Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The New York Times Must Be Stopped

I think the time may have come to close down the New York Times, lock the buildings and throw the publisher and the senior editors in prison for the duration of the war on terror, which future generations will call World War III. This is what you do when Congress has authorized the President to go to war, which it did on October 2, 2002 (Public Law 107-40), and an American organization commits acts of treason that endanger the lives of its citizens and its soldiers. By now, every Muslim terrorist around the world, having read of the disclosures in the Times, has changed his cell phone to make it much harder for terrorist plots to be uncovered and stopped. By now, all secret landing rights granted to the CIA (hello, they work for us) have undoubtedly been withdrawn, and, by now, the uses of all secret prisons, where terrorists captured on the battlefield and taken for interrogation, have undoubtedly been denied.

Connecting the dots
By Jack O'Neill
Washington Times, December 26, 2005

As one of the hundreds of thousands who has proudly worked for the National Security Agency either directly or as a subcontractor, I believe the New York Times missed the real story under its Dec. 16 headline "Bush lets U.S. spy on callers without courts." Here is why.

The New York Times concedes the story starts with the CIA capture of top al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in March 2002. With Zubaydah's capture came a treasure trove of eavesdropping intelligence sources -- e-mail addresses, cell phone numbers, and personal phone directories. These are prime intelligence sources that may lead to the infamous "dots" often used in the phrase "Why didn't our intelligence agencies 'connect the dots?' "

Some of Zubaydah's telephone numbers and e-mail addresses are in the United States. How long do you think these domestic numbers would remain active after Zubaydah's arrest is made public? Hours? One day? Two?

Most importantly, these Zubaydah contacts lead to more and more contacts and may eventually led to discovery of terrorist plans. In fact, this happened. The New York Times reported the NSA eavesdropping authorized by President Bush's executive order and briefed to both congressional leaders and the judge in charge of the secret intelligence court required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) helped uncover al Qaeda plots to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge and attack British pubs and train stations.
See rest of article here.

These acts of treason by the Times are nothing really new either. In the past they have compromised the U-2 Program, sabotaged the Bay of Pigs, helped the Vietcong and helped to undermine our entire intelligence capabilities during the Carter presidency. They cannot be allowed to continue this treason. Our lives are at stake.

New York Post

Has The New York Times declared itself to be on the front line in the war against the War on Terror?

The self-styled paper of record seems to be trying to reclaim the loyalty of those radical lefties who ludicrously accused it of uncritically reporting on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Yet the paper has done more than merely try to embarrass the Bush administration these last few months.

It has published classified information — and thereby knowingly blown the covers of secret programs and agencies engaged in combating the terrorist threat.

The most notorious example was the paper's disclosure some 10 days ago that, since 9/11, the Bush administration has "secretly" engaged in warrantless eavesdropping on U.S.-based international phone calls and e-mails.

It's not secret anymore, of course — though the folks who reacted to the naming of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative aren't exactly shrieking for another grand jury investigation.

On the contrary: Democrats and their news-media allies — particularly on CNN and CBS — are openly suggesting that the president committed an impeachable offense and could (read: should) be removed from office.

In fact, the Times managed only to blow the lid off of what President Bush rightly calls "a vital tool in our war against the terrorists" — one that already has uncovered several terrorist plots.

Is it legal? The administration insists so, and notes that congressional Democrats got repeated briefings on the program, with few objections. Sure, the legality can be debated — but the case against it is far from a slam-dunk.

As for taking action without court-issued warrants, both the last two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, used warrantless searches — and strongly defended them as fully justified under the authority granted the president by the Constitution. In fact, the Washington Times reports that Clinton expanded their use to purely domestic situations — such as violent public-housing projects.

The Times says it held the story for more than a year, provoking a predictable uproar on the left. So why did it finally go ahead?

According to a Los Angeles Times report, New York Times editors knew that a book by the article's author was to be published in just a few weeks — and they feared losing their "exclusive" to their own reporter's outside work.

But the exact timing is highly suspect. The article appeared on the very day that the Senate was to vote on a Democratic filibuster against renewal of the anti-terrorist Patriot Act — a vote the Bush administration then lost. At least two previously undecided senators said they voted against the act precisely because of the Times piece.

BUT it's not just the National Security Agency story.

Last May, the Times similarly "exposed" — in painstaking detail — the fact that the CIA uses its own airline service, posing as a private charter company, as "the discreet bus drivers of the battle against terrorism."

In fact, as the Times itself reported, "the civilian planes can go places American military craft would not be welcome." In an unconventional war, like the one against terrorism, the ability to move personnel around quickly and inconspicuously — or to deliver captured terrorists to a third country — is indispensable.

Thanks to the Times, that ability has been irrevocably compromised — costing Washington yet another vital tool in the War on Terror....

....Then, not content to merely sabotage the federal government, the Times last week blew the whistle on the fact that the New York Police Department has been using plainclothes officers during protest demonstrations.

Does The New York Times consider it self a law unto itself — free to subversively undercut basic efforts by any government to protect and defend its citizens?

The Times, it appears, is less concerned with promoting its dubious views on civil liberties than with undercutting the Bush administration. The end result of the paper's flagrant irresponsibility: Lives have been put in danger on the international, national and local levels.

