« If you'll kindly indulge me... | Main | We're back! »

USA Today Leaks National Security Secrets

Updated

USA Today has joined the group of newspapers who take it upon themselves to disclosed classified information about our country's national security efforts:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.


The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans -- most of whom aren't suspected of any crime.This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

"It's the largest database ever assembled in the world," said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA's activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the nation's borders, this person added.

For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made -- across town or across the country -- to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.

The three telecommunications companies are working under contract with the NSA, which launched the program in 2001 shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the sources said. The program is aimed at identifying and tracking suspected terrorists, they said.

The sources would talk only under a guarantee of anonymity because the NSA program is secret.

What USA Today does not seem to realize is that this program has been kept secret, not because the government wants to keep American citizens from learning about it, but to keep terrorists from learning about it. That fact was completely lost on USA Today.

The article goes on to say this:

The NSA's domestic program, as described by sources, is far more expansive than what the White House has acknowledged. Last year, Bush said he had authorized the NSA to eavesdrop -- without warrants -- on international calls and international e-mails of people suspected of having links to terrorists when one party to the communication is in the USA. Warrants have also not been used in the NSA's efforts to create a national call database.


In defending the previously disclosed program, Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively on international calls. "In other words," Bush explained, "one end of the communication must be outside the United States."

As a result, domestic call records -- those of calls that originate and terminate within U.S. borders -- were believed to be private.

Sources, however, say that is not the case. With access to records of billions of domestic calls, the NSA has gained a secret window into the communications habits of millions of Americans. Customers' names, street addresses and other personal information are not being handed over as part of NSA's domestic program, the sources said. But the phone numbers the NSA collects can easily be cross-checked with other databases to obtain that information.

So we're supposed to be upset and outraged because the government has a "window" into Americans' calling habits? I'm not impressed. Marketing companies have far more information on us than that. And we're supposed to be upset and outraged because the NSA is collecting information on phone calls they aren't listening to and don't have any personal information for? Sorry, but I'm not buying it.

What we should be upset and outraged about is that USA Today just made it clear which phone companies would-be-terrorists in the US should be using to avoid detection by the NSA:

Qwest's refusal to participate has left the NSA with a hole in its database. Based in Denver, Qwest provides local phone service to 14 million customers in 14 states in the West and Northwest. But AT&T and Verizon also provide some services -- primarily long-distance and wireless -- to people who live in Qwest's region. Therefore, they can provide the NSA with at least some access in that area.

Nice job.

President Bush just responded to USA Today's article:

After September the 11th, I vowed to the American people that our government would do everything within the law to protect them against another terrorist attack. As part of this effort, I authorized the National Security Agency to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al-Qaida and related terrorist organizations. In other words, if al-Qaida or their associates are making calls into the United States or out of the United States, we want to know what they're saying.


Today there are new claims about other ways we are tracking down al- Qaida to prevent attacks on America. I want to make some important points about what the government is doing and what the government is not doing.

First, our international activities strictly target al-Qaida and their known affiliates. Al-Qaida is our enemy, and we want to know their plans. Second, the government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval. Third, the intelligence activities I authorized are lawful and have been briefed to appropriate members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat. Fourth, the privacy of ordinary Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities.

We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans. Our efforts are focused on links to al-Qaida and their known affiliates. So far we've been very successful in preventing another attack on our soil.

As a general matter, every time sensitive intelligence is leaked, it hurts our ability to defeat this enemy. Our most important job is to protect the American people from another attack, and we will do so within the laws of our country.

Thank you.

Update: Hot Air has the video of President Bush's statement.

Update II: John at Power Line comments on the juxtaposition of today's NSA article to the London bombings:

[I]t's interesting to juxtapose the NSA stories--this one plus the Agency's international terrorist surveillance program--with this account of a report earlier today by Britain's Intelligence and Security Committee on the subway bombings in London last July:


The suicide bombers who killed 52 passengers on London's transit system had a string of contacts with someone in Pakistan just before striking, Britain's top law enforcement official said Thursday.


However, authorities admitted they didn't know what was discussed in those contacts and stuck with their contention that the blasts were a home-grown plot and that the degree of involvement by al-Qaida, if any, was unknown.

Thursday's report by the Intelligence and Security Committee concluded that intelligence agents had been alerted to two of the suicide bombers before the attacks but limited resources prevented them from uncovering the plot.

Reid, speaking of the contacts in Pakistan ahead of the attacks, said authorities did not know what was discussed. *** "There are a series of suspicious contacts from an unknown individual or individuals in Pakistan in the immediate run-up to the bombings," Reid said after his department released its narrative of the attacks. "We do not know their content."

Sounds like they should have listened in on those calls. These are exactly the kind of communications that are intercepted by the NSA under the terrorist surveillance program that has been widely denounced by Democrats.

Others who are outraged at USA Today's exposing the US's anti-terrorism efforts:

Sister Toldjah
Stop the ACLU
Riehl World View
Rightwinged
Gatewaypundit
AJ Strata
Michelle Malkin


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference USA Today Leaks National Security Secrets:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Paper Reports NSA Collecting Phone Records

» The Unalienable Right linked with NSA: Can you hear me now?

» In Search Of Utopia linked with I'm so proud...

» Flopping Aces linked with The New CIA Leak

» In Search Of Utopia linked with I'm so proud...

» Riehl World View linked with USA Today's NSA Source Revealed

» Chickenhawk Express linked with They Have Already Started in on Hayden

» The Sandbox linked with More "Good" Leaks

» Joust The Facts linked with Et Tu, USA Today?

» ReidBlog linked with ...And another thing...

» All Things Beautiful linked with Re-Hash Of An Old Story

» Keep Austin Corporate linked with NSA Call Record Analysis

» Code Monkey Ramblings linked with The dark side to the NSA phone record tracking system

Comments (58)

Of course, marketing compan... (Below threshold)

Of course, marketing companies can't throw you in jail...

I must admit: this is the kind of stuff I am pleased to have leaked--because the administration appears more than willing to use the powers of the federal government against innocent citizens, and that is problematic.

And I don't think it is the government's business to know who I am calling.

Bush has run out of rope on... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Bush has run out of rope on the "we only target terrorists" excuse. This trampling of the Consititution has to end.

Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Bush apologists - please show me the probably cause for compiling data on my Grandmothers calls to her children and grandchildren.

From how I understand the p... (Below threshold)

From how I understand the program the data tracked (and it's just "data" - not the conversation itself. This is a different program, from the descriptions, than the overseas program) is number calling from and number calling to. Thus, phone number A called numbers B C and D. Kind of like this site - http://www.touchgraph.com/TGGoogleBrowser.html . They make relational graphs of sites. But that doesn't tell you much about what's on the site, except that they link to other sites. So if you have phone number A linked to phone number D who links to O and S and AF and then a known "-istan" number, than if it linked back upon itself.

Crap, wrong key. What I wa... (Below threshold)

Crap, wrong key. What I was trying to say is that if you find a chain that links to a known "-istan" number, that's "more interesting" from an intellegence point of view than a closed loop calling chain that doesn't link outside anywhere. But, until you run the connections, you don't know where it's going. Or who, if it's an automated process.

