The Warrantless Wiretapping
The warrantless wiretapping conducted by the Bush Administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was totally unjustified. Although the country needed effective measures to curb the threat posed by terrorists, it is extremely essential to act in line with the provisions of the constitution. For instance, the privacy of most citizens was put in jeopardy. This was because of the unwarranted interruptions of communications into and out of the United States. In order to respond to the situation, there are various steps that could have come in handy. Firstly, it is essential for the congress to enact legislation which prevents the president from implementing the warrantless wiretapping.
The congress and the senate are two influential institutions in the country’s decision making framework. Consequently, both of these institutions should play an active role in mitigating the problem (Welch, 2008). Apart from policy reforms by senate and congress, another recommendation pertains to the establishment of a joint taskforce. Such a taskforce would be mandated with the responsibility of identifying the various loopholes evident in the nation’s security systems (C-SPAN, 2013).
The identification of such loopholes forms the basis of developing effective security strategies which conform to the country’s constitution (Grayling, 2008). The taskforce would also come in handy in terms of advising the president about the potential ramifications of warrantless wiretapping. For instance, this kind of practice can easily jeopardize the country’s diplomatic ties with foreign partners (Kowalski, 2008).
The National Security Agency has adequate systems which can facilitate for the mitigation of terrorist activities. Using these systems, the National Security Agency can safeguard the country from potential terror attacks (Bakalian, 2008). Additionally, another essential measure would involve the allocation of adequate resources to the various security agencies.
Both Al Gore and Andrew McCarthy present contrasting opinions as pertains to FISA. The most obvious difference between the views presented by both authors concerns their official stand towards the unwarranted wiretapping of communication (McKenna & Feingold, 2011). While Al Gore does not support FISA, Andrew McCarthy argues in favor of the president’s actions. The second aspect that highlights the difference between the views of both authors concerns their stance on the constitution.
On his part, Al Gore emphasizes that the rule of law must be protected at all costs and by all Americans. In connection to this stance, Al Gore notes that President Bush is not mandated by the constitution to implement policies which do not conform to the constitution (McKenna & Feingold, 2011). On the other hand, Andrew McCarthy argues that the president is mandated by the constitution to establish plans which align to the national interests. In line with this stipulation, President Bush’s unwarranted wiretapping does not violate the country’s law. In terms of similarities, both authors highlight security as a pertinent aspect of national importance.
From a personal perspective, I side with Al Gore’s views on FISA. This is because the president should not act as if he is above the rule of law. While taking the oath of office, he promised to uphold the constitution. It is thus greatly concerning for President Bush to violate constitutional provisions in the name of enhancing national security (Miller, 2008). In the United States, no one has the authority to infringe the privacy of other citizens. However, unwarranted wiretapping is tantamount to the violation of this stipulation.
Bakalian, A. P. (2009). Backlash 9/11, Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Press
C-SPAN (2013). “Warrantless domestic surveillance”. Accessed on 9th April 2013 fromhttp://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/200107-3
Grayling, A. (2008). Towards the light, Bloomsbury Publishing
Grayling, A. (2011). Liberty in the age of terror, Bloomsbury Publishing
Kowalski, K. M. (2008). A pro/con look at homeland, Enslow Publishers
McKenna, G. & Feingold, S. (2011). Taking sides: Clashing views on political issues,New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education
Miller, R. A. (2008). United States national security: Intelligence and democracy, New York, NY: Routledge
Welch, S. & Comer, J. (2008). Understanding American government, Mason, OH:Cengage Learning