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View Diary: Debunking the Carter/Clinton Myth (189 comments)

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  •  Confused about something (none)
    Since both of these require compliance with FISA (I gather that's what "Pursuant to section XXX of FISA" means), then why did FISA not suffice?

    Perhaps in the case of the Clinton order, it is the distinction between physical and electronic searches.

    But what was Carter asking for in terms of FISA-compliant electronic surveillance which was not already authorized by FISA?

    •  that's an excellent question (none)
      here's to hoping I answer it correctly.

      The relevant sections of FISA both read as follows:

      Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize...

      So FISA grants the President the authority to delegate his power to the AG, it does not automatically do it. It gives the President the discretion to do so.

      FISA does not authorize searches. It recognizes that the President has the power to authorize them, but it enacts safegaurds and procedures to ensure that individual rights are respected.

      •  I think I understand (none)
        FISA sets a framework by which the President can authorize certain kinds of searches. It doesn't give blanket permanent authorization for anything. It just says there's a way a president can do certain things with the cooperation of the FISA court. Both of these executive orders say "I am invoking the FISA procedures to do this specific thing."

        Do we have the Bush executive order, in contrast?

        •  exactly (none)
          and no, we don't have Bush's order. But we do know that he wasn't using FISA. He's been asked repeatedly for the basis of his power, and instead of citing FISA (which would have essentially ended the debate) he cites only (1) inherent authority and (2) the Sept. 14 resolution. So no, I don't think  he acted pursuant to FISA...which is the whole point.
          •  But (none)
            Georgia - nice work.  Why would the debate have been effectively ended if Bush had cited FISA?  He still would have been breaking the law by not going to the FISC within 72 hours to get whatever it is they give.  (It's technically not a warrant.)

            "Everything seemed possible to the powerful and the privileged, so cowed by fear, so broken to repression had the American people become." -- W. Karp

            by Mass Man on Wed Dec 21, 2005 at 11:02:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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