We need to call a grand jur... (Below threshold)

We need to call a grand jury and call Leslie Cauley to find out who leaked this information, and then they should be charged and prosecuted.

Bush apologists - ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Bush apologists - please show me the probably cause for compiling data on my Grandmothers calls to her children and grandchildren.

While not a Bush apologists - you're asking the wrong questions.

The phone lines and air waves are not your private property, so the fourth amendment doesn't protect the fact that you use them or who you use them with. It's the same as if the police parked on the street and watched your coming and going. The police can even follow you on public streets and into any public location to see where you go, what you do, and who you meet, all without a warrant. The fourth amendment not only doesn't protect individuals from such observation, but requires it in most cases to prove probable cause before a warrant can be issued.

It's obvious the liberal MSM wants to build this into a case of warrantless searches, but it's no such thing.

NSA has been building it's ... (Below threshold)
Charles Bannerman:

NSA has been building it's data banks on electronic signals for many years. It didn't start with 911 or with Bush. Virtually every phone call foriegn and domestic that goes over the airwaves is picked up by NSA and filtered through it's computer system.

There is no way for them to JUST pick up foriegn originated signals. Get used to it, it isn't going to stop and if it did we would lose over 75% of our intelligence gathering capability.

I reiterate: This is not new it was going on under Clinton, Bush 1, Reagan etc. As the technology has improved, the NSA has been able to cast a wider net.

I for one, welcome it. I'm glad one of our intelligence agencies is doing it's job.
Chuck

Oh, and by the way, the Intelligence Committees of both houses are fully aware of NSA's activities and have been for years. When you hear one of them badmouthing the program, he is lying through his teeth.
Chuck

Qwest is our phone company ... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

Qwest is our phone company so NSA doesn't have a list of people we called. Of course they do have records of family and friends who called us. I must admit I am surprised at the "nothing to see here move along" attitudes. I guess "privacy" is not that big an issue for you. I think you will find that many who have given our President the benefit of the doubt will say
"well this goes to far."

A couple of simple yes or no poll questions. Do you consider it a private matter whom you call? Do you believe it is reasonable for our Government to maintain a log of every phone call you make.


The phone lines and air ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

The phone lines and air waves are not your private property, so the fourth amendment doesn't protect the fact that you use them or who you use them with.

Under that same interpetation our emails, credit card transactions, bank records, amazon.com orders - any electronic data transmitted over the air or via the internet would not be protected, true?

Interesting, and scary. I suspect this will make a lot of law-abiding upright U.S. citizens concerned. The question is - will they believe George (WMD) Bush's explanation of the need for this? Or his promise that the it won't be abused?

Maybe it's time for the adm... (Below threshold)
John S:

Maybe it's time for the administration to back off and give Al Qaeda a crack at Los Angeles. It would shut these whiners up for a few years and with luck wipe Hollywood liberals off the map.

Another act of treason by... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

Another act of treason by the Liberal Media ,the extended wing of the democrat party. Until we enforce the laws on the books and execute the Traitors the deomcrat party will continue to break every law in their quest to bring down President Bush and con their way back into power.

Democrats are lying despicable retards. Their infantile mentality and malicious lies are the direct result of their being incompetant utter failures. You who desparately talk out your ass in attempts to Clintonize President Bush and the Republican Party can go to hell. You morons can't win anything by way of an honest election so you must lie and create chaos and organize mass protests as to create intimidation as a tool to bully your failed agenda onto the Majority in this Country.

You shit for brains can cry all you want about President Bush , he hasn't done a damn thing wrong. You are Hypocrites and liars couldn't tell the truth if your life depended on it. They "MAY" be listening. "MAY". You people are so stupid it's disgusting. All you dummies who use AOL for your internet access are having every single thing you do and every sight you go to documented so their can target market your dumbasses yet not one peep from the cry babies who falsely accuse and complain about their privacy being invaded by the Administration,STFU! Hey idiots. What do you think your phone bill is that you get at the end of the month. Continue to talk out your ass like your failed Democrat masters. Keep repeating your desparate and pathetic buss words like "millions of innocent Americans" "Ease Dropping" "wire tapping" while ignoring the facts and acts of "Treason" , "Sedition" amd "Sabotage" you shameless bunch of jackals and MINORITY SORE LOSERS. Suck on those facts you fools.

I wonder when someone will ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

I wonder when someone will leak to the MSM the fact that the government has been collecting and tracking everyone's individual financial information for at least the last six years. Bush has not stopped the government from gathering individual financial information from banks, employers, and stock brokers. In fact they even require that U.S. residents provide the government with detailed financial records each year including how much money they made, how many children they have, the social security numbers for everyone in their family, how much they gave to charities and how much they paid in interest on their home mortgage. And the government is collecting all this data without warrants. The government will even prosecute you if you fail to provide this information.

For those just crawling out from under a rock this is satire, but the question it raises is serious. Why are the highly invasive tactics of the IRS widely accepted, while NSA's phone usage gathering creates an uproar in the MSM?

I vowed to the American ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

I vowed to the American people that our government would do everything within the law to protect them against another terrorist attack Bush

We can have this argument over and over again, but FISA specifically states the original domestic surveillance program, as it is, is illegal, or not within the law. Like it or not, the law says the President must get a warrant. If you don't like that, change the law, but that doesn't excuse the President for knowingly, willfully, repeatedly, and continually breaking the law in the first place.

These are exactly the kind of communications that are intercepted by the NSA under the terrorist surveillance program that has been widely denounced by Democrats. John from PL

Strawman. No Democrat has denounced the original program itself. Democrats (mostly Feingold and a handful of others) are opposed to the President not getting warrants before utilizing the program. Although I hope plenty denounce this new program we just learned about.

Repubs excuses are getting weaker and weaker as we learn more about the NSA's programs. Hell, they actually might be tapping everybodys' calls and Bush apologists would come up for an excuse for that too.

"Maybe it's time for the ad... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

"Maybe it's time for the administration to back off and give Al Qaeda a crack at Los Angeles. It would shut these whiners up for a few years and with luck wipe Hollywood liberals off the map.
Posted by: John S at May 11, 2006 05:43 PM"

I welcome this 100%, just give me a couple minutes to pack my bags. Why stop in LA? The whole bunch of cockroaches should be exterminated period. And no it's not because I don't agree with your proven and failed sick agenda, it's your diseased mentality ,criminal acts of treason and sinister acts of stupidity destroying this Country and putting our lives in danger. If you want to under Communism and worship the trash you call the democrat leadership , get the F**k out of the United States and go disgrace some other piece of dirt on this planet. It's unbelievable how a bunch of sore losers and criminals can become so unhinged and completely in denial that this whole bogus outrage is their own fault. Your most corrupt and loved leader Bill J Clinton by his criminal acts and complete failure as our President and your inability to hold him accountable WAS YOUR CHOICE AND YOUR FAULT. Now STFU and live with it.

