Saturday, June 24, 2006

Scary Comments from the Government

Apparently, General Michael Hayden, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence, doesn't know what the Fourth Amendment says. Just for reference, the Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Contrary to the General's statement, the Fourth Amendment does have a warrant requirement, and the police/government must present probable cause to obtain a warrant. The requirement operates as a check on the Government's police power by establishing a threshold for reasonableness. Techincally, the General is on to something, in that the law requires warrantless searches be reasonable to satisfy the strictures of the Fourth Amendment, provided it's within an exception ot the warrant requirement (see generally Terry v. Ohio and Maryland v. Pringle). It is nice to know, though, that those in power have no idea what the Constitution says, espeically since it's the document that controls the operation of our government. Don't get me wrong, I can probably tell you most of the important ones off the top of my head, but when you are the director of the intelligence agencies for this country, you should, at the very least, know what the Fourth Amendment protects if not have it memorized word for word, even if he isn't a lawyer.

The White House responds to the New York Times article from last week publicly disclosing teh program.

Interesting letter from XM radio to musicians.

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