Under all existing authorities, the NSA program, as we understand the facts, was legal. ... the November 2002 decision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, in Sealed Case No. 02-001:The Truong court [United States v. Truong Dinh Hung, 4th Cir. 1980], as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. *** We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power.And those are cases that deal with electronic intercepts inside the United States. A fortiori, intercepts outside the United States that coincidentally sweep in messages sent from America would seem to be obviously within the President's inherent Article II powers. So far, I have found no authority to the contrary.
Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12949 in early 1995 authorizing “the Attorney General … to approve applications … to obtain orders for physical searches for the purpose of collecting foreign intelligence information.”In 1979, Jimmy Carter issued Executive Order 12139 which gave the Attorney General authorization “to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order.”
QUESTION: MUST THE FEDS ALWAYS GET A COURT ORDER TO DO A SEARCH? ANSWER: NO! NRO: lists 28 instances where federal authorities are routinely allowed warrantless searches.
BOTTOM-LINE: (1) the feds don't always need a court order. And (2), NOBODY COMPLAINED WHEN DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS WERE DOING IT. AND (3), WE WEREN'T EVEN FIGHTING A RECOGNIZED WAR WITH TERRORISTS THEN, EITHER - WE ARE NOW. AND (4), SINCE THEN, CONGRESS PASSED AN AUMF IN 2001 GIVING THE PRESIDENT EVEN MORE AUTHORITY.
THEREFORE, it is OBVIOUS that the president can authorize warrantless searches. Arguing he cannot is a warrantless charge. In other words: The Dem/Left and the MSM they dominate are way off base. They're either hypocrites or dummies. EITHER WAY: Their current outrage will one day soon come back to bite them in the ass.