Wednesday, October 17, 2007

James Bond, etc.

So, I was reading H.R. 3373, aka "The Restore Act of 2007". It's scheduled for discussion this week in the Senate. It modifies a previous intelligence bill, passed in 1978, and discusses (surprisingly, with no pork provisions!) the new rules we will follow to gain intelligence via intercepting communications of non-U.S. Citzens outside of the United States.

I've got a couple of issues with the bill, specifically, the section that outlines how an application for surveillance is made to a judge, who then isn't even required to review it for 15 days. Why are we giving the judge 15 days before he is required to review it? Pretty much any intelligence gathering made against foreign nationals is a matter of national security, isn't it? I mean we don't go around trying to figure out the ending to the next Harry Potter book, do we? Shouldn't we maybe give it a little more priority than a 2 week wait?

While it does give provisions for what it calls "emergencies", I have one question to ask. Why are we required to prove anything to a judge for these cases? I'm fairly certain that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and its Amendments are extended only to American Citizens. While it wouldn't exactly be neighborly to eavesdrop on Mohamed over in Iran, it certainly shouldn't be subject to any judicial system. I would've thought that that would fall under war-powers and the domain of the Executive.

Not that they have been particularly neighborly, over there in Iran. At least since 1979.

Besides the emergency procedures outlined in the bill don't seem particularly expeditious anyhow. Read it and decide for yourself. What do you think?

No comments: