Michael Hayden: September 11th Gave Me Permission To Reinterpret The 4th Amendment

Michael Hayden, the former CIA and NSA director, has revealed what most people already suspected — to him, the Constitution is a document that he can rewrite based on his personal beliefs at any particular time, as noted by Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic. Specifically, he admits that after September 11th, 2001, he was able to totally reinterpret the 4th Amendment to mean something entirely different:

In a speech at Washington and Lee University, Michael Hayden, a former head of both the CIA and NSA, opined on signals intelligence under the Constitution, arguing that what the 4th Amendment forbids changed after September 11, 2001. He noted that “unreasonable search and seizure,” is prohibited under the Constitution, but cast it as a living document, with “reasonableness” determined by “the totality of circumstances in which we find ourselves in history.”

He explained that as the NSA’s leader, tactics he found unreasonable on September 10, 2001 struck him as reasonable the next day, after roughly 3,000 were killed. “I actually started to do different things,” he said. “And I didn’t need to ask ‘mother, may I’ from the Congress or the president or anyone else. It was within my charter, but in terms of the mature judgment about what’s reasonable and what’s not reasonable, the death of 3,000 countrymen kind of took me in a direction over here, perfectly within my authority, but a different place than the one in which I was located before the attacks took place. So if we’re going to draw this line I think we have to understand that it’s kind of a movable feast here.”

Link (Techdirt)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

five + 17 =