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So Much for the "Good, Solid Police Work" Theory of Fighting Terrorism

Well before the facts had come out, the usual suspects where claiming that the arrests in the Germany terrorist plot was simply "good, solid police work" not the result of any extreme 'war on terror" techniques. -- The cop on the beat and the legal system are all that are needed to stop international terrorism.

It's a debate that goes back to the Clinton era. Clinton was a lawyer so he wanted to fight terrorists with lawyers. The liberals still contend terrorism should be a law enforcement issue and cite the German case as proof..

Yeah, that naive little bubble has been burst.

How the CIA Helped Germany Foil Terror Plot

With the help of the CIA, German investigators foiled what would likely have been the most devastating terror attack of its kind in the country's history. The plans of a fanatical group of Islamists trained in Pakistan reveal just how great a risk Europe faces.

Fritz Gelowicz is assumed to be the ringleader of the German terror cell.
It was early June at the G-8 summit in the German seaside resort of Heiligendamm, and climate protection and hedge funds were the key issues on the agenda. But then there came the moment when the news of a potential terrorist plot reached Chancellor Angela Merkel. Not a word of it was mentioned in the summit's official communiqués. Merkel and US President George W. Bush met alone to discuss what he called "the Pakistan matter." America felt threatened, and the threat, US intelligence agents told their president, was coming from Germany -- once again, just as it had on Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush, who was well briefed about the plot, even knew the names of the suspects. He made it clear to Merkel that he was taking the matter very seriously. Her officials at the Chancellery were all too familiar with what the US president was talking about. "Operation Alberich," as the intelligence agencies called the case, had top priority.

For months the operation was discussed almost every Tuesday at a weekly meeting conducted by Merkel's chief of staff, Thomas de Maizière. What began with vague information soon turned into the biggest police operation since the so-called "German Autumn" of 1977 -- a political thriller rarely seen in postwar Germany.

Operation Alberich began last October, when the US National Security Agency, the NSA, began intercepting suspicious emails between Germany and Pakistan. It ended last week in the central German Sauerland region, with the arrests...

Just good old fashioned police work... Involving the NSA intercepting emails, the President of the United States and the German Chancellor. Nothing special.

,,,Operation Alberich was conducted from both Berlin and Washington, with a joint CIA and German task force set up in Berlin. US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff told SPIEGEL last week that cooperation between the two countries was "the closest it's ever been."

But from the US perspective the German investigation was also a trial by fire. American authorities kept ramping up the pressure on the Germans, with both CIA Director Michael V. Hayden and US Ambassador William R. Timken meeting with authorities in Berlin. In early June Chertoff traveled to German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble's hometown of Gengenbach and over dinner urged him to do everything he could to prevent a possible attack. "We care," Schäuble assured him.

Sounds like the cops on the street had a bit of back up...

Ironically, after the BKA had "much of the town under surveillance" the surveillance was cut short and the terrorists arrested early because of a blunder by the "cop on the street."

In late August a man from northern Pakistan, presumably from the IJU, contacted Gelowicz. The Uzbeks were angry, the man said on the phone, and he urged Gelowicz to hurry. He gave the German two weeks to act.

This allowed the BKA to pinpoint the date of the possible attack. It was Sept. 15.

Two local police officers were responsible for the fact that the showdown took place almost two weeks earlier than planned. Unaware of the police sting operation, the two officers stopped Gelowicz, Adem Y. and Daniel S. in their car last Monday evening because they were driving with their high beams on. When the officers entered the Islamists' details into their computer the system automatically flagged the names. "Oh," one of the village cops exclaimed, "they're on the BKA list!"

The officer spoke loudly enough to be heard by the three suspects in the car and by the BKA investigators, who had bugged the car and were listening in. After that things moved quickly. They arrested Adem Y. and Daniel S. a few hours later at the vacation house...

As has been said countless times by the Bush administration and others, "good, solid police work" is indeed an integral part of the war on terror but to think it ends there is dangerously naive at best, and shows a willingness to kill people to support a flawed political ideology at worst.

BTW- if you follow the link (for a change) DON'T read the whole thing. Page 1 and 4 have the meat.


