Is This The Change You Voted For?

Apparently, warrantless wiretaps executed by the Bush administration are violations of Constitutional rights, but planting a GPS device on your car is okay, if there’s a Democrat in office.

The news story above describes how a Middle Eastern man discovered a GPS device on his car during a routine oil change. Now, I am under the assumption that our government is required to at least have probable cause for something like this. Maybe I’m naive. I guess they don’t.

The comparison between following someone suspected of something and placing a device on your car to track your movements doesn’t hold water with me. If you have done something to get the FBIs attention, okay. Monitor the suspects movements. If you haven’t, the cops should have to get permission to watch you, or they should commit some eyes to watching you on public property. Otherwise, all data they accumulate while you are on private property should be inadmissible.

I understand the problem here. You can’t hamstring the cops with a bunch of ridiculous rules when they are chasing suspected terrorists. If the FBI thinks someone is helping Al Qaeda, that’s probable cause. If you are pulled over by the cops and they suspect you of a bigger crime, they don’t need a warrant to search your car. They just need your permission.

The point of all this is where is the media outrage? Warrantless wiretaps of suspected terrorists by the Bush administration were pounded by the media. This is just as wrong, yet no outrage. Why?

Because the media is in the nag for anything Obama does. To their credit, the administration has said this isn’t right. But that does not change the fact that this happened on his watch.

I personally think that if a guy is helping terrorists, the cops should be allowed to watch you without a warrant. But they need prabable cause. Going on a trip to Egypt to see your family is NOT probable cause.  Using a disposable cell phone to call an Al Qaeda member could be probable cause. 

The best answer for the FBI and other police organizations is simple.  If  you want to watch an American citizen or listen to their phone conversations, you need probable cause and a warrant.  If you want to watch someone who is a guest in this country, probable cause is enough.  You don’t want to tip off a possible terrorist.  Seems pretty simple.  It also sends a message to people in our country that if you come here and want to help bloodthirsty savages kill Americans, we are at least going to keep an eye (and an ear) on you. 

The end game is to protect Americans.  If they want to listen to my phone conversations, while I find it ironic and inconvenient, I have nothing to hide.  If I sell a piece of art work to an Al Qaeda terrorist, I want the government to at least have to get permission to listen to my phone conversations.  These things can be done in secret so as not to tip off the target. 

At any rate, Obama’s security measures seem to be more of the same, and the media is doing all they can to support Bush doctrine. 

Change? I think not.


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