1) The spying is only done on those people within the United States who are known to have association with Al Qaeda.
2) The NYT article makes clear that no laws were broken. Any democrat saying differently is playing politics, imo.
3) The NYT article also says that the C.I.A. seized the terrorists' computers, cellphones and personal phone directories, said the officials familiar with the program. The N.S.A. surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible, the officials said. In addition to eavesdropping on those numbers and reading e-mail messages to and from the Qaeda figures, the N.S.A. began monitoring others linked to them, creating an expanding chain. While most of the numbers and addresses were overseas, hundreds were in the United States, the officials said.
They were tracking numbers that were tied to confirmed terrorists and according to reports, stopped 3 terrorist attacks within the US. This is EXACTLY how the 9/11 attacks were coordinated - between jihadists and sympathizers of other terrorists living in this country.
4) The NYT article also states that the government DID use subpoenas for domestic taps in a great many instances, mostly related to conversations between terrorist within the US.
5) Clinton used NSA satellites to spy on Americans after the Oklahoma City bombing incident. The leftists never had a problem with that and all the complaints we hear from them now about American's civil rights being abused pale in comparison when one remembers what happened to women and children at WACO and how Clinton abuse his office and used the IRS to target his political enemies.
Great points! Thanks for clarifying.
1802. Electronic surveillance authorization without court order; certification by Attorney General; reports to Congressional committees; transmittal under seal; duties and compensation of communication common carrier; applications; jurisdiction of court Release date: 2005-03-17
(a) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; [e.g., defined as terrorists /angkor]
(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person [e.g. citizen or perm. resident /angkor] is a party; and
(C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title; and if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.