Tuesday, November 13, 2007

After a brief pause, the investigation will continue

Last year, amid rumblings that the President's warrantless wiretapping program, the one where the NSA gets to eavesdrop on US persons inside the United States without having to first go through the tedium of following the Fourth Amendment's requirement of getting a warrant before conducting a search, violated the Constitution, the investigators for the Justice Department's OPR were denied security clearances, which according to then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, were denied by the President, not himself.

Apparently, whatever problem there was with the oversight of the Executive Branch has come to pass with the appointment of the new Attorney General Mukasey, as those investigators have received their clearances now.

It still remains to be seen whether or not the administration's program is Constitutional or not, but one could argue from a strict constructionist standpoint that the 4th amendment mandates warrants and the program bypasses the warrant requirement, and since the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, it trumps the program, that the program is unconstitutional. However, everything in Washington is open to interpretation, and I would actually be surprised if this investigation turned up anything that would make the administration look bad, especially now that the NSA has had a year to go through everything it's doing to sanitize.

Sorry about the sidebar, but with the problems with credibility that this administration has saddled itself with, it's tough to give their policies a fair shake.

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