Carol Platt Liebau: Setting the Record Straight

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Setting the Record Straight

Today on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace interviewed General Michael Hayden, the deputy director of national intelligence.

Here was the most revealing bit of dialogue -- learn it, love it, live it:

Q: Do you have a specific reason to believe that there is an Al Qaeda connection to every communication involving an American that you intercept?

A: Under this [NSA wiretapping program, derisively called "domestic spying" by Democrats and the MSM], that's the only justification we can use to target a specific communication: That a reasonable person -- in this case, an analyst, with all the facts available to him or her at the time -- has cause to believe that one or both of these communicants are Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda affiliates.

There isn't, apparently, some general computer that sweeps calls for particular words, and then suggests certain calls for human review. Instead, before a call can even be monitored, there must be a basis for beieving that one of the participants in the call is America's enemy.

Sounds good to me.


Blogger stackja1945 said...

People must stop confusing the issue with facts.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

So rather than having a judge issue a warrant following a showing of probable cause, any old analyst gets to make the decision. The standard for wiretapping a US citizen has been dropped from probable cause (as found in the Constitution) to what some low ranking unaccountable "reasonable person" decides.

And how, exactly, does lowering the legally required standards improve things? What harm would have resulted from having the administration file a FISA warrant? Why exactly does this sound better to you, Carol, than having the President choose to faithfully execute (or at minimum obey) the duly enacted laws of the land?

3:41 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

The harm would be the loss of the opportunity to gather the intelligence at all. By the time the administration could prepare the paper work necessary even to monitor communications that would later receive a warrant, the targeted conversation would be over. The opportunity to gain valuable information lost.

Is that what you want, Mr. Twister? These intelligence analysts are soldiers in an on-going war. Would you subject the decision of an infantryman whether or not to shoot at an advancing enemy soldier to judicial review as well?

Do you hate a Republican administration so much that you are willing to sacrifice the lives of thousands (or more) of Americans to keep that administration from being effective in fighting against our sworn enemies?

You and your kind, Mr. Twister, are the very reason Democrats cannot be trusted with the responsibility of defending the United States of America. You are dangerous to the health not to mention the well being of our country.

Also, you keep referring to the duly enacted laws of the land. Mr. Twister, are you trying to argue that Congress has the ability, by legislation, to limit authority granted to the Executive branch by the Constitution? That sir is a weak and preposterous argument!

6:48 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Well said Greg. Mr. Twister will never get it, because he's just a complete apologist for the Democratic party and hates Bush myopically. If the shoe were on the other foot, say John Kerry's foot, heaven help us, I'm pretty certain he wouldn't have any issue with the "eaves dropping", and probably would only want to call it "intercepting terrorist threats from Al-Queda".

8:49 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Greg wrote, "The harm would be the loss of the opportunity to gather the intelligence at all. By the time the administration could prepare the paper work necessary even to monitor communications that would later receive a warrant, the targeted conversation would be over."

Copioneer joined in with, " Well said Greg."

Here's a little tap with the clue-stick fellas--under FISA you can begin wiretapping immediately. There is no paperwork that need to be prepared before hand. The administration then has 72 hours after you commence wiretapping to get a warrant. Of course, without this bogus initial claim, the rest of Greg's post is meaningless drivel.

Greg and Copioneer, your arguments would be so much more persuasive if you actually knew what you were talking about. Blathering on about topics you are ignorant ceases to be cute when a person reaches the ripe old age of four.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Under Greg and Copioneer's sophisticated analysis, there are a growing number of Republicans who must hate George W. Bush since they also oppose warrantless wiretaps.

"If he needs more authority, he just can’t unilaterally decide that that 1978 law is out of date and he will be the guardian of America and he will violate that law."--Sen. Chuck Hagel R-NE

"The FISA Act was–created a court set up by the chief justice of the United States to allow a rapid response to requests for surveillance activity in the war on terror. I don’t know of any legal basis to go around that."--Sen. Lindsay Graham R-NC

"What’s wrong with it is several-fold. One, it’s bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it’s bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it’s bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order" Rep. Bob Barr R-GA (ret)

"It’s not either/or. If the president thinks he needs different tools, pass a law to get them. Don’t break the existing laws."--Grover Norquist

10:26 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Just to make it clear, given the fallacious claims made by Greg, the original question still stands.

How exactly, does lowering the legal standards for wiretapping US citizens, improve our National Security?

10:29 PM  

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