Issue 21. Is Warrantless Wiretapping Ever Justified to Protect National Security?
1) Compare and Contrast
Andrew McCarthy who is for warrantless wiretapping, expresses in “How To Connect The Dots” that it is the duty of the President as Commander-in-Chief to protect our nation. He argues that most American’s care about the protection of our nation from foreign enemies and that the reelection of President Bush in 2004 confirms this. McCarthy claims that this ‘de joir’ over the privacy of Americans was not entirely caused because the public didn’t want tabs kept on them but rather it was caused by a power-grab that started 30 years ago. He defends this argument by saying that the program is nothing like what was going on in the Nixon era and that it has been dedicated to national security. He continues by stating that it was vetted by the Bush administration and the Justice Department and is reviewed every 45 days as well as being briefed by Congress.
Al Gore’s argument against warrantless wiretapping mainly focuses on the numerous times that the Executive Branch has been caught eavesdropping on the public, even in violation of laws which prohibit such actions. In the very beginning of his argument he uses Martin Luther King, Jr. as an example. Martin Luther King was wiretapped during the last years of his life, because of this the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act was enacted. This ensured that the evidence would be presented to an impartial judge and would verify that the surveillance was not for the wrong reasons. Al Gore continues this argument by stating “A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our Government…And that our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men.” He states that keeping with the constitution and the laws we have set in place help to strengthen the government as a body and that power does not fall to one man alone, or one group.
Both McCarthy and Gore are...