Friday, August 18, 2006


I really hate to disappoint my loyal listeners, but as of this time I'm really not ready to jump on U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor for her ruling yesterday [pdf] .. a ruling which says that Bush's wiretap program is unconstitutional. I want to read the full ruling first .. then I'll jump if a leap is warranted.

There is one thing that bothers me from the get-go, and that is what I feel to be Judge Taylor's animosity toward the president. There is some language in the excerpts of her ruling that I've already read that seem to be just a bit harsh. That remark that "there are no hereditary kings in America" would be an example.

Here's something I want you to think about though. Let's consider a scenario. U.S. Intelligence forces are eavesdropping on the cell phone conversations of an Islamic terrorist in Pakistan. It is starting to become clear that this Islamic terrorist is in the final steps of implementing a terror attack on a U.S. target ... let's say a large shopping mall. Our intelligence agents are on pins and needles because it looks like this man is preparing to call the Islamic goons who will carry out the attack and give them the go-ahead. As our intelligence people watch their monitors it suddenly becomes clear that the terrorist is making a phone call to the United States. This could be it! He may be calling his contact to discuss the final details and timing of the attack!

Under Judge Taylor's ruling will our intelligence folks have the authority to listen to the conversation, or will they have to hang up? If they can listen, fine. If they have to get a warrant a few days later from that super-secret court, fine. If they have to hang up .. not fine.

When this story first surfaced the media seemed to make a group decision to refer to the wiretapping as "domestic." It wasn't. As I understand the situation, only international calls were monitored, and then only international calls wherein the party outside of the U.S. was suspected of a connection to Islamic radicals.

Now .. as an aside ... there was one line that Judge Taylor used in her ruling that really intrigues me. She wrote that there are ".. no powers not created by the Constitution." Izzat so? Then pray tell, Judge Taylor, just how can our Imperial Federal Government seize 14% of my paycheck and slam it into an income-redistribution program that may or may not -- there is no guarantee -- pay me some of that money back when I retire?

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