During a hearing Homeland Security head Jeh Johnson admitted Wednesday that he doesn’t know or understand the laws covered by the Fourth Amendment.
Johnson was appearing at a Senate gathering on the government’s surveillance capabilities and authority, specifically regarding obtaining records from telephone companies without a warrant.
When Kentucky Senator Rand Paul began grilling Johnson, asking him whether those practices are lawful under the Fourth Amendment, which covers searches and seizures, Johnson effectively pleaded ignorance.
When Paul asked Johnson if he believes the Fourth Amendment “applies to third party records,” Johnson said that it is “beyond my competence as secretary of homeland security” to answer the question.
“Thank you for coming, Mister Director.”
“It’s my pleasure to be here, Senator King.”
“So my first question for you, uh, Mister, um… …is, is it Gee? Juh?”
“That still doesn’t tell me anything. Ju– Juy– Gueh–”
“Jeh. It’s pronounced Jeh. We’re perfectly transparent here at the Department of Homeland Security.”
“I guess so. Let’s just move along. Is it your opinion that your surveillance practices are in accordance with the Fourth Amendment?”
“You don’t know?”
“What am I here, some sort of legal scholar?”
“So the plain language of the Fourth Amendment –the whole Constitution’s having been written in plain, unadorned language so that farmers could understand it and look up now again and check to make sure that the entity seated at Washington matches what’s described in that most fundamental legal document, and if it’s not then its okay for the farmers to get their guns and escort whatever malformed mess off the premises and give its deadender employees a boot in the ass and a stern warning not to return– are you saying, then, that it’s beyond your ability to understand the Fourth Amendment?”
“Yup. Like I said, I’m not some sort of subject matter expert on the minutiae of law or something. I’ll leave that to the experts.”
“Okay, then. Let’s leave it to the experts. What do your grease wave factories have to say on the matter?”
“You can’t say? You don’t know what your own lawyers think?”
“You know what, Mister Johnson? I think I’ve finally figured out how to pronounce your first name. It’s ‘duh.’ So thank you for your esteemed testimony, Duh. And to the studio audience, give it up for Mister Duh Johnson, Homeland Security Secretary!”
I am America’s Senior Comedian. Thank you for your kind attention in this matter.