Tuesday, December 20, 2005


As usual a great post by Michelle. I must ad a few comments of my own on this subject. We are tredding on very dangerous ground. #1) we are at war and our security is paramount. This program is neccesary to our safety. #2) 20% of our population wants to see terrorists killing people in the streets of America so that they can say "see see Bush was wrong now elect us" and #3) we have the press who stoped being journalists decades ago, but have never been more contemptable than they are now. The bottom line is those 20% want the patriot act gone, the bill of rights to apply to foriegn terrorists, and our military to be tried for war crimes. They blame the majority of americans, White Christians for all the woes of the world and believe that if we did away with all references to god, rode bicycles instead of driving cars and turned all our earnings over to the government for redistribution to the people that really need our money. The world would be a happy happy place and everyone would then worship us for the being so sweet and wise. Well they need to put the pipe down because the crap they have been smoking destroyed whatever brain cells they had. There is a country where those things have taken place for years its called Communist China... We are at war you fools and the path that you are pursuing is going to get more and more americans killed.

By Michelle Malkin · December 19, 2005 11:32 PM
There's a wealth of new information and debate in the blogosphere on the NSA special collections program, including non-Bush-bashing independent legal opinions that the NYTimes, unsurprisingly, had no time and space to see fit to print--even after an extra year of research (or whatever they were doing) on the story.
Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy has a must-read analysis. Here's his bottom line:
Although it hinges somewhat on technical details we don't know, it seems that the program was probably constitutional but probably violated the federal law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. My answer is extra-cautious for two reasons. First, there is some wiggle room in FISA, depending on technical details we don't know of how the surveillance was done. Second, there is at least a colorable argument — if, I think in the end, an unpersuasive one — that the surveillance was authorized by the Authorization to Use Miltary Force as construed in the Hamdi opinion.
John Hinderaker at Power Line gets down to basics:
Under the circumstances we face in dealing with the terrorist threat, is it unreasonable--the Constitutional standard--to begin immediately intercepting calls being made to a captured terrorist cell phone, whether those calls originate in the U.S. or another country? Of course not.
Hugetastic round-ups from Jeff Goldstein, Tom Maguire, and Glenn Reynolds.
Hugh Hewitt has a four-part series on presidential power: I, II, III, IV Jim Robbins and Byron York at NRO provide helpful background.
Walid Phares at The Counterterrorism Blog boils down the civil liberties absolutists' demand: "Catch them, but do not watch them!"
While jihadist cells are constantly spying to find chinks in America's infrastructure, President Bush's critics are concerned about how America is watching the terrorists. So far, I haven’t heard a critic asking who are we watching? Or anyone requesting an update as to how many terrorists are within the U.S. So, in sum, they want the government to "catch" the terrorists but not to "watch" them. I must admit that if the 9/11 Commission was right on target regarding some fellow Americans; it is about "lack of imagination." For till further notice, I am not able to figure out how the U.S. can catch the jihadist terrorists if it doesn’t monitor them. And how can the defense and security institutions monitor an enemy in a state of war, if it provides them with the knowledge and the technology it is using.
The liberties of Americans are too cherished to be infringed. It is the terrorists' freedom that needs to be shrunk. We need to match our laws with the nature of the conflict, not allow the terrorists to use them against us. Laws are made to protect the people, not to be used against them by the enemy.
Dafydd at Big Lizards skewers the Beltway shocked-shocked crowd:
All I have to add is this: I've been scratching my head in puzzlement so hard that folks will think I have pediculosis. Let's review the bidding... senators, including some renegade Republicans, are getting in a lather because the NSA was caught red-handed intercepting electronic communications that cross the American border (in either direction) and analyzing them -- without the knowledge of the parties whose eaves were being dropped.
In other words, the NSA has been discovered in the act of doing its job.
Somebody correct me if I've got this wrong, but isn't electronic eavesdropping the actual mission for which the NSA was created? Didn't it grow out of the old Army Signal Corps -- which (among other things) "tapped" into telegraph wires to spy on bad guys? Am I hallucinating again? (Darn that Blue-Star acid!)
What the heck did everybody think the NSA was doing the last four years... its nails?
Echelon, the Clinton-era NSA surveillance program, was investigated by 60 Minutes in 2000. Here's the show transcript.
Now, go back and look carefully through the Times article. The reporters who have been so assiduously working on the story for at least a year couldn't find a single, non-anonymous expert in national security and the law to come up with the kind of informed analysis that took legal and counterterrorism bloggers three days to research and post.
How pathetic is that?
***Read this wonderful post by Gerard Van der Leun on the useless NYTimes and the power of the toolbar.
The Wall Street Journal's Tuesday lead editorial is up: Thank you for wiretapping. The intro:
Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold wants to be President, and that's fair enough. By all means go for it in 2008. The same applies to Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who's always on the Sunday shows fretting about the latest criticism of the Bush Administration's prosecution of the war on terror. But until you run nationwide and win, Senators, please stop stripping the Presidency of its Constitutional authority to defend America.
That is the real issue raised by the Beltway furor over last week's leak of National Security Agency wiretaps on international phone calls involving al Qaeda suspects. The usual assortment of Senators and media potentates is howling that the wiretaps are "illegal," done "in total secret," and threaten to bring us a long, dark night of fascism. "I believe it does violate the law," averred Mr. Feingold on CNN Sunday.
The truth is closer to the opposite. What we really have here is a perfect illustration of why America's Founders gave the executive branch the largest measure of Constitutional authority on national security. They recognized that a committee of 535 talking heads couldn't be trusted with such grave responsibility...

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