large posse would be formed by these armed and disgruntled citizens. Don't forget to bring the brewskis!

But now that this very future is on our doorsteps, enacted by Republican big government, where are these guys? Cuddled up with their chosen firearm of the evening, dozing off with "Live Links" TV commercials blaring and crushed beer cans on the table.

I guess all that tough NRA talk was a lot of baloney. It was all about firearms and their fantasy life, nothing else.