It is important to be clear about what this decision means and what it does not mean — particularly since the White House, among others, is already depicting this ruling as some sort of epic blow to the administration's efforts to fight terrorism. This ruling does not, of course, prohibit eavesdropping on terrorists; it merely prohibits illegal eavesdropping in violation of FISA.Emphasis mine. Shrubya is allowed to eavesdrop on terrorists. NO ONE IS DISPUTING THAT. What he cannot do, constitutionally, is eavesdrop without getting a secret warrant from a secret court that was set up in order to protect the people of this country from Nixonian abuses. Since he refuses to get warrants from the secret court, it's pretty clear that he's either the laziest president in the history of the United States (and he wouldn't even have to do the paperwork himself!), or he's abusing his power.
Thus, even under the court's order, the Bush administration is free to continue to do all the eavesdropping on terrorists it wants to do. It just has to cease doing so using its own secretive parameters, and instead do so with the oversight of the FISA court — just as all administrations have done since 1978, just as the law requires, and just as it did very recently when using surveillance with regard to the U.K. terror plot. Eavesdropping on terrorists can continue in full force. But it must comply with the law.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Mark Evanier pointing out Glenn Greenwald clarifying the court decision:
Posted by Tegan at 7:45 PM