Under that same in... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Under that same interpetation our emails, credit card transactions, bank records, amazon.com orders - any electronic data transmitted over the air or via the internet would not be protected, true?

You mean to tell me you thought your bank records were protected by the fourth amendment? The IRS doesn't even need to spy on you, your bank, your employer and others send data about you to the government all the time. Every credit card company sends data about you to the private credit agencies. Amazon.com likely sells information about what kind of books or merchandize you buy, and anyone who thinks e-mail is private is living in some other world.

So now there's a database of what phone numbers called what phone numbers and when. Some folks are questioning what value that has. Well any parent might find it useful to know what numbers their kids were calling or what numbers were calling their home. Same for a business. If you suspected your spouse was cheating, you would also find that information interesting. Liberals are all for open government, so I assume you support making the database public.

Whether it is legal or ille... (Below threshold)
virgo:

Whether it is legal or illegal I still have'nt heard of a single case of anyone being violated or damaged by this spying program? I suppose when someone is actually found to have been violated, the government would then have to defend itself.
Personally the IRS sickens Me more.

Well, virgo, I think those ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Well, virgo, I think those Iman's and their pals in Lodi think they were harmed by domestic surveilance...

AT&T... Does that include ... (Below threshold)

AT&T... Does that include Cingular after their merger?

Are cell phones more or less private?

Rob in LA,I just wan... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Rob in LA,
I just want to weigh in here before you rupture that aneurysm. I myself question this broad-based monitoring of phone call destinations and I voted for Bush twice and consider myself (at times) an apologist for the President. My problem with homeland security and intelligence is the inability of the government to "clean its administrative house first". Secure borders, reforming the CIA, sharing of intelligence among security agencies, etc. seems to be an impossible task for this administration. Yet, it seems to have contributed most to the intelligence break down that led to 911. I don't care if the phone company knows what numbers I called or what numbers called me. It could be important to ME at some point. But I don't see a compelling reason that the phone companies HAVE to feel they need to give this info to the government? They are threatened with losing a government contract? Is that extortion? The intelligence community in the US is a mess. And more and more information is being dumped into it. I voted for this President twice but his constant mantra of "secrecy in the interest of security" is running a bit thin with me at this time.

We can have this a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
We can have this argument over and over again, but FISA specifically states the original domestic surveillance program, as it is, is illegal, or not within the law. Like it or not, the law says the President must get a warrant. If you don't like that, change the law, but that doesn't excuse the President for knowingly, willfully, repeatedly, and continually breaking the law in the first place.

No enacted law can override the Constitution, thus the FISA law cannot restrict the President's Article II powers. Every court case touching this subject as found that the authority to use military power includes intelligence gathering. Article II specifically gives the power of commander in chief to the President and to the President alone. Whatever restrictions Congress may have placeed on the use of the President's power were removed when Congress specifically authorized the President to use all means necessary to conduct the war on terrorism. The fact that members of Congress didn't understand that that authorization included surveillance is irrelevant as many of them have no idea what are in the bills they vote for.

With domestic warrants, one party to most phone calls is being wiretapped without a warrant. You may be perfectly innocent, but when you call a pawn shop that's being wiretapped, your conversation is being intercepted even though there's no warrant to wiretap you. The legal authority to wiretap the pawn shop covers anyone who calls the shop or who the shop calls. It's the same with the NSA program. There's no argument that NSA has the legal authority to wiretap offshore phones, and that authority covers whoever calls the offshore phone or whoever is call from that phone. The NSA program is legal. The President's Article II authority makes it legal. The FISA law is moot because of the authorization Congress gave to the President. It's irrelevant that there are a few dimwits in Congress that don't know what they are doing when they pass such measures. Maybe you shouldn't vote for Congressmen and Congresswomen who have admitted to being incompetent in such matters.

comment by sean nyc/aa :</p... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

comment by sean nyc/aa :

Being a bitter liar and sore loser because the Democrat Party is full of shit and the majority of the Country know it, doesn't excuse you for knowingly, willfully, continually and repeatedly telling there lies and breaking the law while shamelessly hiding behind "it's your freedom of speach."

What is it exactly that compells you to support criminal liars and complete failures?

Are you a Communist or what ?

You feel like your on their team when all you do is sit on the bench. You just want to win for the sake of winning regardless of what little if anything at all you hope to gain by their having more power?

I can not understand the willing stupidity of ignoring and denying the truth and the facts about what the democrat party is and does. After I made a conscience decision to inform myself of the facts and the truth there was no way I was going to continue my 15 plus years of blindly voting for the democrats. No way in hell. Maybe it's because I never gave a shit about politics nor stood up and declared I'm a proud registered democrat. I don't feel the need to have stand up and declare I'm a proud republican . Bottom line is I'm a proud AMERICAN disgusted with the cretans in the democrat party and those that support them and then lie as to why they support them or just repeat the lies as to what the Democrat Party claims they are for. Democrats in office are frauds , the MAJORITY OF THEM. And since no one in their party has the balls to stand up to the bunch of phonies since Zell Miller I have no problem calling the whole lot of them liars and ignorant who make it a point to actively particpate in their perpetual fraud.

It sounds from the USA Toda... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

It sounds from the USA Today description that these are CDRs (Call Detail Records) that are being analyzed by the NSA. There are standard formats for these ASCII files and they are generated by both the originating and terminating phone switches. They contain, among other things, the A-number (calling), the (B-number) or called party, time, duration and sometimes other information such as subscriber features or call failure data, etc. They do not contain the subscriber's name, adddress or whatever.

These files are maintained by the operators for billing purposes among other things such as network dimensioning and optimization. Every carrier that sells local, long distance, VoIP, mobile or prepaid is required by law to maintain such files. The loss of even fifteen minutes of these files will cause an operator to incur huge fines from the FCC. I do not know what the retention time is for such data by the operators. I suspect that it is many "years" rather than several "months" or one year or whatever.

This is nothing new by the way, and a recent example of this was the FBI using these CDR and call performance data to try to apprehend the D.C. snipers. This didn't work, of course, but it was done.

If the NSA mulls over scads of billing data in order to do their job - fine by me. As correctly stated above I have no implied privacy on a telephone network that I do not own. It's essentially the same as yelling down the street to your neighbor.

Drew E.,

*No and **Yes

* No, because I have no knowledge of where the voice circuit resides when I make a call. It could be in the hands of 5 or more carriers' transmission equipment for all I know and may not run on the same path twice. For a long distance call from my house for example, I only own the phone, the phone line to the wall, what runs through my ceiling to and only half of the box on the outside of my house - that's it. Actually, I don't even own the dial tone when I pick up the phone, it comes from the central telephone office.

** Yes, because I think that a Government agency needs to have the capacity to warehouse this data, and query for trends if they need to. I happen to believe that it's just another essential tool for the NSA.

However, while I don't agree with opponents of this I must say that once again, Bush has done a dismal job of explaining this to his boss (me and you, fellow American). He's never done a good job at this and it doesn't even surprise me anymore. When will these politicians learn that "trust me" simply does not work?

