Battlepanda: The Bill of Rights, Expurgated Version


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Bill of Rights, Expurgated Version

Air Force Gen Michaeal Hayden, the President's nominee to head the CIA, has a bit of trouble remembering what the 4th amendment says:

QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use—

GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually—the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure. That's what it says.

QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.

GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.

QUESTION: But does it not say probable—

GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure...

GEN. HAYDEN: ... Just to be very clear—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.

In case you've forgotten, here's the 4th amendment in its entirety:
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.
(Emphasis added.)

This may be the best Constitutional misquote from a high-ranking public official since Alexander "I'm in control here" Haig said, "Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the president, the vice president and the secretary of state, in that order...."

(Via Hit and Run.)