Planet News Views

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Eavesdropping Without Court Order Threatens U.S. Constitution

Privacy is paramount to the protection of our freedoms in America. Who could argue with that statement? Well, nobody openly would say that the government should invade our lives. But the controversy over the anti-terrorism methods, the eavesdropping, wiretapping, spying or whatever term is being used in a given story or commentary, makes us really think about the freedoms we often take for granted.

On this Christmas Day 2005, it was reported that former Secretary of State Colin Powell is in favor of the use of eavesdropping...and this comes as somewhat of a shock to this writer.

The Bush Administration appears to be trying to diffuse criticism about the president authorizing wiretaps by bringing a well-respected American, Powell, to his defense. Unfortunately, the main questions remain: Why didn't the president get a court warrant first? And also, were only actual terrorist suspects investigated?

The problem with this sort of anti-terror policy is it at the very least appears unconstitutional. No matter whether this administration's intentions and actions turn out to be legitimate, future presidents will have expanded powers whenever they say we are in a war if eavesdropping without a court order is allowed to stand.

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