"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

THE MSM'S "BIG LIE" ON THE NSA INTERCEPT STORY

The Left-wing dominated MSM has got MANY things in the NSA brouhaha ALL WRONG, and done so DELIBERATELY in order to CRANK UP the sense that this is a major scandal, (see below). Among the many MSM distortions are these:

(1) The MSM constantly refers to what the president authorized the NSA to do as "DOMESTIC SPYING," as if a wide net was cast over a slew of US citizens. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT THE CASE. A relatively few number of callers or calls were intercepted. Only international calls and only between suspected al Qaeda phones/(emails).

(2) The MSM constantly says that only a few key Congressional leaders were notified (as if some who should have been told were NOT told), when in fact EVERY key leader who the FISA statute specifies should be informed WAS informed: (the leaders of each party in each House, the chairs and ranking members of the Intel Committees. And they were REPEATEDLY informed).

The MSM's BIASED version leaves the exact WRONG IMPRESSION, one which is exactly backwards:
they want the average American to believe that Bush is wire-tapping EVERYONE and not telling ANYONE, when in fact he is using WELL-DOCUMENTED AND PREVIOUSLY USED PRESIDENTIAL POWERS (see below) to authorize the NSA to intercepts a select type of call (from overseas to the USA) to a select few people in the USA whose numbers/accounts have shown up in equipment of al Qaeda and or their affiliates.
NOTE: The NSA cannot determine WHO IS ACTUALLY USING the phones in the USA (and if they are in fact a US person, and if they are actually INSIDE the USA until they intercept them). And even then, the NSA can make technical errors - as the NYTIMES admits today.

The Left - and the Democrat Party and MSM they dominate - has also CARPED about how the president COULD HAVE gotten a court order on these intercepts up to 72 HOURS after the intercepts were ordered, and that by failing to do this Bush failed to follow the law - that he broke the law.

THIS IS FALSE. The president has the authority in certain circumstances to order intercepts WITHOUT A COURT ORDER, (see below).

PROOF that Bush ha used this authority VERY SELECTIVELY is the FACT that he has sought and received over 4,000 FISA court orders for surveillance since 9/11. And continues to do so even as he also intercepts OTHER SPECIFIC TYPES of communication WITHOUT a court order.


OBVIOSULY, then, THESE PARTICULAR NSA "court-orderless" INTERCEPTS MUST FALL IN A SEPARATE CATEGORY.

I have posted for last several days that the reason that Bush did NOT WANT a court order for these intercepts is the fact that the information from these intercepts were never intended to be used in judical proceedings - for indictments, etc - but only for military acts, renditions and targeted killings (with missiles from drones for example).

As CinC, the president has the authority to order warrantless searches and seizures and wiretaps and intercepts to gather intel about the enemy for the military. This is what THESE SPECIFICS INTERCEPTS WERE ALL ABOUT, IMHO. And it's the best explanation as to why they were executed in the manner in which they were executed.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

reliapundit said -- "I have posted for last several days that the reason that Bush did NOT WANT a court order for these intercepts is the fact that the information from these intercepts were never intended to be used in judical proceedings - for indictments, etc - but only for military acts, renditions and targeted killings (with missiles from drones for example)."

I'd be very interested to see a cite to back up any portion of this theory. On the other hand, here's what we know about how the information from warrant-less surveillance was used in one case:

"The second former official said the program contributed to the apprehension of Iyman Faris, an Ohio truck driver who pleaded guilty in 2003 to collaborating with Al Qaeda in a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge."

Hmmm. Does being arrested and pleading guilty fall under a military acts, renditions, or targeted killings? This, http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/faris/usfaris603plea.pdf, actually looks like a record of a "judicial proceeding" to me. Do you have a counter-example to support your theory?

reliapundit said...

the only example you CAN cite is one that led to an arrest which the NYC police said had been based on their intel, which we NOW know was IN FACT based on these federal/NSA intercepts.

i proffer that many drone attacks have been based on info form these intercepts. attacks you will NEVER hear about.

trust me.

want PROOF?! well, all i can point to is the FACT that 4300 times Bush asked for court orders BEFORE intercepting calls.

WHY ELSE would NOT ask for them in some instances!?!?!

only IF the info was NEVER INTYENDED for use by lawyers, but onyl by the military of black ops.

sheesh.

how dense can you be?

Anonymous said...

reliapundit -- "the only example you CAN cite is one that led to an arrest which the NYC police said had been based on their intel, which we NOW know was IN FACT based on these federal/NSA intercepts."
Bush claimed that this was based on the warrant-less intercepts, and we have no reason to doubt him. Since this has happened at least once, by his admission, there is no reason to think that they were ruling out using the information gathered by this program as part of legal proceedings. Indeed, the original Times article states: "The judge questioned whether information obtained under the NSA program was being improperly used as the basis for FISA wiretap warrant requests from the Justice Department, according to senior government officials. While not knowing all the details of the exchange, several government lawyers said there appeared to be concerns that the Justice Department, by trying to shield the existence of the N.S.A. program, was in danger of misleading the court about the origins of the information cited to justify the warrants." That certainly makes this operation look more like a fishing expedition to get enough evidence to justify getting a warrant than anything else.

reliapundit -- "i proffer that many drone attacks have been based on info form these intercepts. attacks you will NEVER hear about."
"I proffer that" == "I am making suppositions based on no evidence whatsoever."


reliapundit -- "WHY ELSE would NOT ask for them in some instances!?!?!"
Well, lets look at what Gonzales, Bush, and Hayden had to say about their reasons:

Bush -- "But FISAs is for long-term monitoring. What is needed in order to protect the American people is the ability to move quickly to detect."

Bush -- "But also, this is a different era, different war. It's a war where people are changing phone numbers and phone calls, and they're moving quick. And we've got to be able to detect and prevent.
I keep saying that. But this is -- it requires quick action."

Gonzales -- "FISA is very important in the war on terror, but it doesn't provide the speed and the agility that we need in all circumstances to deal with this new kind of threat. "

General Hayden -- "FISA involves the process -- FISA involves marshaling arguments; FISA involves looping paperwork around"


Additionally, other reasons that have been proposed are:
1) the technology involved in gathering this information made it problematic to acquire a warrant (see http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_12/007846.php and http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_12/007812.php)
2) the administration simply didn't have enough evidence to get warrants granted by the FISA court and were forced to bypass them (see http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/12/did-bush-domestic-spy-program.html
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20051226-122526-7310r (a story you linked to, by the way)

reliapundit -- "only IF the info was NEVER INTYENDED for use by lawyers, but onyl by the military of black ops."
Does FISA have an exception for not requiring warrants in such cases? That seems to be a central point to your argument, but I haven't seen any part of it saying that warrants are not required if the information gathered will only be used for "military acts, renditions and targeted killings".

To sum up:
1) There are plenty of potential reasons that the administration might want to bypass the warrant process, including reasons offered by the administration itself.
2) The information gathered was used in one specific case that we know of and was used as a basis for getting warrants in other cases, presumably because there wasn't enough evidence to get the FISA warrant in the first place.
3) Regardless of the intention of how the surveillance will be used, it does not mean that FISA can be bypassed.