Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Just Recieved An Interesting E-Mail

From Robert W. Haley comes an e-mail regarding my post on 1-9-06.

He references my letter to the Editor which appeared in the Thursday, January 5th edition of the Roanoke Times.

Mr. Haley asks me to update this previous post, because as he puts it... Well, let me just post his entire correspondence;
As a semiregular reader of your blog, I knew you would want to correct this….
You Posted:
Monday, January 09, 2006
So Far It Has...

Scroll down to "Clinton's spying passed unnoted". Far be it from the denizens of Campbell Ave. to waste ink. To do otherwise would be to actually inform their readers.

posted by I'm Not Emeril at 10:16 PM

Referencing your letter:

In his Dec. 24 letter to the editor, "Clinton would have gained a media pass," Richard C. Long states his desire for President Clinton to still be in office so that "he could have authorized the same surveillance safeguards against the terrorists as Bush has done, and you would have never heard a peep out of the media."

I'm sorry to have to deliver this news to Long, but Clinton did authorize the same type of surveillance against Aldrich Ames, as did Jimmy Carter against Truong Dinh Hung.

In both situations, the right of the president, acting upon the directive of the attorney general, was upheld in court.

Unfortunately, if this letter sees publication, this will most likely be the sole expenditure of ink by The Roanoke Times regarding these and other precedents.

Alton Foley

But see:

Seems you and the White House play fast and loose with the facts…..

But at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.


I'm sorry Mr. Haley, but it seems you are the one playing "fast and loose". You obviously read the letter. In it I challenged the Roanoke Times to come clean with at least as much information as that provided by you from Yahoo news. I challenged no one else. To date they have yet to do so. Your link to Yahoo News is completely irrelevant to the post in question.

But, since you brought it up, let's look at that information you accepted from Yahoo and attempted to put up as your e-mail "straw man".

Go here to read the full Executive Order from May 23, 1979, issued and signed by one James Earl Carter. (That would be Billy's brother, and like Yasser Arafat, a Nobel Peace Prize winner.) In it he reserves unto the executive branch the right to conduct electronic surveillance without a court order. As you know, Executive Orders outlive their creators. This order was not rescinded by subsequent office holders, and consequently still applies today.

Yahoo is correct in stating that in 1993 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required a court order for most intelligence gathering activity. But a thorough reading of the Act in question discloses the fact that FISA does indeed include some exceptions, allowing surveillance without a court order in some limited cases. But even those slight limitations had previously been superceeded by Executive Order 12319.

Yahoo is also correct in stating that the law was ammended in 1995 to include physical searches.

What Yahoo did not tell you is that in 1995, (the year that FISA was ammended to exclude physical searches), William Jefferson Blythe Clinton issued Executive Order 12949. This executive Order includes physical searches in the type of intelligence gathering that may be executed without a court order. Quite a coincedence, wouldn't you say?

What the legilature granted, Executive Orders taketh away. (Or would that be the other way 'round?)

Sorry, I see no "oops" here.

The only question I have left is, why the link to QandO? I can find no reference to you by name there. Are you one of the authors of Qand O?
Apparently Mr. Haley also forgot about Echelon..

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