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January 16, 2009



This is what I wrote at our blog. See what you think:

the Constitution represents a first draft of basic, universal human rights. International calls, unless there’s probable cause are still protected under the Fourth Amendment.

The only variance occurs if they involve people from a nation with which we are at war, in which case we can presume that there is a risk of harm to the American people. That trumps the universal human right to privacy.

Recall that in international calls, one or both parties may well be Americans. For example, a mother calling her son in Iraq. Should she be wiretapped just because the call crosses international borders?

Or perhaps one party is an American. For example, an American reporter calling a source in an Arab nation. Should he be wiretapped?

And even if neither party is American, consider the case of a Briton calling his wife in London. Should that call be wiretapped? The British are allies and have been since that unpleasantness in 1812.

I believe that the Administration has been using the fact that calls inside this country may be routed via satellite or cable “outside” of this country to listen to all calls and read all e-mail. As long as all this is kept secret, we don’t know.


I should add that I think this court ruling is neither lawful nor Constitutional and that no American should respect it. The government may have power on its side, but not reason or truth or justice.

Buck Naked Politics

HI Charles,

Surely, you knew that I'd agree with you. :)

Potential for abuse is huge -- and that's what our Constitution is supposed to protect us against.

ron russell

Don't worry too much about government wire taps on calls coming from dubious sources overseas, but I do care about losing our freedoms in the name of public safety and political correctness--I've seen far too much of that in my lifetime. The country I love has changed and I'm sick of it. If I were a young man I would be tempted to take up arms in a struggle if it came to that. I recall in 1967 I was teaching at a small school on the banks of the Mississippi River in south Louisiana. I lived on the east bank of the river and the school was on the west bank. So each day I would ride the ferry back and forth (no bridge in that area at that time. In september the days were hot and after a long day in the classroom it was time to relax on the short trip home. I would stop at the little store on the west bank side and get a couple of cold beers for the trip across the river. It was a car ferry and in those days you could get out of your car on the trip across (you cannot leave your auto now---things have changed!). I would pop open one of those cold cans and enjoy it as I crossed the river with the wind blowing in my face, often standing next to a state trooper----things have changed. What would happen if I did that now---do you have to guess!! Things have changed. I mention these seemingly small things to point to something much bigger and far more dangerous than me sipping on a cold one while crossing the Mississippi. One by one our freedoms are being taken away in the name of public safety and political correctness. Far, far too many to speak of in this short piece. It was at the end of that school year that I took my first trip to the interior of Mexico (a car trip). I was single and full of life---it was an unbelievable experiance. One of the first things I realized upon crossing the border and driving into the countryside was the unexpected freedom I experianced---what was the speed limit, it didn't matter (not that I drove excessively fast) I just didn't have to look over my shoulder should I drive a few miles over the limit. Yes, and the coke cans and an occasional beer can---out the window(boy was that bad by todays standards). It felt good, very good!!! I was free---free from the restraints of what was becoming a repressive society. And that was in the 1960's, if I would have known what was coming to this country I would have found a way to stay in Mexico. Yes, we have a great country, but it is becoming an old country. We are one of the oldest democracries in the world. It is known by those who study such things that the older a government becomes the more repressive it becomes----laws are continually being passed for public safety and political correctness. Our elected leaders think they must pass more and more laws each time they are in session----they always find a reason to pass this or that law for the good of all of us, when in reality its always for the good of some special group and at the expense of another. This is just the way it is. Eventually the sysytem becomes so corrupt and repressive that the common man can stand it no more and their is revolution. It has happened over and over again thoughout history. Yes, thing have changed so I say to you---THINGS NEED CHANGING!!!!!

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