Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Looks like this goes for a nation, as well as for individuals. Yahoo! News details that much of the debate over President Bush’s illegal wiretapping goes back a couple of decades:
“We strongly believe it is unwise for the president to concede any lack of constitutional power to authorize electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes,” Robert Ingersoll, then-deputy secretary of state, wrote in a 1976 memorandum to President Ford about the proposed bill on electronic surveillance.
George H.W. Bush, then director of the
CIA, wanted to ensure “no unnecessary diminution of collection of important foreign intelligence” occurred under the proposal to require judges to approve terror wiretaps, according to a March 1976 memorandum he wrote to the Justice Department.
And it’s unsurprising that the Bush Sr. was involved in trying to keep this power for the president. Still doesn’t change the fact that the FISA rules and the 4th Amendment make it illegal for the president to order warrantless wiretaps.