Skip to comments.Why We Listen (NSA & FISA)
Posted on 02/04/2006 8:06:50 PM PST by neverdem
IN the debate over whether the National Security Agency's eavesdropping violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, we must not lose sight of the fact that the world we entered on 9/11 will require rewriting that statute and other laws. The tiresome pas de deux between rigid civil libertarians in denial of reality and an overaggressive executive branch seemingly heedless of the law, while comforting to partisans of both groups, is not in the national interest.
The N.S.A. is our most important intelligence agency. Typically, about 60 percent of the president's daily brief comes from its intercepts.
Consider that on Sept. 10, 2001, the N.S.A. intercepted two messages: "The match begins tomorrow" and "Tomorrow is zero hour." These were not picked up through surveillance of suspected individuals but from random monitoring of pay phones in areas of Afghanistan where Al Qaeda was active. Not surprisingly, these messages were not translated or disseminated until Sept. 12th.
Nor was the fact that we knew the identities of two of the terrorists sufficient to thwart the attack the next day. But had we at the time cross-referenced credit card accounts, frequent-flyer programs and a cellphone number shared by those two men, data mining might easily have picked up on the 17 other men linked to them and flying on the same day at the same time on four flights. Such intelligence collection would not have been based on probable...
Furthermore, not only are there presumably conspirators within the United States, but conversations between two foreign persons could be routed, via the Internet, through American switches to give the appearance of a domestic-to-international connection. It is difficult to imagine getting warrants now in such situations, because the standard of probable cause to conclude that the target is a terrorist cannot be met.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
N Y Times?
Perhaps they are telling the libs to stop barking up the wrong tree.
I'm sure you are right.
So I guess this will probably fade away.
This from the NYT? I don't think so. They are probably reprinting a post from FreeRepublic.
OpEd Contributors are guest columnists. Victor Davis Hanson and many others from the right have written in the NY Times' OpEd pages.
Even if the government wanted to spy on every American, there are WAY too many phone calls, emails, etc. for the NSA to possibly monitor them all.
And even if the government obtains evidence against Americans using illegal methods, under US law that evidence is inadmissable in a court of law. Any evidence gathered subsequently is likewise inadmissable ("fruit of the poisoned tree.")
So, from a legal standpoint, these alleged "illegal" wiretaps and comm intercepts can only be used to prevent terror attacks- not to put anyone in jail.
You sure won't hear this from the MSM!
Interestingly enough, under British law if evidence is obtained illegally it is still admissable. The jury is advised of how the evidence was obtained, but is allowed to judge the evidence on it's merits. I wonder how many IRA or UDF terrorists were jailed under this provision?
Statement obviously planted by a CIA flack to draw suspicion away from some concurrent conjuring;-)