That said - the USA Today, today did an even worse job of an explanation when they leaked this to the entire world.

Did someone say "dimwits in... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Did someone say "dimwits in Congress"?

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he would call the phone companies to appear before the panel in pursuit of what had transpired.

"We're really flying blind on the subject and that's not a good way to approach the Fourth Amendment and the constitutional issues involving privacy," Specter said of domestic surveillance in general.

When the Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman admits to "flying blind" on domestic spying you have to wonder just who knows what.

Hi Brad,AT&T...... (Below threshold)
snowballs:

Hi Brad,

AT&T... Does that include Cingular after their merger?

I'm assuming that it does, because AT&T is now the new [old] brand for SBC and/or Bell South. Right now they are in the middle of a bunch of branding swaps again.

Are cell phones more or less private?

The same - all calls, mobile or fixed wireline or Internet calls and even text and multimedia messages generate the similar types of CDRs.

No enacted law can overr... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

No enacted law can override the Constitution, thus the FISA law cannot restrict the President's Article II powers...
Whatever restrictions Congress may have placeed on the use of the President's power were removed when Congress specifically authorized the President to use all means necessary to conduct the war on terrorism.

Two things about this statement:
1)I've said this before but Article I, Sec 8 says the following -
"To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
Therefore, Congress has the Constitutional authority to define the scope of all Constitutional powers. This power does not give Congress the authority to remove a power entirely, but they can say what methods are legal or illegal to use.
2) Regarding the AUMF, even AG Gonzalez said this excuse came after the fact to try and come up with an excuse, it was not among the primary reasons for the program(s) from the start. Additionally, FISA was crafted during the Cold War, so being at war does not nullify its legality.

The bigger question regarding these programs are not whether they are legal or not, but the fact that the President is claiming he can disregard Federal law in the name of national security. This is a radical and completely un-American position.

It's Arlen Specter, he's fl... (Below threshold)
Toddk:

It's Arlen Specter, he's flying blind on most things most of the time these days.

But seriously I'd like any of the detractors to tell us just how the hell we're supposed to do track down cells and eliminate them.

Enough with the criticism, how about some solutions.

I think to be a Democrat th... (Below threshold)
Big D:

I think to be a Democrat the first requirement is appalling stupidity about how the real world works, or a basic understabding of history or law.

While I could provide a dozen or so logical reasons why the concerns of the Democrats are incorrect on this issue, I'll settle for just one.

FISA is of highly debatable legality and applicability regarding the war on terror. For you Democrats out there, I'll explain this simply and type very slooowly - congress cannot pass a law that negates a power granted to another branch of government by the constitution. For example, congress CANNOT pass a law saying the President can no longer veto legislation - this power is specifically enumerated in the constitution and cannot be taken away by a simple act of congress.

With me so far? The President is commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States. As such he commands our intelligence services (that is why a general of the Air Force is currently in charge of the NSA). If the intelligence services are collecting information about a foreign power (islamoterrorists qualify) then Congress has no say whatsoever in this activity or how it is conducted. It is not protected by the constitution. This has been upheld for decades by numerous supreme court decisions (actually I think the first such decision occurred during the Civil War).

The power of the President to command the armed forces in a conflict is absolute. It may surprise you to know this, but our armed forces in Iraq don't need a warrant to kick in the door of a suspected terrorist stronghold. The president also does not need a warrant to intercept phone calls of terrorist agents in the U.S. It is a well acknowledged part of his war fighting powers.

The fact is that the phone numbers you call are not "secret" and never have been. Ever look at your cell phone bill? You think the phone company doesn't keep that list forever? Ah yes, but you trust the large corporation to look out for your best interest, but not them evil folks at the government.

This system in question simply uses a computer to filter the numbers you are calling. Calling a gun shop, Pakistan, and flight schools might get you noticed. At that point a warrant is obtained. Note that the warrant is only obtained because you might NOT BE guilty of being a terrorist. If you were conclusively known to be working for foreign power, no warrant would be required!

Note that none of this is new, and has been occuring this way for a long time. The NSA was secretly established by Truman in 1952 specifically for this purpose, i.e. intercept radio and phone signals, sort through the garbage, and find the forgien agents in our midst.

The fact is that t... (Below threshold)
Lee:
The fact is that the phone numbers you call are not "secret" and never have been. Ever look at your cell phone bill? You think the phone company doesn't keep that list forever? Ah yes, but you trust the large corporation to look out for your best interest, but not them evil folks at the government.

Correct. The corporation has a legitimate reason to collect the data. I'm a law-abiding citizen of U.S., so the government DOES NOT have a legitimate reason to collect data on me.

"Interesting, and scary. I ... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

"Interesting, and scary. I suspect this will make a lot of law-abiding upright U.S. citizens concerned. The question is - will they believe George (WMD) Bush's explanation of the need for this? Or his promise that the it won't be abused?
Posted by: Lee at May 11, 2006 05:32 PM"

Petty little snipes like your "George (WMD) Bush's" just shows your inability to comprehend the truth and what the facts are. Your the Rockefeller type democrat who betrays his country by informing the enemy of an impending attack , of a drug dealer of the coming raid giving his enough time to flush the dope down the toilet the arrogantly talking trash and claiming he never had any drugs. That's is why there are only a select few that get briefed on such secret and highly classified programs. Democrats are traitors and untrustworthy. Especially those in the media who in their disgusting bias and shameless disrespect fail to address (George (WMD) Bush's) the President of the United States properly. Democrats just keep providing more reasons why they are and should always be in the MINORITY, they have no class.

Rob in LA,Since you ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Rob in LA,
Since you called me out, I have to respond, although I'll try and be more reasoned and measured than your deranged ranting with improper grammar and spelling.

I too am not that proud of a lot of how Democratic politicians are trying to spread the message. I think that is one of the reasons why the blogosphere has grown in popularity; there are a lot of Dems, libs, lefties, commies, Greens, Repubs, conservs, independents, and nutjobs like yourself who are disgusted with the state of politics in general. But to just be ashamed by the Dems is wilfull ignorance. Repubs are far from being pristine. I could go through a laundry list of scandals we all know involving Repubs. To rebut:

What is it exactly that compells you to support criminal liars and complete failures?

Although, I must admit, Repubs are not complete failures. They have successfully swept into gov't and taken over all three branchs in just over a decade. That is pretty impressive. But their tactics are extreme (Rove outing a CIA agent) and their some of their policies abhorrent (demonizing gays, using fear as their strongest political tool, just to name a few).

As far a my being a commie, no and far from it. I would actually consider myself pretty conservative. I don't drink that much, wine mostly, smoke occasionally, have a 9-5 job, a girlfriend, pretty frugal with my money. My liberal side comes with respect to gov't. I am very suspicious of those in power and am all for investigations and open gov't. Those in power are entrusted by us, so they must be held accountable.

