August 20, 2006

New Wiretap Ruling

I Just wanted to save an interesting comment here, so i can refer to it easily.

Comment below written by: MICHAEL in MI

Excellent point made by Andy McCarthy:

Just a Second, I Thought Those Leaks Didn't Matter ... [Andy McCarthy]

Remember back when the New York Times first disclosed the existence of the NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program. A number of us contended that this should be grounds for a prosecution because it alerted the enemy to our signals intelligence efforts in wartime.

"NONSENSE!" replied the Times and its allies. You see, they explained, al Qaeda well knew that we were using every means in our arsenal to penetrate its communications. Telling terrorists about the NSA program didn't alert them to anything they weren't already well aware of.

Well, apparently the ACLU, CAIR, Greenpeace and the other "public interest" ogranizations who sued the government did not get the memo.

In order to convince Judge Anna Diggs Taylor to invalidate the NSA program, these plaintiffs had to establish that they had "standing" to sue -- meaning that they had suffered some kind of individualized harm, something that was unique because it is not enough for standing purposes to simply claim a general objection to government policies.

So how did these plaintiffs claim to have been harmed? They are journalists, lawyers and scholars who do research and other work in the Middle East. But now, according to Judge Taylor's opinion, they have sworn in affidavits that "Persons abroad who before the program [became pubic knowledge] spoke with them by telephone or internet no longer do so." They are, she says, "stifled in their ability to vigorously conduct research, interact with sources, talk to clients," because people suddenly think the U.S. government is listening.

So which is it? Is the TSP leak a big nothing that changed no one's behavior, or a bombshell that changed everyone's behavior? Evidently, it depends on which scenario the Left believes will damage the Bush administration more on any given day.

Posted by: MICHAEL in MI | Aug 18, 2006 12:53:39 PM

Granted, it isn't clear to me what kind of "tap" Bush is doing. It's obviouslly international to us local, so it can fit under foreign surveillaince instead of domestic police powers. One reason why it is under National Security instead of FBI local.

The other question is whether they actually listen in on these "taps" or whether it is just seeing tracing the phone list of captured terror cellphone addresses. Meaning do they listen in on every phone call from these addresses, or do they listen and then cross out, or locate then listen. Since Bush doesn't want to talk about it, it really causes confusion going on when one side, the Left doesn't care about the facts or what they reveal, while the other side who tries to defend the NSA, are doing so from self-chosen restrictions and security.


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