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Comments (70)

Maybe, just maybe, news of ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Maybe, just maybe, news of this is what caused all those Dems to cave last month about FISA.
=======================================

Ooh, and thanks for the lin... (Below threshold)
kim:

Ooh, and thanks for the link to the usual suspects.
==================

Another inconvenient truth ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Another inconvenient truth for the "jims" of the world.

This is found only in der S... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

This is found only in der Speigel.

Likely that's where it will remain.

God forbid the public learns of the truth.

babble, I even bolded it fo... (Below threshold)
Paul:

babble, I even bolded it for you

Operation Alberich began last October, when the US National Security Agency, the NSA, began intercepting suspicious emails between Germany and Pakistan. It ended last week in the central German Sauerland region, with the arrests...

October is before December.

Now you know why I banned you from my posts. You're stupid.

buh bye now

Do you even read what you c... (Below threshold)
kim:

Do you even read what you comment upon, BG2? The intercepts were last October. And what data mining project was dropped? Temporary new laws for FISA surveillance were just approved a month and a half ago when Dems got squeamish about being blamed for an attack during recess.

There are three flies on my computer screen. Must be jim, cleo, and mantis, lurking.
======================================

Kim, he's gone. I banned hi... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Kim, he's gone. I banned him from my posts for stupid shit like that. If he doesn't stay gone, I'll ban him form the whole site. Then his only recourse will be Kevin and I can tell you that's a long row.

Run for your life, Paul's g... (Below threshold)
kim:

Run for your life, Paul's got his big swatter.
==========================================

Datamining, and privacy in ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Datamining, and privacy in the 21st Century is a subject long overdue for discussion. So far, the left has hopelessly demagogued it. They cheerfully yield to their merchants intending to rob them what they refuse to their soldiers seeking to defend them.

Insert cliche about the Constitution not being a suicide pack.

Furthermore, find a domestic victim of FISA and NSA surveillance.

This is why Hillary won't get elected. Fifty percent of Americans understand that she would illegally survey them in a New York minute.
===========================================

I think you should unban hi... (Below threshold)
kim:

I think you should unban him. He's my most reliable source for the daily democratic meme dump. Who else lays it out without any supratentorial input.
========================================

Ahem: Paul, the "r... (Below threshold)

Ahem:

Paul, the "row" to Kevin goes through me. BarneyG can appeal to me first, and THEN he can go to Kevin.

I'll save him the step, though, and expedite matters. I won't lift a finger to defend him.

J.

Those guys never, ever let ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Those guys never, ever let facts get in the way of a good misrepresentation.

Oh, and Paul, did you HAVE ... (Below threshold)

Oh, and Paul, did you HAVE to step on my piece by FOUR MINUTES? I know you're our "designated asshole," but you're supposed to use that position against OTHERS, not your colleagues...

(sigh)

J.

>Oh, and Paul, did you HAVE... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>Oh, and Paul, did you HAVE to step on my piece by FOUR MINUTES? I know you're our "designated asshole," but you're supposed to use that position against OTHERS, not your colleagues...

Actually I typed it about 9:30ish wizbang time. I saved it in draft for a while to make sure I was clear of your 9/11 set. I didn't want to post in that window. Then when I went to fire it, I saw yours was in draft but not fired. (even though the "entries page" said 2 minutes ago or whatever) I had no clue your intentions so I just fired mine.

If you had fired yours at the right time, it would have gone above, but when you pulled the trigger you did not fix the time.

IN other words, don't blame me dude, you dunnit.

oooooh, where you waiting o... (Below threshold)
Paul:

oooooh, where you waiting on the cron job? Maybe that's how it happened, didn't think of that above.

They can feel it in their b... (Below threshold)
kim:

They can feel it in their bones. You know how sometimes you turn around suddenly and someone's watching you and you wonder how you sensed it, or whether you did. That's the feeling she gives.

Go Dems, go.
=============

They are just trolls. Ever... (Below threshold)

They are just trolls. Every now and then you have to spray.

Uggh..everytime there is a ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Uggh..everytime there is a triumph in the WOT some sappy "peanut and corn" ridden democrat denounces it saying it "tramples on the Constitution". Usually faggy biden or that schmuck schumer.