And that is the biggest thing about Repubs that disgusts me: No oversight; plus cowardly begging that daddy Bush protect us from the "terrists", resorting to torture cause they're too lazy to trust in our system of gov't, spending like druken sailors and funding war profiteers, not supporting our veterans with sufficient healthcare and docking a soldier's pay for not finishing his tour or losing his armor after being injured, thinking that this war would be a cakewalk and repeatedly underestimating and misidentifying our foe, and seriously considering the use of pre-emptive nuclear weapons-this is absolutely insane. I think I'm with Mac Lorry here in the belief that deterrence must be used until it fails, and if it fails, well God help us all.

One thing I'm definitely not is some pathetic, middle age maniac who constantly regrets ever being a dem cause he was too stupid to ever care about being politically aware or involved in gov't(that's you). You're a typical California flake who probably had some mid-life crisis. It's about time you woke up.

I am suprised that people h... (Below threshold)
tyrtle:

I am suprised that people have missed the most obvious point about this:

THE TELEPHONE COMPANIES HAVE BEEN SELLING THIS INFORMATION TO ANY AND EVERYONE:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-privacy05.html

The government just bought the same info the telemarketers and other groups have been purchasing!

This is a rehash of an old story that is just being given a new spin.

drip drip DRIP ... (Below threshold)
virgo:

drip drip DRIP drip

Mac Lorry raises an ... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

Mac Lorry raises an excellent point: the gov has, does, and presumably will continue to collect all sorts of data about our finances under pain of fines and / or imprisonment.

My own state also makes us go down to have an official ID made every few years if we want to drive a car. I guess most states do the same.

Perhaps if if was President Hillary (excuse me; gotta go throw up) rather than W, I'd be much more upset as she has a history of, um, abusing personal information. But I think it's not only reasonable but necessary during this time of war that the government keep some tabs on where telephone calls are going to and coming from.

When I hear that innocent US citizens are somehow being prosecuted or persecuted as a result of this kind of program, then I'll be very upset. For now, however, it looks like typical lib fear-mongering.

You guys do, realize, don't you, that foreign terrorists and not Bush attacked us on 9-11, right?

I found a <a href="http://g... (Below threshold)
islmfaoscist:

I found a helpful list of the recent instances where classified information was deliberately leaked to the terrorists about our intelligence and surveillance techniques.

In fact, according to the author, the worst violator "has repeatedly talked about, in detail, how we engage in surveillance against terrorists, how we try to eavesdrop on their communications, and what methods we have created and now use to monitor what they are doing and saying."

This must have caused incalculable damage to US national security, yet this guy is still walking around free to cause still more harm.

This traitor should be in federal prison.

Lee, "So the gover... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

Lee,

"So the government DOES NOT have a legitimate reason to collect data on me".

Ok Lee . The second you FEEL violated you let me know and explain exactly how it felt and how you knew you were feeling it.

Oh and what makes you FEEL so special that the Government is going to single you out and specifically target you? Your really not that important, really. I guess it would be fare assume you believe by your own words that non-law abiding citizens are incapable of being affended? Or are you saying that law breakers should be treated differently? What about dishonest people like yourself when you say the words "domestic spying" when you know full well that is not the case. That makes you a liar. You probably know that right? Of coarse you do.

"Bush has run out of rope on the "we only target terrorists" excuse. This trampling of the Consititution has to end".

Wrong. What has to end are the bitter ignorant attacks and lies from those of you who willfully omit knowing the facts so you can engage in your perpetual fraud in hopes of bringing down President Bush in a time of war. About the only way left for the desparate criminal and incompetant democrats can weasel their way back into power.

"Mac Lorry raises an excell... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

"Mac Lorry raises an excellent point: the gov has, does, and presumably will continue to collect all sorts of data about our finances under pain of fines and / or imprisonment."

ROFL! Sorry, but that's a bogus argument. The government has collected damn near EVERY bit of your financial information ever since the institution of income tax and the creation of the IRS. I, for one, would love to abolish this intrusion, remove income tax and finally kill off all these social programs that are bleeding us dry starting with Social Security.

If the Social Security system were run by anyone other than the government they would be busted for running a Ponzi scheme.

1)I've said this b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
1)I've said this before but Article I, Sec 8 says the following "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

You have misinterpreted the meaning of this section. This does not limit the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution for the other two branches of the government. Rather it charges Congress with making laws need for the other branches to carry out their constitutional duties. Congress is charged with creating the laws need for forming the military and funding it and then handing over control to the President. Congress is charged with establishing judicial districts and creating the infrastructure need for the judicial branch to carry out its constitutional duties. The way you want to interpret this would be like saying Congress could require a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional, and that's not how it works.

As for the authorization to use all means against terrorists, it's not an excuse as you claim, it's an act of Congress that renders FISA moot in the current case.

The bigger question regarding these programs are not whether they are legal or not, but the fact that the President is claiming he can disregard Federal law in the name of national security. This is a radical and completely un-American position.

What? If it's legal then the President is not disregarding Federal law. National security is a fundamental responsibility of the government. Anyone in any branch of the government that impedes that cause won't be around too long. As for radical actions being un-American, you only need to read what was done to U.S. citizens during WW2 to see that it's very American. If you really want a shock, check what Lincoln did during the Civil War.

Islmfaoscist,The d... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Islmfaoscist,

The difference is that Bush was forced to reveal such information to get the Patriot Act passed and reauthorized, without which we wouldn't have the tools needed to defend this nation. As for Bush being reelected, given the choice, it was a national emergence of the highest order to get Bush reelected. Also, you forget that the President can declassify information as he sees fit.

Dave, "But I don... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

Dave,

"But I don't see a compelling reason that the phone companies HAVE to feel they need to give this info to the government? They are threatened with losing a government contract? Is that extortion? The intelligence community in the US is a mess".

You must have seen the same idiot on Fox today as I did to make this comment. If you did or not the guy is a complete babbling idiot. He is a perfect example of someone who talks out their ass. No facts or any proof to corroborate his stupid ramblings. This seems to be the common practice of the democrats and their liberal media.
You should refrain from taking what they say as Gospel and then repeating their lame false claims and accusations , it only makes you look as foolish as they do.

And yes the intelligence community is a fricken mess foir the very same reason. The CIA is a mostly Liberal organization which means they vote Democrat. That in itself should be self explanitory. How can you blame this Current Administration for the traitorous leaks of Clinton hold overs from the previous Administration? Traitors like Fraud Kerry and the countless others of his ilk on National TV disgracing themselves and embarrassing our Country as they make false claims against our President and blame the United States for all that is wrong in the world today.

The fact that I have never seen or heard a democrat answer a simple yes or no question on Fox or where ever is because they proceeds to spew their lies , talking over the hosts demand for an answer to get out as must crap to distort the truth and deceive the public. And about the simple yes or no question , it never gets answered.

Their is only one true Majority American political party in this Country and it's not the democrats. Not by a long shot.

KimYou wrote: ... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Kim

You wrote:

"What USA Today does not seem to realize is that this program has been kept secret, not because the government wants to keep American citizens from learning about it, but to keep terrorists from learning about it."

No, Kim, it wasn't kept secret to protect the program but rather to keep the American public in the dark as to what this President thinks he is entitled to do... pure & simple.

