[star]The American Mind[star]

December 16, 2005

Investigate this Leak

Will Patrick Fitzgerald start investigating who told the NY Times about classfied NSA spying of international communications made from people inside the U.S.? This now-public knowledge is far more damaging to the nation (and helpful to al Qaeda) than whatever Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are accused of doing.

To my Bush bashing readers: Before go off on how this evil administration is riding roughshod over civil liberties put yourself in the President's shoes. On Sep. 11, 2001 you witnessed horrific attacks on your country. For almost 60 years the national security mindset was about great power war when the focus in the past 10 years should have been terrorism. New information is found that has to be quickly used, or it's wasted. What do you do? Decisions have to be made quickly because the window of opporunity is closing to seriously hurt the enemy and protect the nation. You do what you think is right and live with the consequences. Imagine the outcry if after another attack we learned the NSA had information that could have stopped it but they didn't have a warrant? The President would be cruicified. To paraphrase Justice Robert Jackson, the Bill of Rights isn't a . If you want an apology from the President, Scott Ott wrote one for him.

Notice in the Times story the Justice Department audited the program. This is not just a case of an administration drunk with power gleefully wading through Americans' e-mails and telephone conversations. They are concerned about balancing security with civil liberties. These are tough decisions for tough times. You may not agree with the decisions, but at least respect the difficulties they are facing.

Now this is out in the open. Fine. Let's have a discussion. Why did the administration feel the need to bypass getting FISA warrants? Let's look and see if this program has been abused or if mistakes have been made. I'll be shocked if everything went perfectly. This is the government, remember? Let's see how serious people are about protecting the nation from terrorists. Let's see how many have already forgotten the burning Twin Towers and the gaping hole in the Pentagon.

"Red Alert: on the Loose"

"Much Ado About Surveillance Ö"

UPDATE: Mark Levin thinks he knows why President Bush signed the order:

The reason the President probably had to sign an executive order is that the Justice Department office that processes FISA requests, the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), can take over 6 months to get a standard FISA request approved. It can become extremely bureaucratic, depending on who is handling the request. His executive order is not contrary to FISA if he believed, as he clearly did, that he needed to act quickly. The president has constitutional powers, too.

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Terrorism at 12:21 PM | Comments (8)