Our illustrious Congress already irreparably weakened the 4th Amendment earlier this summer when they passed the “Spy on Americans” act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 and now the Justice Department wants to pretty much erase it from the Constitution.
A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.
And here is the meat of the Justice Department plan:
The senators said the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps “without any basis for suspicion.” The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the letter said. It was signed by Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. (emphasis mine)
Just like when dealing with a 4 year old, you give in once and they want more. What’s worse, knowing the total lack of backbone exhibited by our wonderful Democrat led Congress, the Justice Department will likely get what they want.
Finally, speaking of FISA, since the FISA bill all but cut off at the knees all pending lawsuits against the Telco’s, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has had to resort to plan B. They will instead sue the US Government over illegally spying on US citizens as the final bill signed into law didn’t contain the government immunity that Bush had requested.
Considering George Bush will long have been out of office if and when this goes to court, the new administration will be left to deal with it. If it is Barack Obama, I will have zero sympathy considering his flip flop on the issue.
And yes I know the above scenario is highly unlikely, but I can dream can’t I?