Are the terrorists now going to use tin cans & string because this secret program has been unmasked??? If they want to go on communicating, they will have to use phones. Are they so stupid that the thought that Bush's regime would not play fast & lose w/ civil liberties? After observing Bush & Co. lie this nation into a fraudulent war, I would imagine that the terrorists suspect everything.

What I find most amazing is the fact that most of you righties are adamantly opposed to a national ID card because you don't trust the government and what it would do with such a system. But let Bush bash & trash the Constitution that he is sworn to uphold and not one of you gives a flying crap. You people have no concept of civil or human rights other than to use allegations of others' civil & human rights abuse as a cudgel to bash opponents.


And then how you wail when it gets publicly exposed as USA Today did & the NY Times earlier did.

What a shame that some papers expose Bush's Reichstag fires!

Menwith Hill Station, UK<b... (Below threshold)
READ SEARCH FIND!!:

Menwith Hill Station, UK
( 54.0162 N; 1.6826 W )
http://www.fas.org/irp/facility/menwith.htm

You guys are AMAZINGLY STOOPID, I do not wether it's intentional or nefarious reporting, actually your trying to create BLAME where it does NOT EXIST. AGAIN this INFO IS NOT NEW and only a KID would KNOW know that, DO YOU GUYS KNOW HOW TO EVEN GOOGLE?
Man EVERY ARTICLE HERE IS TRASH.
Menwith Hill in the UK is the principal NATO theater ground segment node for high altitude signals intelligence satellites. The facility, jointly operated with the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), is now capable of carrying out two million intercepts per hour.

Menwith Hill Station was established in 1956 by the US Army Security Agency (ASA). Menwith Hill was operated by ASA from 1958 until its turnover to NSA in June 1966. The Army 713th MI Group remains the Executive Agent for the NSA Menwith Hill field site, which was awarded the NSA's "Station of the Year" prize for 1991 after its role in the Gulf War. The Air Intelligence Agency 451st Intelligence Squadron (451 IS) as an integral part of Menwith Hill Station (MHS). Inside the closely-guarded 560 acre base are two large operations blocks and many satellite tracking dishes and domes. Initial operations focused on monitoring international cable and microwave communications passing through Britain. In the early 1960s Menwith Hill was one of the first sites in the world to receive sophisticated early IBM computers, with which NSA automated the labor-intensive watch-list scrutiny of intercepted but unenciphered telex messages. Since then, Menwith Hill has sifted the international messages, telegrams, and telephone calls of citizens, corporations or governments to select information of political, military or economic value.

The official cover story is that the all-civilian base is a Department of Defense communications station. The British Ministry of Defence describe Menwith Hill as a "communications relay centre." Like all good cover stories, this has a strong element of truth to it. Until 1974, Menwith Hill's SIGINT specialty was evidently the interception of International Leased Carrier signals, the communications links run by civil agencies -- the Post, Telegraph and Telephone ministries of eastern and western European countries. The National Security Agency took over Menwith Hill in 1966. Interception of satellite communications began at Menwith Hill as early as 1974, when the first of more than eight large satellite communications dishes were installed.

In 1984, British Telecom and MoD staff completed a $25 million extension to Menwith Hill Station known as STEEPLEBUSH. The British government constructed new communications facilities and buildings for STEEPLEBUSH, worth L7.4 million. The expansion included a 50,000 square foot extension to the Operations Building and new generators to provide 5 Megawatts of electrical power. The purpose of the new construction was to boost an cater for an 'expanded mission' of satellite surveillance. It also provides a new (satellite) earth terminal system to support the classified systems at the site. With another $17.2 million being spent on special monitoring equipment, this section of the Menwith Hill base alone cost almost $160 million dollars.

Menwith Hill Station is an extensive complex of domes, vertical masts and satellite dishes, as well as more than 4.9 acres of buildings. There are 23 spherical domes and three satellite dishes, one of which is sixty meters in diameter, all pointing in an easterly direction. The tall radio masts appear to be high frequency radio supports. Since 1985 the number of domes and dishes at the base has increased from four to 26. Current expansion plans for the base include building two more radomes, and an earth-sheltered uninterruptible power-supply bunker and a Mission Support Building. The two 16-meter domes will require moving the site boundary, including fencing and lights, around 160 meters closer to the A59 Harrogate-Skipton road to the south. The base now constructs radomes before dish construction begins so that observers cannot determine which satellites the dishes are targetted against. The expansion is to establish a European ground relay system at Menwith Hill which will be part of a new generation of satellite communications. In addition, an initiative to address security deficiencies at Menwith Hill includes fencing the perimeter of the site.

In addition, the PUSHER High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) system at Menwith Hill monitors radio transmissions covering the HF frequency range between 3MHz and 20-30MHz, including military and civilian embassy, maritime and air radio communications. As with other HFDF stations, PUSHER consists of three concentric rings of monopoles, each ring having a total of 24 monopoles.

Initially, tapes containing data collected at Menwith Hill were returned via air to the United States for analysis. The Post Office installed two wideband circuits to Menwith Hill in 1975 which were connected to the nearby Hunters Stones microwave radio station, a part of the country-wide microwave network which carried British long-distance telephone calls during the 1970s and 1980s. Starting in 1992 British Telecom [BT] added digital optical fiber cables, which by 1996 were capable of carrying more than 100,000 simultaneous telephone calls.

RAF Menwith Hill is a Crown freehold site belonging to the Ministry of Defence. The designation RAF Menwith Hill came into effect on 19 February 1996. This was simply an administrative change to bring the base into line with other RAF sites made available by the Ministry of Defence to the United States Government. There is no security of tenure agreement in place at RAF Menwith Hill. The assurances that were given to the US authorities in 1955 and again in 1976 that the site would be made available to the US Forces by Her Majesty's Government for a period of 21 years, and which are known as the security of tenure arrangements, were given to facilitate the commitment of US funding to the station. They were an administrative mechanism, and did not constitute any form of renewable lease for the site.

Women have been permanently camped at the Menwith Hill Women's Peace Camp for several years to draw attention to the facility. The camp is at Kettering Head lay-by on the A59 about 7 miles west of Harrogate. In the early 1990s, opponents of the Menwith Hill station obtained large quantities of internal documents from the facility. The activists routinely climbed over the fence and go wherever they can inside to gather as much intelligence as they can about the activities and what is going on. In the past, this did not violate any British laws, even the trespassing law, as long as they leave at once whenever they are found by the guards. However a new 1996 military lands bylaw criminalized trespass on the site. In September 1997 a judge at York Crown Court ruled that the new military bylaws at the Menwith Hill US-NSA spy base were invalid because they took in land which was not being using for military purposes. The ruling was based on the fact that facility's lands were 70% occupied by sheep. The Ministry of Defence subsequently announced that the decision would be appealed to the High Court.

