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Jimmy Carter and Ned Lamont Judges

Thursday, August 17, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the NSA to conduct warrentless surveillance of al Qaeda abroad contacting or being contacted by their operatives residing in the U.S. 

Judge Taylor glancingly deals with SCOTUS’  Keith decision but doesn’t even bother to assess the FISA Appeals Court opinion in In Re Sealed Case, 2002 in which that panel of three federal judges skilled in this area of the law noted:


It will be recalled that Keith carefully avoided the issue of a warrantless foreign intelligence search: “We have not addressed, and express no opinion as to, the issues which may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents.” 407 U.S. at 321- 22.30 But in indicating that a somewhat more relaxed warrant could suffice in the domestic intelligence situation, the court drew a distinction between the crime involved in that case, which posed a threat to national security, and “ordinary crime.” Id. at 322. It pointed out that “the focus of domestic surveillance may be less precise than that directed against more conventional types of crimes.” Id.

The main purpose of ordinary criminal law is twofold: to punish the wrongdoer and to deter other persons in society from embarking on the same course. The government’s concern with respect to foreign intelligence crimes, on the other hand, is overwhelmingly to stop or frustrate the immediate criminal activity. As we discussed in the first section of this opinion, the criminal process is often used as part of an integrated effort to counter the malign efforts of a foreign power. Punishment of the terrorist or espionage agent is really a secondary objective;31 indeed, punishment of a terrorist is often a moot point.

The judge doesn’t deal with this passage or other relevant passages not because they are dicta –they are– but because there is no answer to the logic and the obvious conclusion that the NSA program –wartime surveillance aimed not at prosecuiting law breakers but stopping terrorist attacks– is indeed not governed by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions.

No doubt the judge ruled as she understood the Constitution, but she doesn’t understand the Constitution or the war, and her refusal to deal with a higher court’s on-point discussion telegraphs her intellectual insecurity about her “reasoning.” She will be reversed, most likely following a lengthy stay of her order.Implementation of the order would certainly disrupt ongoing surveillance of terrorists and thus endanger innocent lives, and the possibility of that harm should be sufficient to maintain the stay until higher courts intervene to reverse this absurd decision..

The Ned Lamont Democrats are beside themselves with joy, and Pat Leahy is leading the standing ovation for the judge.

I might have to send her a thank you note myself, though not for her logic or her abuse of precedent.

Rather, the judge has triggered another great moment of clarity about the Ned Lamont Democrats (and the Jon Tester Democrats in Montana, the Debbie Stabenow Democrats in Michigan, the Maria Cantwell Democrats in Washington State, the Sherrod Brown Democrats in Ohio etc etc.)  Judge Anna Diggs Taylor is a Jimmy Carter appointee, and so she’s even given us a twofer today:  Illustrating the vast dangers of liberals running national security, and the lasting impact of liberal presidents on national security.

Carter lost Iran to the Islamist fanatics; engineered the deal that brought North Korea nukes, and now his judicial legacy is trying to blind us to the terrorists.

Don’t run for your life in the fall.  Vote for your life.  Every vote for a Democrat (except Joe Lieberman) is a vote against victory.


Arnold, Coasting

Thursday, August 17, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Arnold was assured re-election the moment the Democrats in California nominated Phil Angelides.

The Los Angeles Times confirmed the widespread dismissal of the Angelides campaign today with a story on the attempt by Angelides to transform himself into a tax cutter: “Angelides Proposes Tax Cuts.”  The sub-head is a quick summary of the desperate condition Angelides faces: “He hopes to reinvigorate his run for governor with the $1.4-billion proposal, which would mostly benefit middle-class residents.”

There’s a certain sadness in this graph:

“We can put our tax code back on the side of middle-class families and small businesses,” Angelides told more than 100 applauding supporters in Hollywood.

Wally Cox isn’t going to get the girl, Barney Fife isn’t going to get to load his bullet, and Phil Angelides isn’t going to get close to Arnold.

Arnold thus has the opportunity to get a mandate for something.

The Governator has been campaigning on infrastructure needs, which means the right to spend a lot on planning because given California’s environmental laws, litigation-happy activists and the executive branch bureaucracies that Arnold has left unreformed, no major new project will actually happen.  There won’t be a new campus, a new connector tunnel, a new high speed train.  There won’t even be the conclusion of previously approved toll road in south Orange County.

Bridges will get repairs and a few widening projects will proceed.  “Arnold, repairer of bridges”  –this is how he wants to be remembered?

Because California is such a large map on which to work, its governor’s do get remembered, for better or worse.  Gray Davis was defined by the power crisis, Pete Wilson by his competent handling of major disaster after major disaster and for his embrace of Prop 187.Pat Brown was a builder, Jerry Brown a pop icon and the anti-builder, and George Deukmejian the law and order governor.  Reagan, of course, was Reagan.

Running up a big margin on a mismatched opponent is like Ali beating up on a stiff.  There’s no mandate in such a circumstance, and the veteran reader of scripts that Arnold is knows this.  He can make the next 80 days interesting if he defines a big goal and tells folks that in addition to his spending, he’s aiming to devote a full term to [  ].

Until he does, the only interesting thing about the California campaign is whether Arnold can help Chuck Poochigian become the Attorney General by reminding voters that they really, really don’t want Jerry Brown in charge of key aspects of counter-terrorism in the Golden State.


Airport “Security”

Thursday, August 17, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My column, “My Water Bottle or My Life,” takes a look at the aftermath of the London plot.

“Hunting the Taliban in Las Vegas” and Other Back-From-Vacation Reads

Wednesday, August 16, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

It is the latest from Robert Kaplan, available in the new Atlantic Monthly.

As is Christopher Hitchens on various Kennedys, and Mark Steyn on the passing of Aaron Spelling.

These three articles alone are worth the price of admission.  (I read them on the return flight home, more on which appears in tomorrow’s column.)

Thanks to Dean Barnett and congratulations on the new software that allows him to easily bran d his wonderful posts, and to Jed Babbin for holding down the radio fort.

Off to see how YonitheBlogger is coping with the quite-obvious-to-many, first defeat of Israel in a war. Vietnam had some profound effects on America.  Lebanon ’06 may have visit the same sort of changes upon Israel.

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