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FLASHBACK: CLINTON, CARTER SEARCH 'N SURVEILLANCE WITHOUT COURT ORDER
Bill Clinton Signed Executive Order that allowed Attorney General to do searches without court approval
Clinton, February 9, 1995: "The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order"
WASH POST, July 15, 1994, "Administration Backing No-Warrant Spy Searches": Extend not only to searches of the homes of U.S. citizens but also -- in the delicate words of a Justice Department official -- to "places where you wouldn't find or would be unlikely to find information involving a U.S. citizen... would allow the government to use classified electronic surveillance techniques, such as infrared sensors to observe people inside their homes, without a court order."
Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, the Clinton administration believes the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes."
Secret searches and wiretaps of Aldrich Ames's office and home in June and October 1993, both without a federal warrant.
Government officials decided in the Ames case that no warrant was required because the searches were conducted for "foreign intelligence purposes."
Government lawyers have used this principle to justify other secret searches by U.S. authorities.
"The number of such secret searches conducted each year is classified..."
Jimmy Carter Signed Executive Order on May 23, 1979: "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."
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