On 23 April 1997 Leeds peace campaigner Tracy Hart was sentenced by the High Court in London to 42 days in Holloway Prison for breaking an injunction banning her from Menwith Hill. The injunction, imposed in March 1996, bans Tracy from crossing an invisible line surrounding the Menwith Hill base. Tracy has trespassed onto the base at Menwith Hill over 300 times in the last 2 years and is only the second peace campaigner in five years to have been served with a restraining order following protests at the facility.

In 1995, in addition to funds otherwise available for such purpose, the Secretary of the Army was authorized to transfer or reprogram funds for the enhancement of the capabilities of the Bad Aibling Station and the Menwith Hill Station, including improvements of facility infrastructure and quality of life programs at both installations. This provision would permit the Department of the Army to use up to $2 million of appropriated O&M funds per annum, at Menwith Hill and Bad Aibling, to rectify infrastructure and quality of life problems. It would in no way obviate or modify current law or practice with regard to reprogramming amounts in excess of $2 million. Previously the Army was prohibited by 31 U.S.C. section 1301, from using appropriated funds to support an NSA installation, notwithstanding the fact that the Army has become the Executive Agent for these field sites. Although the Director of Central Intelligence could use his special authorities under section 104(d) of the National Security Act of 1947, the procedures available under that law are extremely time consuming and were not intended to accommodate relatively minor transfers of funds.

An example of the problems this is intended to rectify was contained in a memorandum prepared by a joint NSA/Army inspection team entitled. `DoD Child Development Program Inspection Report' dated June 23, 1995. The memo, which describes the childcare facility at Menwith Hill station states:

The Child Development Center (CDC), originally constructed as a office building, is a 35 year old dilapidated structure with major health and safety violations. The CDC capacity of 89 children cannot accommodate the increasing demands for child care. The current station population includes 289 children ages four and under. As a result of the conversion from a civilian to a military facility, the demographics are changing to younger, junior enlisted personnel with many single parents who will rely on based-provided child care.

This legislation was requested by the Department of the Army and enjoys the full support of the Director of the National Security Agency.

You dumbasses the SECRET is... (Below threshold)
READ SEARCH FIND!!:

You dumbasses the SECRET is not in the collecting, but in the Algorythms and the Computer technology that can sort thru that much DATA. Secondly Osama quite using his SAT phoen years AGO.
Do you think people in the middle eat live in caves?
Are you that DAMN gullible?
As USUAL Evangelicals should NOT TRY to understand TECHNOLOGY. YOU DONT KNOW A protocol from a Binary Bit to hexidecimals.
YOU ARE LOST
JUST SHUT UP WHiizz CRapp

On Capitol Hi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

On Capitol Hill, several lawmakers expressed incredulity about the program, with some Republicans questioning the rationale and several Democrats railing about a lack of congressional oversight.

"I'm not sure why it would be necessary to keep and have that kind of information," said House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who wanted more details.

We all want more details. A government that secretly spies on law-abiding citizens is extremley dangerous.

MacLoryYou wrote:<... (Below threshold)
mak44:

MacLory

You wrote:

"No enacted law can override the Constitution, thus the FISA law cannot restrict the President's Article II powers. Every court case touching this subject as found that the authority to use military power includes intelligence gathering. Article II specifically gives the power of commander in chief to the President and to the President alone."

You have not a shred of understanding when it comes to the US Consitution.

What you wrote is the silliest & most simplistic poll-parroting of the Bush/Gonzales rationale that the President is essentially unconstrained in the course of prosecuting a war. WRONG.

Congress has the power to declare war if it is not abdicated and the power to raise or not raise an army as it chooses. Der Fuerher has simply usurped power w/ the tissue thin justification that he is empowered to destroy the Constitution in order to defend it.

A stellar Constitutional authority, Jonathon Turley, has stated quite clearly that Bush has overstepped & usurped power and suggests that this imbalance needs to be remedied. Impeachment is the deserved remedy. That you Repubs have nothing but contempt for the Constitution has become quite apparent.

You Repub extremists will accept any Bush Constitutional violations either because thought & rationale are beyond your capability or because you really are crypto-totalitarians.

Most likely both.

Sean, "regrets ev... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

Sean,
"regrets ever being a dem cause he was too stupid to ever care about being politically aware or involved in gov't(that's you). You're a typical California flake"

Explain exactly what you mean by being a "DEM".Could that be the difference in your thinking? AAre you saying that a persons behavior is reflected upon whether or not one considers their being a Dem of Rep? They should be grateful I even took the time to go and vote. Thank my mother that is.

As far as your claim of me being too stupid ..... should I call you stupid for not using the most appropriate adjective to describe my lack of interest in politics? I believe "IGNORANT" would be best description. And you might have just exposed the democrats secret as to why they Dominate the majority of offices here in California while you made an error in caricature. I'm no flake but I'll give ya credit for "the typical Californian" and up until recents years you can put as "WAS" in front of that.

I worked full time , went to school full time with over 130 college credits , had a girlfriend full time at that time for many many years and slept an average of 5 hours a night . I hardly think that is the description of a flake.

So let me ask a question since you seem to have enough information to respond. How many people do know like myself who have been as brutaly honest?


What is even more sad is that I know there are hundreds , thousands even tens of thousands here that know even less than I did years ago and most don't even vote . Is that the Californian was or is that the American way or both?

"What I find most amazing i... (Below threshold)
Rob in LA Ca.:

"What I find most amazing is the fact that most of you righties are adamantly opposed to a national ID card because you don't trust the government and what it would do with such a system".

Posted by: mak44

Why do want a National ID card for , Commy?

Your hypocrite party doesn't even want voters to be required to show ID. They also want open borders so WTF does that white trash Hitlary want a National ID card for? Stupid Communist failures.Bar code all the babies that are fortunate not to have been aborted.

The fact is that no one trusts the Democrats in charge of the Government and only now that they have had their corrupt lying asses booted out of power they suddenly are all interested in Checks and Balances and Transparency. You hypocrites are so beyond reality with your phony outrage you should be laughed straight out of the Country. You losers call the President Bushhitler and you hate him because he is better than all your Fraud Kerry's combined. You are just mad because it not your "Hitlary" that is running the Country.

"And then how you wail when it gets publicly exposed as USA Today did & the NY Times earlier did."

You are just too stupid and have your head so far up Hitlery's ass to ever admit this is treason pure and simple. Your the typical bed wetting Commycrat.Get used to being in the Minority because you are and quite your damn crying. Sheesh! You don't give a rats ass about civil rights , the Constitution or anything your whinning frauds. All you care about is regaining what you can't win in a fair and honest election. Your are boldfaced liars and frauds.

"Impeachment is the deserved remedy. That you Repubs have nothing but contempt for the Constitution has become quite apparent".

Like I said , your liars ,traitors and frauds and death is the only remedy for your disease. The facts prove you liars , frauds and pracitioners of sedition and treason. You can't even make an arguement backed by facts of any wrongdoing just crying and lying. You idiots are so desparate cause YOU KNOW YOU DO'T HAVE SHIT TO OFFER THE PEOPLE AND YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO FOOL THE AMERICAN CITIZENS AGAIN. WHAT THE HELL CAN THE COMMYCRATS POSSIBLY OFFER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?

