Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ben Franklin on Wiretaps

Former Delaware Governor Pete du Pont points out that American patriot and founding father Benjamin Franklin likely would have sided with President Bush on the "secret wiretaps" issue:
Has President Bush exceeded his constitutional authority or acted illegally in authorizing wiretaps without a warrant on calls between American citizens in the United States and people abroad who are, or are suspected of having ties to, terrorists?

Benjamin Franklin (whose 300th birthday [was Tuesday, Jan. 17th]) would not have thought so. In 1776 he and his four colleagues on the Continental Congress's foreign affairs committee (called the Committee of Secret Correspondence) unanimously agreed that they could not tell the Congress about the covert assistance France was giving the American Revolution, because it would be harmful to America if the information leaked, and "we find by fatal experience that Congress consists of too many members to keep secrets."
A great read, and a good history lesson.

Hat-tip to LST commenter Shannon

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