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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Fourth Amendment Rights


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SCHULTZ: We are back to the fundamentals of checks and balances.

Michael Isikoff, great reporting. Thank you for joining us tonight
here on THE ED SHOW.

Now, let`s turn to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who is a member
of the Homeland Security Department and also the Subcommittee on
Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

Congresswoman, nice to have you with us on the program tonight.
Are you concerned at the level of transparency in this program?

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: Thank you, Ed. Thank you for
having me.

Let me just also express my concern on the violence, the gun violence
going on in LA. and the cops that have been shot know everyone`s prayers
are with those individuals out there.

Absolutely, I`m concerned about our present status with respect to
drones. And I understand the American people`s concern. I understand that
we are a nation of values and of laws. I do want to make the point that
none of us who are expressing this concern want to do anything to harm
those agents who are in the field as part of the agency to put them in
harm`s way. And I think that should be clear, that the American people
value what happens and how we`re protected through gathering of

I think the White House did the right thing, though some would say
that they wanted more by directing the DOJ, the Department of Justice to
send that --

SCHULTZ: But people have been waiting --

LEE: -- to the Office of Legal Counsel.

SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, people have been waiting for these memos for
a long time. They have been less than forthcoming.

LEE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And here`s my perspective on this.

One, we need to protect those in the field. But two, we've got to
understand even after 9/11, those of us who are on the Judiciary Committee
who fought long and hard when the Patriot Act was being crafted, for us to
recognize that even though we have been in this dastardly, devastating loss
that we will never forget, that we had to deal with the Fourth Amendment
and we had to deal with the issues of what this country stands on, and that
is to value due process and to value our rights.

SCHULTZ: Absolutely. There was a big -- there was a big discussion
in this country about the FISA Court and the Fourth Amendment and the
Patriot Act, but it doesn`t seem the intensity is there on this issue.
Here`s John Brennan`s exchange with Senator Wyden today about killing
of innocent people with drone strikes. Here it is.


WYDEN: If the executive branch makes a mistake and kills the wrong
person or a group of the wrong people, how should the government
acknowledge that?

BRENNAN: In the interest of transparency, I believe the United States
government should acknowledge it.


SCHULTZ: Congresswoman, are you satisfied with that answer?

LEE: I think what is the direction that Congress should take is the
direction that Senator Feinstein has mentioned.

One, that we may need to look at a legislative fix, if you will, that
deals with recounting our values, the Fourth Amendment, and then also just
as we did, I dealt with the FISA court. All of that time frame a lot of us
had the Patriot Act as it came out initially completely redone. We had a
bipartisan initiative. Of course, that went haywire.

But what I think would be important is that we look at that format of
a judicial review. Not harming those in harm`s way, in the field, but
being able to utilize it as we`ve done for electronic surveillance. It
will not, I believe, undermine in any devastating manner, but it should be
reviewed as to how it could be utilized because people are trouble.


LEE: I think it is important, Ed, for us to be able to acknowledge
that we live in a different world. I also think it`s important to
acknowledge that the drones allegedly were used for those who became enemy
combatants on foreign soil.

I used -- I gave my expression of concern for what`s going on in L.A.
simply to say this. I don`t think none of us would tolerate the use of
that kind of technology here in the United States --


LEE: -- for anyone engaged in the violence that that individual`s
engaged in. But we do understand we live in a different world. It is
important --


SCHULTZ: Well, we do live in a different world -- we do live in a
different world, but we`ve got the same old Constitution and we`ve got the
same old government of checks and balances --

LEE: Absolutely.

SCHULTZ: -- that we have to go through.

And this is very similar to the way the Bush administration executed
the war on terror. Would you agree?

LEE: Well, let me say this. I think President Obama has expressed a
concern by the -- even though it didn`t happen when senators were asking
for it. And this is an issue of the intelligence committee, both House and
Senate, by issuing and directing the DOJ to get that information out.


LEE: We can`t walk the same footsteps of the Bush administration, but
we must walk the same footsteps in protecting the nation against terrorism.
We have now expressed our concerns. I think members of Congress,
appropriate members of Congress --

SCHULTZ: All right.

LEE: -- will huddle on behalf of the American people, and we will
raise the specter, as has been done in the committee hearing, of the Fourth
Amendment --


LEE: -- unreasonable search and seizure, and the opportunity for

SCHULTZ: Thank you, Congresswoman. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
LEE: Thank you.

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