Friday, August 18, 2006

Another Blow For The Bush Administration

A Federal Judge Has Ruled Against Warrantless Wiretapping.

This comes only a few months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Bush policy of using Military tribunals, and holding suspects without trial. (A System of Show Trials rather than real trials that follow basic, well established procedures that hold more legal muster).

It's good to see at least SOME signs of Democracy here. The Forefathers built such a great system when they put together the three branches of government, and balanced them against one another. It is a system so great that even when it is put under severe strain from an Executive branch that is out of control, and from a U.S. Congress that is asleep and not handling its oversight responsibility (really becoming an extension of the White House rather than a separate branch), the system somehow still works.

I am thankful for the Judicial branch of government. This is the only branch of government that the American people have left. It is the only branch of government that Americans can still reasonably count on to protect basic rights and freedoms, and allow the people to be heard. It is the only branch of government left that is accessible to the people. This is especially the case when the White House acts in its own selfish interests, and the U.S. Congress (which is supposed to represent the people) is actually owned and controlled by corporate interests, having no connection whatsoever to the people of this country. This is why the Courts are so important.
In fact, the courts are the last line of defense holding the fabric of the country together. The last line of defense preventing the wheels from falling off of this nation completely.

This is why radical neo-conservative Republicans want to destroy the Judicial Branch of Government. In fact, they have been involved in a war against the Judicial branch for a few years now. They know that the Judicial branch is the last obstacle blocking them from establishing greater control over the government. They want something resembling an autocracy rather than a Democracy.

Although I still feel that the U.S. is a long way from a true Democracy, this is at least a sign of hope.

Will this decision hold? Probably not. It's likely to go to the Supreme Court (If rejected by the Appeals Court). It will likely be the first Mega case heard by the new Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court may very well rule in the favor of the White House.

BUT.... what this judge did may at least wake up the lazy U.S. Congress, to get Congressmembers to do their jobs. They should tell the White House that legislative approval is needed for any such program.

I am in favor of some level of wiretapping of certain calls (including warrantless wiretapping, and collecting phone numbers).... but i'm not sold on the idea of blanket rights to monitor calls by Americans. The scope of the monitoring may have been way too broad. Any warrantless wiretapping must be more targeted to likely terrorist threats, and must have legislative approval of, and oversight from the U.S. Congress.

Blanket wiretapping goes against everything that the United States was founded on. Isn't that what they do in places like China, N. Korea, and other authoritarian countries?


Additional Report from CBS

The Moderate Voice Is also covering this story.

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