Now wait just a minute. We... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Now wait just a minute. We used NSA intercepts and the NY Times didn't blow the operation? How did that happen? Maybe they were too late because the bust went down two weeks early. Pinch can't be a very happy camper right now. Methinks the Table Moose is gonna get a workout this week.

Blue N:but may... (Below threshold)
marc:

Blue N:

but may I make a suggestion?

Sure, but before Paul answers you I'll step in as one who has been commenting on this site from its inception:

By and large the people that have been banned here have had more than a few warnings about being banned and patiently explained what they have done to warrant the action and how to do to prevent it.

In every case they refuse, and continue to be the asshats they insist on being.

"Echo chamber" indeed.

The correct term should be "Civil Discourse & On Topic Chamber," but don't let that stop you from adding your snide little comment as a parting shot.

Blue, I wish he'd left the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Blue, I wish he'd left the post up, so it could be obvious how stupid he was. BG2 didn't so much disagree with him as have three important facts wrong. And try to get BG2 to admit he's wrong, even with evidence in front of his face.
===============================================

Well, as you guys can read ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well, as you guys can read in the same article above - the information received that broke this plot came:

when the US National Security Agency, the NSA, began intercepting suspicious emails between Germany and Pakistan.

So, the information that helped find and foil this plot, was achieved 100% without violating the Constituation or FISA in any way shape or form. AND all the tools used are perfectly fine with all the Democrats in Congress and the Senate.

Just as I suggested it might be, when this article was posted previously.

So, just so we're clear there - I was right, and those who accused the Democrats of wanting to "stop this kind of surveillance" were wrong.

Secondly, unless you want to define "police work" as "only work that involves the local police" - this WAS police work.

This was intercepting communications, surveillance of suspects, informants. I consider that police work. But I guess we can stretch it, and to be more fully precise, say "intelligence work".

The main point to me is - this plot was stopped with no Constitutional violations; no FISA violations; no torture involved, which stains our honor; and no invading of foreign nations.

Which shows once again that we don't NEED to violate the Constitution, torture prisoners, or invade foreign nations who haven't attacked us.

Jim,You proceed fr... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Jim,

You proceed from a false assumption. Telephone calls and email between a person in the US and a person in another country can be constitutionally monitored without court order. Despite the Democratic spin, these are not "domestic" calls.

Jim:this WAS p... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim:

this WAS police work. This was intercepting communications, surveillance of suspects, informants. I consider that police work.

You would, for obvious reasons that a saner person could never understand.

So the question must be asked, how many trained and "sworn-to-uphold-the-law policemen are employed by the NSA?

Actually, Eric, that's exac... (Below threshold)
jim:

Actually, Eric, that's exactly what I'm saying. I'm trying to correct a previous assumption.

In another article here on the same incident, the writer said that this plot was foiled by the sort of surveillance that Democrats are against.

I pointed out that this was very likely completely foreign surveillance, which is both Constitutional and fine with FISA - and which no Democrats have trouble with either.

The liberals still conte... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The liberals still contend terrorism should be a law enforcement issue and cite the German case as proof. Yeah, that naive little bubble has been burst.

No it hasn't. In fact, you just supported it. The NSA, FBI, CIA, etc. are part of "law enforcement".

That "cop on the beat thing"? That was your own strawman invention.

Whoops - Eric, didn't read ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Whoops - Eric, didn't read your post fully.

I'll quote it here:

You proceed from a false assumption. Telephone calls and email between a person in the US and a person in another country can be constitutionally monitored without court order. Despite the Democratic spin, these are not "domestic" calls.

Eric, that's simply not true.

Phone calls between a US citizen and a person in another country can NOT be legally monitored without a court order.

Don't take my word for it, take the word of 14 Constitutional Law scholars:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-r-stone/why-the-nsa-surveillance-_b_13522.html

And who also thinks this way? Look at the signers - included is William Sessions, former head of the FBI.

And you can also the non-partisan Congressional Research Agency, about Bush's lack of notification of Congress about this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/18/AR2006011802158.html

And finally, you can ask yourself why, if it was so perfectly above-board and legal, Gonzales and others ran to Ashcroft's hospital bed to try and take advantage of his state to approve it - and ask why, even then, he denied it.

