Question #1: Would you allow your phones, email and and mail to be iontercepted by the NSA if it MIGHT save 3000 lives?And THAT'S the main point, albeit a POLITICAL point and NOT a legal/constitutional one: the NSA intercepts prograsm effected an extremely small number of US persons - IF ANY. According to the NYTIMES, perhaps as many as two thousand persons had their communications intercepted at one time or another since the program was instituted in 2001 - FOUR YEARS AGO. That's about 30 per month. In a country with nearly 300 MILLION people. That's TEN MILLION TIMES as many people overall as the number of people whose calls were intercepted. YET THIS DOESN'T STOP THE LEFT - AND THE MSM THEY DOMINATE - FROM CALLING THIS A "DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL."
He answered: "YES."
Question #2: Would you allow the NSA to intercept ONLY your international communications (phone, email, and mail) if it MIGHT save 3000 lives? That would be a lot less communciations, wouldn't it!?
He answered, "Yes, of course - that would be fewer calls, and I wouldn't mind - if it could save lives."
Question #3: Would you allow all the communications you have with al Qaeda and their affiliates to be intercepted?
He answered, "OF COURSE! BUT I HAVE NO SUCH COMMUNICATIONS! MOST AMERICANS DON'T!"
FURTHERMORE: If the NSA intercepts program which the POTUS authorized was solely intended, designed and executed to ONLY intercept communications between suspected al Qaeda (or affiliated) agents, (and for the primary purpose of national security and not criminal prosecution) then virtually EVERY American would agree that it is a fitting and proper program while we are at war with al Qaeda (and their affiliates).
THEREFORE: The sole controversy is really whether such a program REQUIRES a FISA court-order, or whether FISA, the 2001 AUMF, and the constitution permit (and even expect) the POTUS to directly authorize these kinds of intercepts (ones whose PROGRAMMATIC EFFORT IS DIRECTED AT A FOREIGN ENEMY) during wartime. After all, the POTUS is not merely or solely the chief law enforcement officer of the US government; he is also the CinC.
BOTTOM-LINE: The SCOTUS, the FISA Review Court, the Fisa Court, and several federal courts are on record as acknowledging that the POTUS has this right when it comes to gathering intelligence about foreign powers - and other presidents have used it in similar ways - though not in identical ways.
Therefore, this NSA intercepts program, is a GRAND SLAM: politically, legally, constitutionally and militarily, it was the right thing to do. I'D GO FURTHER. I'D SAY, (after Coulter) THAT IF BUSH DIDN'T AUTHORIZE SUCH A PROGRAM AFTER 9/11, THAT THIS NEGLIGENCE would be grounds for impeachment. After all, the primary responsibility of the POTUS is to protect and defend the USA.
BTW: since many of the cellphone and email communications are between one KNOWN suspected al Qaeda agent and an unkown cellphone number or email address - either of which can be accessed by any number of people, US persons or not - and can be accessed in any number of locations (in the USA or not), then it is VERY difficult for anyone (the POTUS, the USA AG, the CIA, or the NSA) to KNOW who the unkown communicator is and whether the UNKNOWN communicator is a US person or not. YOU'D HAVE TO LISTEN IN TO FIND OUT, WOULDN'T YOU?! (Ditto any data mining program designed to intercept emails which contain known code-words.)
Bottom-line: some people will do whatever it takes to win the war; other people won't - and perhaps don;t even think we need to be at war.
The Dem/Left seems to think that we'd be in a better position if: we weren't rough on any detainees; we closed GITMO; we immediately exited from Iraq; we stopped the decades old practice of rendition; we closed all secret prisons; and stopped giving Israel "unquestioned support" and be "more even-handed" in approach to the Arab-Israeli crisis. IOW: fight a "kinder and gentler" war on terror! HAH!
SURE: If Bush did what the Dem/Left wants then he'd be more seen as more "bi-partisan" and he'd be more "loved" by the euroweenies of Old Europe. But we'd be less effective in the war against our enemies, and be less feared by our enemies, too. I'd gladly sacrifice the love of Lefties here and in Europe for the upper hand in the GWOT.
I am grateful Bush has done just that. Waging war effectively is not a popularity contest. It never has been. Nixon - who ended the draft and the Vietnam War and opened up China and invented detente and signed the FIRST nuclear arms treaty with the USSR, and and saved the Soviet Dissidents --- and all in JUST 5 YEARS! - was HATED AND REVILED by the Left here and in Europe. Nixon was right, and the Left was wrong. (I KNOW: I was a a Lefty then!)
In the 1980's, Reagan deployed Pershing missiles to Europe and was greeted in Europe - who we were DEFENDING FROM THE USSR! - with the largest most angry demonstrations OF ALL TIME! Reagan was right, though, and the Left was wrong. (I KNOW; I WAS THERE IN NY'S CENTRAL PARK ALONG WITH MORE THAN A MILLION OTHER LEFTIES!
Bush's aggressive war against jihadoterrorism and islamofascism is being greeted with the same response by the SAME Lefties. They are as wrong now as they were then.
Thank God this time I am on the RIGHT SIDE THIS TIME! (Actually, I became a hawk in 1989, after the Wall fell. I was honest: I admitted that Reagan was right - about the USSR and tax cuts!)
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!