More generally, Bush and Cheney have surely topped all their predecessors in their unbridled support for and use of torture. They have outdone all their predecessors, too, in their high-tech, relentless fear-mongering. In their claim of strengthening the presidency, they have shown they are cowards hiding behind the great power of the offices they hold, the prerogatives of which they are determined to abuse.Ouch!
Alright, General Hayden, you’ve been in charge of finding out if anyone is calling al Qaeda. You’ve spent hundreds of millions, maybe billions. You’ve built a data base to see if anyone is calling anyone who calls in a pattern that an al Qaeda member would call if he were making calls. More gargantuan sums of money, time and effort.Billmon:
Line ‘em up and show us the results. Let’s have the perp walk of all the al Qaedas, all the al Qaeda caller uppers you’ve located, investigated, caught, apprehended and brought to trial! With all this horseshit there must be a whole herd of ponies.
...and Glenn Greenwald, ad infinitum.
But constitutional rights are different. A true natural lawist would argue that they are beyond the power of governments or the voters to grant or deny. Like the man said, they're "self evident," not to mention "inalienable."
In the end, the framers were more pragmatic: If the majority wants to abolish the 4th Amendment -- or the entire Bill or Rights, for that matter -- all it has to do is get two thirds of each house of Congress to pass a new amendment, get the president to sign it and three fourths of the states to ratify it. Or, it can get two thirds of the states to call a constitutional convention, and try its luck there. Win that battle, and the NSA can tap everbody's phones until the cows come home. But until then, the 4th Amendment stands, and it is most definitely not subject to majority rule.