Original post at Digital Journal.
Floating an administration source's trial balloon on just where Obama is trying to go on this NSA thing, the New York Times has divulged that Obama is seeking to declare the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution null and void once and for all.
The language of the amendment, which embodies the sentiment in Patriot speeches of the American Revolution that "a man's house is his castle," is beautifully crystalline in clarity as all the Founding Fathers' declarations were.
The Fourth Amendment guarantees:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
In modern times, electronic communications such as emails and telephone calls have been held to be an extension of a person's "papers and effects," from a time when the only non-verbal communication was written letters, i.e. "papers."
This means, quite simply, that all private communications of private citizens are none of the government's damned business, unless it can show "probable cause" that they involve a crime, and the government can prove it to a judge. In the real world judges already tend to give wide latitude to police and prosecutors who are convinced they have "probable cause," a fairly low standard which might consist of a mere hunch based on the most circumstantial of evidence, like a man rooting around in a dumpster where, the day before, the cops found a cache of drugs.
What Barry will be saying is, naw, we don't need to bother with that stuff. We can just do whatever we want anyway.
We can tap that man's phones, poke through everyone he ever talked to in the past ten years, look over his shoulder while he is browsing the Internet, anything. We, the executive branch, we're the boss, see? And it's all for your own protection.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Obama will not:
"endorse leaving bulk data in the custody of telecommunications firms, nor will he require court permission for all so-called national security letters seeking business records."
"Endorse?" It is not up to the president to "endorse" anything in the Constitution. He is sworn by oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," since it was here before him. Since to not "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution" is a betrayal of that oath, and one definition of "betrayal" is "treachery," Obama's anticipated declaration, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, amounts to treason:
1: violation of allegiance or of faith and confidence : treason
2: an act of perfidy or treason
It is instructive that the oath of office required by the Constitution, before assuming office, makes no mention of defending the nation's borders, territories, or even people. The president is sworn to defend one thing and one thing only: " the Constitution of the United States" :
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
If the Founders felt so strongly that nothing should confuse the issue of what the president was, first and foremost, supposed to defend, then the words "United States" in the Treason Clause, Article Three Section 3 of the US Constitution, could reasonably be interpreted to include the Constitution. If the Constitution is not part of what defines "the United States," what is? The Treason Clause of the Constitution states:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort..."
Can you make war against a document? If not, then why would it need defending in the oath of office?