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December 9, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 27, 2001
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November 17, 1975
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PDF icon CIA-RDP77M00144R000800110036-6.pdf124.97 KB
Approved For Release 2001/08/L ji ov- Q 2R000800110036-6 , e;are _ _ 1 - -n -dinz-u.n-'t6arraniea3U Tv'eillani Ce TI ;E CONCEPT OF national securitysurveillancehas: `Att.or..nev General Edward H. Levi's recent dissertation distorted and discrectired recently. thanks to the to the C hunch coirrnriltee on the complexities of law and plumbers. the Cointel program, illegal mail openings and policy in this field. Like Attorneys General since at least other operations so offensive to the Bill"of Rights.'The 1940, 1fr. Levi maintains that warrantless wiretaps and Church committee's open hearings on Cointel this week bugging to glean foreign intelligence. are not unlawful. should provide more chilling examples of gross abuses of i lis approach. is, . however. light-years away from the official power. But understanding-what, went. wrong is arrogant claims of presidential autonomy made.in the just the start. The next step is to rehabilitate the concept Nixon years.. Mr.. Levi emphasized, fora instance, that of national` security -not to find new rationales for even in the foreign -intelligence', field, the` executive snooping on domestic dissidents,: but, rather to define branch and Congress have the responsibility "to seek an what kinds of surveillance should be permitted, and -accommodation between the vital -public...and' private under what controls, in cases involving foreign agents interests im-olved,`, and to minimize intrusions on' in- and intelligence:.vital_ to foreign policy and national defense. Those.are the areas in which the real interests of national secutrity are found-and in.y~hich regulation"is rnostdifficult y z . dividual rights: = The most refreshing aspect of the Attorney Genera s remarks is-his acknowledgement that national security surveillance policies, even in a very narrow field, should One group now wrestling with the.subject is a House not be made, hl? the executive branch alone. Congress Judiciary subcommittee chaired by, Rep-.., Robert. W.._.. should be involved. especially since existing laws do not. Kastenmeier (D-Wis.). The panel is considering a bill, deal adequately with the sophisticated technology which; sponsored by Rep. Charles A. Mosher (R-Ohio),and Sen. the National Security Agency, for one, is now using to Charles 1IcC. Mathias Jr. (R-Md.), which would require intercept and analyze telecommunications. Moreover, federal agents to get search warrants for all electronic AI r. Levi seems to be more and more hospitable to some surveillance, breaking and entering: mail covers and kind of judicial oversight in this area-a check that the operxing of~mail, and inspectionof bank, telephone and executive branch has traditionally opposed: While; other commercial records-.-The warrant requirement.. maintaining. that the requirement of a warrant., even! could only be waived in cases of hot pursuit,.when. ser-:. , with. special-standards, may not he the best approach,; ving an arrest ~varra nt, or when the subject of the sur- " 11r. Levi did note that such a safeguard would "serve the veiliance had given consent. The bill i H.R. 214) would important purpose of assuring the public that searches also impose strict rules for record-keeping and reports to . . are not conducted without the approval of a neutral Congress, and would make federal agents personally magistratewho could prevent abuses of the technique.'.' liable_for illegal operations. As we have said before, judicial review is vital to in' The principles underlying H.R: 21,1 clearjustification sure that all surveillance accords fully with- the,, Con- for all surveillance, judicial review and full ac- stitution and the laws. Federal judges arts-quite capablef countability-are very sound. With a few refinements, 'of -dealing' competently-and in confidence-with the measure would meet the needs of law enforcement '.chile preventing, or at least discouraging,. the kinds of unwarranted surveillance that have been so troubling. But as written,. the bill would also outlaw, for instance, wiretapping to get defense intelligence, since con- ventional search warrants. cannot be justified for pur- poses of gathering information rather than investigating crime. The.challenge for the subcommittee thus is la devise precise. exceptions or' separate standards..-to pt rmit essential national security. surveillance to go sophisticated questions of . technology and national defense Of course considerable weight must be given to information- and judgments provided by the. executive branch-, hut'that makes full accountability to the, judiciary and Congress more important, not less. Mr. Levi may not be ready to recommend specific legislation; yet, but he has already suggested several avenues for' Congress to explore. By approaching the problem:withi .equal seriousness, the Church and Kastenmeier`panels` can- assert real leadership toward ending unwarranted or,=-without opening up the way to serious violations.of surveillance, and establishing new policies that promote" tho Fourtif Amendment. ',,both the precise needs of national"security and the broad; '' he-subcommittee could profit from a close reading of protections-of the Bill of Rights:., Approved For Release 2001/08/30 : CIA-RDP77M00144R000800110036-6