In comment 2 to my previous post, I received the following little flame:
Wow, are you really this ignorant? First of all, how does a program monitor overseas transactions equate to spying on"innocent civilians"? What is circumventing the Constitution, here? Seriously, you haven't the first clue what you are talking about.
I deeply apologize for not spelling this out for my cluefull and erudite co-citizens such as Mr. Anonymous. Let's begin with the Constitution. In the 4th amendment, we find the following:
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.
Mr. Anonymous evidently feels that the framers, having mentioned "papers", would object to this covering anything that was printed on some material that didn't originate in a tree. I assume that our friend, being the cluefull and discerning fellow that he is, would also conclude that the right to bear arms refers exclusively to flintlocks or whatever archaic arms existed at the time of the signing and that protection of property would be limited to farmland and livestock. There are a few of us, however, who consider "papers" to refer to personal documents and records. Exactly the sort of thing that the CIA was looking at without a warrant.
As for the second point, that the "overseas financial records" are somehow not related to Americans, the point is completely ridiculous. These records are records of U.S. based financial transactions by people in the U.S. And yes, these records were obtained by "spying" (that is what the U.S. CIA does, after all).
I find it extremely frustrating that the my-country-right-or-wrong crowd have completely lost the ability to question their own government. The Padilla case and so much else the U.S. Shrub misadministration has done is such an obvious violation of basic rights that there's little more that can be argued. I would recommend that Mr. Anonymous go back to listening to Fox and Limbaugh before he get overly upset by uncomfortable facts.