We have your civil rights in mind, really. Trust us.

And right when you thought things couldn’t get any scarier, try this frightening exchange that occurred yesterday at the National Press Club between Jonathan Landay, a reporter for Knight-Ridder, and General Michael Hayden, Deputy Director of US Intelligence. I just watched an edited version on MSNBC:

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’.”

No need for the General to brush up on the Fourth amendment, I suppose .. after all, we don’t seem to be using it. A good piece – with the full transcript – tonight by E&P here.

2 thoughts on “We have your civil rights in mind, really. Trust us.”

  1. “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. “

    Next question.

  2. “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. ”

    Next question.

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