I mean, why *would* it be legal to spy on a US citizen in US territory with no warrant? If you think he's talking to someone suspicious, get a warrant. And you can get one up to 72 hours later. And something like 5 requests out of over 10,000 have been denied, in all the years that FISA has been in effect.

Marc, please explain how ta... (Below threshold)
jim:

Marc, please explain how tapping phones and email, surveillance of suspects, and use of informants is NOT police work.

It's police work; the NSA p... (Below threshold)
kim:

It's police work; the NSA part was not 'good old solid', it is novel.

And jim, what the Dems caved on a month and a half ago was over foreign to foreign calls routed through the US. You're just wrong. They had been objecting to it, and maybe, knowledge of this German plot is what caused a bunch of Dems to change their minds about FISA This illustrates the old-fashioned ideas about surveillance you have. It is not copper wires and operators any longer. In an era of datamining, your demagogic insistence that this is spying on individuals is simply outdated. We might be able to update the laws to reflect present reality, except for all the Dems who project their behaviour onto Bush. Would Hillary illegally survey us? You bet your bottom dollar. Has Bush? You can spend your last dollar looking for a domestic victim of his spying.

Has anybody trashed you about 'baseless' yet?
====================================

And you have the story wron... (Below threshold)
kim:

And you have the story wrong about Ashcroft and the hospital. It was Ashcroft's assistant, temporarily in command, who failed to let the White House know he wasn't going to routinely re-authorize surveillance that forced the last minute run to the hospital, on the eve of the Spanish bombing. He had a week to let them know. Why was he taking advantage of the AG's sickness? The popular meme on this is 180 degrees reversed from the truth.
===============================

And the 45 day periodic re-... (Below threshold)
kim:

And the 45 day periodic re-authorization that Ashcroft's assistant refused to do without warning? Is that law? No. It was procedure put in place by the White House to prevent abuse.

What was abusive, and dangerous, was for the assistant to not warn the White House that he wasn't re-authorizing. That created the emergency, which the press has mischaracterized ever since, leading, of course, to you being misinformed.

Douglas Kmiec had an article in the WaPo about this months ago.
====================================

Why don't you put ... (Below threshold)
Paul:
Why don't you put a little note at the end of your stories asking people who don't agree with you to refrain from posting in the comments? If they disobey you can ban them and it would it would give you the echo chamber you seem to want.

20. Posted by Blue Neponset [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 11, 2007 2:18 PM

Because that is not the policy.

And frankly you've got a lot of damn nerve. You have disagreed with everything posted on this blog for years... and you're still allowed to post... So you know you're lying.

Correction. -I change my mind- You WHERE allowed to post.

Let me explain how it works to you... first hand.

You have PAST TENSE been allowed to post, no matter how much you disagreed. But to show you that it is about BEHAVIOR and not IDEOLOGY I'll ban for for being a moron.

Now, do you see the difference yet?

Phone calls betwee... (Below threshold)
Paul:
Phone calls between a US citizen and a person in another country can NOT be legally monitored without a court order.

Jim Jim Jim (shaking head)

I hate to burst your bubble, but a post on a liberal blog that also called for a military coup on the U.S. is not legally binding. - I'm sorry for you.

While you are right that this exact case didn't involve domestic emails, that is purely a coincidence of geography...

If the Huffpost ran the world and one of these guys was in the U.S., they would have killed untold people. You guys say that listening in on terrorists in another country is fine but if one of them is in this country they we can't listen in... That's moronic.

Let's take this exact case Jim...

They tracked these guys for MONTHS. If you read it, the whole thing was brilliant. They went in and stole the terrorists 30% H2O2 and replaced it with 3% which was harmless. So they had the luxury of time... So what if after months of tracking these guys one of them picks up the phone and calls NYC on September 10th?

YOU don't want the NSA to listen to KNOWN TERRORISTS ACTIVELY PLOTTING TO KILL AMERICANS because you're a slave to a flawed political ideology.

You're willing to kill Americans to make a political point. How great for you.