FAILURE!

You know Lee words m... (Below threshold)

You know Lee words mean things... and not what you FEEL they mean.

This NSA datamining program is no more "spying" than when your county does a traffic analysis by tracking to/from all the cars/trucks/vans on the roads in your county, by date and time to discern PATTERNS. You LICENSE PLATE is hanging out of the car. They have that NUMBER.

But you know, until they want to search the INSIDE OF YOUR CAR, they don't need a warrant to TRACK you.

JAYSUS on a Pony.... none of you Left cultists paid attention in high school government class, did ya?

What the FUCK do you think our intelligence agencies are supposed to use to identify and track terrorists and their fellow travelers within the US? Madame Zotar and her crystal ball???

I really think I'm dealing with people in love with the idea of an Islamist Republic of America.

Chamberlain had an excuse...you fuckwits do NOT.

"You have not a shred of un... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

"You have not a shred of understanding when it comes to the US Consitution."

I find this statement coming from mak44 to be the height of irony.

To date Turley pretty much stands alone as one of Constitutionalists to state such things. His massive donations to the Democratic party and belief that the Consititution should be "re-interpreted by learned scholars" is also the typical leftist stance of elitism where the unwashed masses should just blindly listen to his/her betters.

In other words you are spouting nothing more than the most simplified Pelosi/Kos/Soros rationale.

By the way...it was a Democrat who started the NSA spying program.

ECHELONLook it up.... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

ECHELON

Look it up.

The greatest threats to the security of the United States are the NY Times, the rest of the MSM, Democrats, and terrorists.


In that order.

Knowing that lefties are to... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Knowing that lefties are too lazy to do any in-depth research I am posting the salient link.

"If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency and four English-speaking allies: Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand."

Steve Kroft, 60 minutes

http://cryptome.sabotage.org/echelon-60min.htm

ECHELON

Under Clinton, none of you had a problem with it. Among the Democrats and the left there is a competition between stupidlity, arrogance and hypocrisy and it's difficult to discern which is winning.

mak44,You... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

mak44,

You have not a shred of understanding when it comes to the US Consitution.

What you wrote is the silliest & most simplistic poll-parroting of the Bush/Gonzales rationale that the President is essentially unconstrained in the course of prosecuting a war. WRONG.

Congress declares war or authorizes it with a resolution or an act as they have done since the Korean war. After 9/11/01, Congress authorized the President to use all means necessary... Every court case that has touched the issue has ruled that authorization to use military force includes intelligence gathering as an integral part. Article II of the Constitution gives the President sole command of the military. Congress creates and funds the military, but has no command over it. If they don't like what the President is doing they can disband the military, but as long as it exits the President and only the President is commander in chief.

A stellar Constitutional authority, Jonathon Turley, has stated quite clearly that Bush has overstepped & usurped power and suggests that this imbalance needs to be remedied. Impeachment is the deserved remedy.

For every so called expert that says one thing there's another who says the opposite. The only Constitutional experts that count are on the courts, particularly the ones on the Supreme Court.

You Repub extremists will accept any Bush Constitutional violations either because thought & rationale are beyond your capability or because you really are crypto-totalitarians.

No need to accept any violation or rationalize anything, because in this case Bush is right. Obviously you have a hard time with the truth, but that's so common amoung leftist extremists.

We all want more d... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
We all want more details. A government that secretly spies on law-abiding citizens is extremley dangerous.

So can I assume you support making the database public?

I'm surprised that any member of congress can't figure out why such a database is important. Here's one scenario. Let's say our forces capture another laptop in Iraq or Afganistan and find U.S. phone numbers on it. With the database they can quickly find all the phone numbers that have been called or call the numbers found on the laptop. That quickly gives law enforcement many leads in investigating whether or not there's a terrorist cell operating in the U.S.

I suspect the left is hoping for another terrorist attack in the U.S. to discredit Bush, so they try to undermine every effort being made to protect this nation. Part of that tactic is to reveal classified intelligence programs, and once reveled, use it to weaken the President politically.

If I were George Bush I thi... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

If I were George Bush I think that I would declare that all these programs will be terminated on the day that I left office.

If my successor was a Democrat, that is. ;-)

MaacLorry,Just one t... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

MaacLorry,
Just one thing about a point you raised earlier. Let's say Congress did pass a law that a unanimous decision must be reached to find a law unconstitutional. The Supreme court could then find that law unconstitutional, if they got a unanimous decision. The President does not have this authority. He cannot decide what laws he should or shouldn't follow, or which laws are constitutional or not. If there is a law on the books, he has to follow it until it is either changed by Congress or overruled by the SCOTUS. Of course, with a irresponsible, rubber-stamp Congress, the President can do whatever he wants cause no one will hold him accountable.

Oh and Rob, you sound like you've been brainwashed by Limbaugh and Hannity calling for the deaths of liberals left and right. Who's supposedly more uncivil? I'm getting the feeling like you're some hack writer who never made it in LA, who has been pushed aside by all the producers and models, and now are venting against the Hollywood liberal establishment. But I know that can't be true cause your writing sucks.

TGIF!!!

sean nyc/aa,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

sean nyc/aa,

The President does not have this authority. He cannot decide what laws he should or shouldn't follow, or which laws are constitutional or not.

Not exactly true. To test a law's constitutionality usually requires a case and to have a case usually requires a violation of the law. Most presidents avoid such confrontations, such as with the War Powers act, yet continue to claim it's unconstitutional while following it.

But that's not the case here. Congress superseded an earlier and more general law (FISA) with a specific authorization. There's no question that Congress has the authority to repeal, limit, or supersede laws it has already passed, and that's what it did when it authorized the President to use all means necessary...

To have an effective military requires a single person to be in charge. It times of war, that person is given extraordinary power to deal effectively with the threat. In the U.S. that person is the President, yet there are still plenty of checks and balances on his power. The President keeps appropriate members of Congress informed about various operations and it's their job to ask questions and get information so that they know what the heck is going on. I consider members incompetent who come out after the fact and claim they did know such and such was going on. As long as voters accept such excuses Congress members can just slide by rather than doing their oversight job. Think about that when you vote this fall.

Two thirds of americans po... (Below threshold)
DOUG BOOK:

Two thirds of americans polled were in favor of the latest criminally leaked NSA program and don't think for one moment that Leahy the Brave doesn't know it. He will accuse the administration of spying on the american people while never demanding that the so-called spying be ceased. Shameless.

Fascinating thread here. Th... (Below threshold)
jack oneil:

Fascinating thread here. The rhetoric does indeed get deep on this site. Its pretty simple to see that they are not listening in on your grandma's conversations, they are just extrapolating data looking for trends and pointers that connect numbers together that may yield some information on who to really listen too. This is old news with a barely new spin.

In keeping with the topic and not getting it all distorted by brining in other items, this is a simple program run by computers that does not impugn personal privacy.

The administration's action... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The administration's actions are entirely legal.

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/014068.php




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

tips@wizbangblog.com

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy