Gen. Michael Hayden refused to answer question about spying on political enemies at National Press Club. At a public appearance, Bush's pointman in the Office of National Intelligence was asked if the NSA was wiretapping Bush's political enemies. When Hayden dodged the question, the questioner repeated, "No, I asked, are you targeting us and people who politically oppose the Bush government, the Bush administration? Not a fishing net, but are you targeting specifically political opponents of the Bush administration?" Hayden looked at the questioner, and after a silence called on a different questioner. (Hayden National Press Club remarks, 1/23/06)
Landay: "...the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures..."
Gen. Hayden: "No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "But the --"
Gen. Hayden: "That's what it says."
Landay: "The legal measure is probable cause, it says."
Gen. Hayden: "The Amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "But does it not say 'probable cause'?"
Gen. Hayden [exasperated, scowling]: "No! The Amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."
Landay: "The legal standard is probable cause, General -- "
Gen. Hayden [indignant]: "Just to be very clear ... mmkay... and believe me, if there's any Amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. Alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. The constitutional standard is 'reasonable'" ( h/t Dale)
-- Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay questioned Gen. Michael Hayden at the National Press Club in January.
>> from my archive.
and the amendment in question.
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.
" Statutes authorizing unreasonable searches were the core concern of the framers of the 4th Amendment."
"It is a measure of the framers' fear that a passing majority might find it expedient to compromise 4th Amendment values that these values were embodied in the Constitution itself."
--- Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, the first woman on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. 1981-2005 (resigned)