Kim,First - there ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Kim,

First - there is simply nothing novel about monitoring email or phone communications in a foreign country.

Second, you claim this:

what the Dems caved on a month and a half ago was over foreign to foreign calls routed through the US.

So then, by your own admission - the Democrats *aren't* against surveillance of completely foreign communications, **even if** their routed through the US.

Thank you for proving my point.

What this shows is that sha... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

What this shows is that shared intel is necessary to foil terrorists.....

If we would have had the same intel sharing here in America between January 2001 and 9/11...it just might have been prevented...

This was clearly a real deal unlike those Bozos in Florida..
This was a good thing...it will not stop...but with co-operation ...we can just maybe stop it.

"If we would have had the s... (Below threshold)
yo:

"If we would have had the same intel sharing here in America between January 2001 and 9/11...it just might have been prevented..."

Excellent point.

Thank you, Clinton/Gorelick.

Oh man, Paul...come on.... (Below threshold)
jim:

Oh man, Paul...come on.

I hate to burst your bubble, but a post on a liberal blog that also called for a military coup on the U.S. is not legally binding. - I'm sorry for you.

OK. Just so we're clear here - you don't want to listen to 14 Constitutional law experts, including the former head of the FBI - because someone else on the same website said something bad.

By those standards, you shouldn't listen to Fox News, because Fox had Michael Moore on when he was debating Bill O'Reilly.

But fine - here's another link to the same letter, written by the same 14 Constitutional scholars, at another site.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18650

While you are right that this exact case didn't involve domestic emails,

Thank you! Whew.

You guys say that listening in on terrorists in another country is fine but if one of them is in this country they we can't listen in... That's moronic.

Try this on.

Let's say Hillary Clinton becomes President.

Are you comfortable with her being able to have ***unlimited*** surveillance of ***anyone she wants***, with no records kept, no judicial oversight, for any length of time, for no given reason?

And all she has to do is say that it's because of terrorism?

You guys think it's all about this President. It's not! It's about the precedent we're setting. It's about the wisdom of the founding fathers, and the framework they set up. It's about being able to preserve our freedoms, in the face of threats.

We were able to face down the threat of nuclear armageddon for 40 years, in the face of an evil empire that had about half of the world under it's sway - and we were able to do this legally and with warrants, preserving the freedoms our parents worked for and fought for.

I want us to be brave enough to maintain our freedoms, in the face of a bunch of scum.

So they had the luxury of time... So what if after months of tracking these guys one of them picks up the phone and calls NYC on September 10th?

What happens?

We start listening **immediately**, and get a warrant afterwards!

FISA has it built in, that we can get a warrant for up to 72 hours ***after*** we start listening!

I don't think you understan... (Below threshold)
kim:

I don't think you understand. What starts the clock?

By the way, congrats for showing up. I'm not sure you show courage or foolhardiness, but at least it appears you can think.
====================================

jim, jim, jim. Now you may... (Below threshold)
kim:

jim, jim, jim. Now you may have to make me take back my remark about you being able to think. It was a small minority of Democrats, mostly Blue Dogs, who caved about FISA. That was a monstrously ignorant comment. Say it ain't so, jim.
==================

That's funny, Paul. I hadn... (Below threshold)
kim:

That's funny, Paul. I hadn't read your 'jim, jim, jim' when I wrote mine. I have the dangerous habit of sometimes posting without reading the whole thread.

Let this be a lesson to you, jim. Preview, cogitate. Don't say stupid things like I'm proving your points when I'm not.
=============================

Whatever, Kim. :) You prove... (Below threshold)
jim:

Whatever, Kim. :) You proved my point; sorry for noting it.

Frankly, kids, I'm perplexe... (Below threshold)
kim:

Frankly, kids, I'm perplexed about how to build safeguards into datamining. It is indeed a blessing that we presently have an honest and humble chief executive.
======================================

Re: # 38 - any number of th... (Below threshold)
jim:

Re: # 38 - any number of things can start the clock. Suspicion of the person, location of the phone, whatever.

Re: # 36 - sorry, who was p... (Below threshold)
jim:

Re: # 36 - sorry, who was president between January 2001 and September 11, 2001?

