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Wiretapping Program Declared Illegal by U.S. District Judge


18/08/2006

A U.S. district judge in Detroit, Michigan, has delivered a major blow to the Bush administration, by ruling that the secret wiretapping program carried out behind the backs of American citizens is, in fact, illegal.

It was never the intent of the framers (of the constitution) to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights, wrote district judge, Anna Diggs Taylor, in her decision. She went on to say that the president`s Constitutional powers do not permit him to spy on American citizens without a warrant.

The White House contradicted this decision almost immediately, saying that the wiretapping program is required to protect citizens from terrorist threats.

“The whole point (of the program) is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks before they can be carried out,” said White House spokesman, Tony Snow, reminding us of the British airline plot revealed just a week ago. (It is not known whether wiretapping played a role in preventing this attack.)

The legal fact remains, however, that unauthorized and unwarranted wiretapping is clearly outside the Constitutional powers of President Bush and his cronies. The fact that the program has been carried out in secret, targeting all citizens (not just suspected terrorists), and without legal approval is what has caused so many Americans to speak out against this program.

Nevertheless, the Bush White House plans to appeal Judge Taylor`s decision, and a hearing regarding this matter will be held on September 7. Funny how the American government chooses to use the judicial system when it is convenient to them.



 

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