Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Republican Rift Over Warrantless Wiretapping?

Joe Gandelman has an excellent post on the issue of warrantless wiretapping and how it's causing some Republicans serious heartburn.

It should. When I took a stand against warrantless wiretapping, a few accused me of liberal bias. That's wrong. If bias is involved on my end, it's libertarian in nature--a leaning I shared with many Republicans until recently. But once they took control, most Republicans abandoned their mistrust of government power. That's unfortunate.

Now this warrantless wiretapping issue is testing the resolve of the few remaining libertarian-leaning Republicans. And it's testing the resolve of the few remaining traditional conservatives who have a profound respect for separation of powers. It'll be interesting to see where this leads.

Finally, I shouldn't have to say this, but I want to be crystal-clear that I completely support the wiretapping of any American communicating with terrorists. And, as far as I can tell, that's the position of just about everyone on this side. All I'm asking for is to pull the program out of the legal and Constitutional grey areas and make it possible to issue warrants for such wiretaps. The administration's reluctance to take such a course is truly worrisome.


Blogger averageme said...

Just curious as an american not very educated on this wiretapping issue, what exactly is worrisome about perceived grey areas in this program? Which of my civil liberties should I be worried about? Privacy? Does the government care what I get on my pizza when its delivered? How can this program be twisted to truly hurt everyday Americans? I am trying not to be sarcastic I just don't get all the hoopla over this. Thanks

3:00 PM  
Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


A lot of people don't see any problem in this program. Those of us who do are worried about giving the President the power to wiretap Americans without a warrant. While I believe this particular program has been carried out in good faith, I worry that a less scrupulous president could abuse such a program to wiretap opponents. It's better to have clear lines to prevent abuse than rely on the goodness of a president. I fully support this particular program continuing, I just want Congress to legitimize it and set guidelines.

Hope that helps you understand my point of view more clearly.

7:14 PM  
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