I'm pretty sure it wasn't Clinton or Gorelick.

It is the saddest sort of s... (Below threshold)
kim:

It is the saddest sort of sophistry to think I proved your point that the Democrats do not oppose the necessary adjustments to be made in our intelligence laws.

If you don't see that, you officially cannot think. You are holding an absurd position.
====================================

jim, when surveillance is c... (Below threshold)
kim:

jim, when surveillance is constant, the 72 hours is already up. Do you see that, or should I be more explicit. You are still in the era of copper wires to be tapped. That ain't what's goin' on. The laws need modernizing, not demagoguing.
====================================

Re: # 42 - exactly, Kim.</p... (Below threshold)
jim:

Re: # 42 - exactly, Kim.

I don't trust him, but you do - that's fine. The fundamental prob is setting the system up so it will work **even if** someone gets in who we **definitely** can't trust.

One way that could have had data mining working, was an encryption and anonymization layer. The data could be mined and then anonymized automatically, before human eyes see it. Then if a pattern emerges, a warrant can be approved for the citizens behind the particular data in that pattern.

Surveillance of domestic citizens make me queasy, but I can live with that.

http://www.physorg.com/news67784662.html

ThinThread, a technology developed in the late '90s for wiretapping and providing sophisticated analysis of large amounts of resulting data was one of these projects. Designed to both collect data as well as encrypt sensitive or private information for later analysis, the program operated within legal and privacy-based boundaries via that encryption.

Unfortunately it seems the Bush administration had to go their own direction.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, policy changed and the ThinThread project evolved into a system known as Trailblazer. Designed to gather similar data but without the encryption feature built into the ThinThread technology to provide privacy aspects, the Trailblazer technology and the resulting phone-tap efforts that have grown from this have been deployed as a critical terrorist-locating tool and defended as "critical to our national security" via the Bush administration.

This is particularly baffling - why not have the encryption feature, which has **already been developed** and makes the program **definitely legal**?

We should probably get Berg... (Below threshold)
kim:

We should probably get Berger under oath about the circumstances leading up to the attack. I think both administrations made mistakes.
=======================================

re: # 46 - Kim, it's my und... (Below threshold)
jim:

re: # 46 - Kim, it's my understanding that the need for a warrant for wiretapping starts from when the wiretapping starts. Not from when the overall surveillance starts.

That's a good question abou... (Below threshold)
kim:

That's a good question about encryption, to which I don't know the answer. Perhaps you are right. Still, with the power of datamining, how do you keep an unscrupulous executive from bypassing it, even with encryption?
=======================================

Again, I think you imagine ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Again, I think you imagine a definite line of demarcation between surveillance and tapping. Maybe there is, but I doubt it.
=======================

Kim, only some Democrats op... (Below threshold)
jim:

Kim, only some Democrats opposed the changes, right?

Therefore all Democrats don't oppose the changes.

That's how it is.

Kim, perhaps someone else h... (Below threshold)
jim:

Kim, perhaps someone else here in law enforcement can chime in on this - but I'm pretty sure there is a clear difference.

Well, one of the original p... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well, one of the original purposes of FISA is that Congress is kept privy to the surveillance that is being conducted by the Executive branch. That's one way.

The other way is, if the keys to the encryption are held by the Judicial branch, in some capacity. So therefore, only *if* the pattern is approved by a judge can the Executive get the keys to open the encryption.

Another way is, the Executive branch opening encryption, opens the rationale to executive review by judges.

Most Democrats opposed it. ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Most Democrats opposed it. Reaching for the absolutes is sorry sophistry.
====================

Surveillance is constant. ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Surveillance is constant. Data comes into focus without diffuse increments. There must be a way to make it fair, and safe, but it's not 72 hour warrants.
======================================

Well Kim, I think if you as... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Kim, I think if you asked many of the current Democratic candidates for President, ncluding Hillary and Obama, they'd also be fine with warrantless surveillance of foreign communications that pass through US switches.

And I vote Democrat, and I'm also okay with it.

Also, I'll note that no Democrats have a problem with surveillance of those same communications *with warrants*.

That's about all I have to say, on that...

