What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 23, 2005

...and there's more

Via ThinkProgress, USNews is reporting this:
In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.
I'll let that sink in for a second.

Let me inject a prediction here. I predict that all of the defense of this "program" will be centered around how the places being surveilled were public and that the law allows surveillance of public. I am sure we'll hear about how (to quote the article) if a deliveryman can access the site, so can the government. But please note that in the above list, homes were also searched. Private homes. Take a look:
In Bush's America, private homes were searched without a warrant.
I know I shouldn't have to post this, but here it is anyway:
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.
See that word "houses" in there? It means "homes." And see that phrase "...and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause supported by oath or affirmation..."? That means that the government can not do what it did.

And before anyone tries the assert that such a search is constitutional, Take a look at Kyllo v United States. It's my understanding (and I'm not a lawyer) that the case entailed a warrantless infrared search of a home that was suspected of housing a marijuana garden under hot lights. The question before the court was whether the search required a warrant (again, this is my understanding). In any event, the decision was written by Antonin Scalia and this can be found in it:
Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of the home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a "search" and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.
Antonin Scalia wrote a decision that stood in the way of Our President's efforts to protect us from the terrorist who want to kill us. That commie bastard terrorist sympathizer!

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