Eavesdropping Without Warrants — It’s About Following the Law

Earlier this month I asked, Was Bush Wiretapping the Kerry Campaign? The problem is, we have no way to know.
Let’s get serious for a minute about Bush’s assertion that as Commander in Chief he has the “wartime” right to do anything he feels is necessary, without warrants and regardless of laws. Asking if they are wiretapping political opponents is not a far-fetched question because without warrants there is no check or balance on what they do. THAT is why our Constitution requires warrants – so a judge can look over what they are doing. It’s like asking us to trust Nixon, and we know how that worked out, don’t we? Or Reagan and we know about Iran/Contra, or Bush’s father, and we know about how many he had to pardon to keep himself out of jail. We’re not supposed to trust our politicians – that’s why we require warrants.
In the previous post I wrote,

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Clipper Chip Again Again

We now know that the Bush administration is scanning every conversation and e-mail with computers, looking for interesting information, and doing this without warrants or any other kind of legal authorization. (Note – The Bush people say they are only scanning communications into and out of the country, and say they are only looking for “terrorists.”) So I have been looking back at President Clinton’s controversial “Clipper Chip” proposal. This was a standardized chip that would go into computers and phones and would encrypt (securely code) every message and call made by anyone in the US, so no one could eavesdrop.
Opponents said the Clipper Chip would have led to the government monitoring our communications. I say it would have prevented what is happening now, and that is why the Right mounted a campaign of disinformation to kill it.

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