Kim, what's wrong with 72 h... (Below threshold)
jim:

Kim, what's wrong with 72 hour warrants?

Data doesn't just "come into focus". This data is emails and phones - communications which are very specific, come from one person and go to specific other people.

If you know what phone calls or emails you want to look at *without* warrants, then you know must know what you want to look at *with* warrants.

Are you comfortabl... (Below threshold)
Paul:
Are you comfortable with her being able to have ***unlimited*** surveillance of ***anyone she wants***, with no records kept, no judicial oversight, for any length of time, for no given reason?

ABSOLUTE POPPYCOCK

That's not how the program was structured. Now if you'd like to be intellectually honest, we can debate it... if not, you're a complete waste of my time.

Paul - since you thnk that ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Paul - since you thnk that statement is absolute poppycock - please explain to me how, under the program the Bush administration was running, the Executive Branch was to be stopped if it was doing something improper.

With the help of the CIA... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

With the help of the CIA, German investigators foiled what would likely have been the most devastating terror attack of its kind in the country's history.

You're welcome, Germany.

/snark

Another moving goal post by... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Another moving goal post by jim. Typical of his rhetorical dishonesty.

Oh, good grief. Look at th... (Below threshold)
kim:

Oh, good grief. Look at the votes on the specific vote in question. Most Democrats opposed it. Please, shine up your rhetoric.

With ongoing surveillance any discrete bit, like a call or an email, will have already passed a 72 hour limit. There is some reason we are not understanding each other on this point and I'm not certain the fault lies with you.

All three of your proposed methods of safeguarding could be bypassed by a dishonest administration.
===========================

Also, and I can't believe I... (Below threshold)
kim:

Also, and I can't believe I haven't snapped to this yet, but maybe I'm tired. You seem to agree that it is very difficult to structure a program with safeguards, yet also want to argue that the present program, 72 hours and all, is adequate. How do you reconcile these?
===========================

Now, do you see the diff... (Below threshold)

Now, do you see the difference yet?

How can I answer if you banned me?

SPQR - please tell me which... (Below threshold)
jim:

SPQR - please tell me which goalpost I moved.

Well Kim, for what you're t... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Kim, for what you're talking about, we were talking specifically about data mining. This is a relatively new way of doing things, which hasn't been covered yet. And as it's new, if data mining on our citizens is to be done, it'll require a lot of new safeguards, to ensure this won't be abused by the Executive Branch, or anyone else.

The non-data-mining wiretapping and email procedures under FISA are quite clear and adequate - it's just that the Bush administration has decided to ignore them, for no clear given reason, with their warrantless wiretapping initiative.

With ongoing surve... (Below threshold)
jim:
With ongoing surveillance any discrete bit, like a call or an email, will have already passed a 72 hour limit. There is some reason we are not understanding each other on this point and I'm not certain the fault lies with you.

Kim, I'm pretty sure the way it goes is that someone can be watched for months *without* their calls being listened to, and the 72 hours doesn't start *until* someone starts listening to a phone line or monitoring an email account.

And I'm also pretty sure this 72 hour retroactive period would be in place for each separate phone line or email account, if applied for separately. So for example, a tap on a land-line starts the clock at 72 hours, and a tap on a cellphone a day later also starts a separate clock at 72 hours.

I think it's this way because each new tap requires a separate warrant, with a separate application to a judge, which to me indicates a whole separate process.

To clarify, I'm pretty sure... (Below threshold)
jim:

To clarify, I'm pretty sure you can also start several taps at the same time, too. They could probably be in one warrant.

I'm just saying, if a new phone line or email account is discovered, I'm pretty sure that would be covered in a separate warrant, and the 72-hours retroactive clock would be started from that point on.

Also, the FISA court has a very good record of approving warrants anyway. I think they've only rejected 5 out of 19000 warrants, in their entire history as a court.

Sure, all those safeguards ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Sure, all those safeguards can be circumvented - if there's no oversight from antoher branch.

That's why Congressional *and* Judicial oversight of the Executive branch is so absolutely vital. If Congress *and* the Judicial branch can *see* what the Executive is doing, it makes it much harder for abuses to occur.




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