The ability of the nation to perform the most fundamental mission of any government — protection of its citizens — has been pointlessly compromised.

The Jayson Blair and Judith Miller fias coes were high-profile embarrassments for The Times, but at the end of the day mostly damaged the newspaper alone.

The NSA, CIA and NYPD stories are of a different order of magnitude — they place in unnecessary danger the lives of U.S. citizens.

The New York Times — a once-great and still-powerful institution — is badly in need of adult supervision.

It’s beyond the need for “adult supervision”; it needs to be stopped – now. President Bush personally sat down and appealed to these evil men not to reveal these most-sensitive national secrets. They refused in order to try to embarrass the President and to cause further damage to our efforts to fight terrorism.

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At 11:27 AM, Anonymous bob said...

Whenever anyone suggests that the freedom of the press be "shut down" just because it disagrees with their position, their postion becomes untenable. It is fear based behavior to punish rather than encourage freedom of information. Totalitarianism is just one step away with this mindset.

Regardless of whether or not the president broke the law (another issue, however the sane consensus is that he did overstep his authority but not following legal channels) the information was available, it is in the public domain now and there is nothing that can be done about it. The law governing what he did was specifically created a s a result of the Nixon administration's abuse of surveillance in the 70's. The law is there for a reason.

People will finally wake up when they come into your home in the night without a warrant and download their hard drive, or one of their family members disappears with no explanation. That is what happens without freedom of the press, and it is why we have checks and balances, and why we have constitutional amendments.

Executive authority must operate within the bounds of the law.

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Mason said...

Oh how I believe in the freedom of the press!!!! But in exercising this long-held right comes the obligation not to censor or filter the news. With 82% of the nation's jounalists admitting they are liberal,they are filtering the news to reflect only their own position and this is just what any dictator will do to let the public know only what he wants them to believe. In doing so that are traitors to the freedom of the press!!!

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I think that the U.S. government should take little Arthur Sultzberger and stick him in prison where he belongs. He might even find some new Gay friends in there and live happily ever after.

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Joe Alves said...

I'm not sure if it was Joe Stalin or Karl Marx that said, " every country has it's useful idiots". This old saying from a dictator brings to mind, most of the news media, a few rino Republicans, a lot of Liberal Democrats. Everybody has heard of the War on Christmas. Well, I think that this country needs to have a War on Liberals, in the same way that the Liberals have been demonizing the firearm industry, and folks who own guns, as not be politically correct to own and use them. On the contrary. Firearm ownership in this country is more American tradition than these stinking Liberals. For one thing, our Second Amendment Rights have kept us free all these years. If the American People see these scum for what they truly are,traitors and Communists, it would behoove these fools to start acting like Americans, instead of terrorist sympathizers. Where the Hell is Joe McCarthy when you need him? The other side has Howard Dean. So, what the Hell's the difference? Our new cause should be called, The War On Liberals.

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous bob said...

To Mason:

An interesting point. I don't know where you get the 82% number, hopefully not from Rush Limbaugh - please quote your source. I've spent a bit of time on and it looks to me as if the press and the administration are both guilty of distorting the "news" to varying degrees. I do not think it is a question of so-called liberals hating america and trying to damage it purposefully, as the extreme right seems to purport. There are many people in this country who are extremely frustrated with the current administration for a variety of legitimate reasons. I don't know what the adminstration did to earn the loyalty of its supporters.

I am pro-peace and pro-environment. That means I value people's lives, civil rights, and the earth that we live on, yes, even over money. If that makes me a liberal - well that's just a label. I believe we have the right to defend our country, and I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I support the constitution.

I do not automatically hate someone and think their opinion is worthless because of their political leanings - that's just not reasonable. That's why we have discourse, negotiation, and freedom of the speech and the press.

I just think that it's time we evolved as a species and stopped using violence as a standard means of getting our point across. We can and shold do better than that. We could develop non-lethal weapons, for example. We could abstain from the use of such weapons as white phosphorous - an absolute horror which was used by the U.S. in Iraq on both civilians and "insurgents". We should not torture people as a matter of policy. Nobody in their right mind supports that. But this administration clearly does and it is hard to support that.

These are just some examples of why the left is desperately angry, and fearful that our country is being led into an abyss of war and violence.

In any case - thanks for keeping your comments civil and in the friendly spirit of a candid debate. All the name calling is just childish and doesn't resolve any problems.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous bob said...

To Joe:

If he did anything illegal, he will most surely be prosecuted. But last time I checked, publishing known violations of U.S. law is not a crime. If any members of Congress are complicit in this affair, they should answer to the people. They make laws and the rest of us, including the president, are supposed to obey them. Whether you agree with the law or not is not an issue.

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous bob said...

To Joe Alves:

Sorry you are so angry, Joe. Calling people scum and idiots is surely no way to win them over to your side!

This is my father's blog and in case you haven't deduced it, we don't agree politically.

But in order to make progress, people have to talk, they have to voice their opinions, and a little tolerance can go a long way in getting along with each other, agree or not. And agree or not - it is our country, and our planet and we have to get along on it.

It seems that whenever people have a strong attachment to their "position" they are very defensive when someone challenges it. That is the downside of rigidly adhering to a position regardless of the actual facts or consequences of doing so.

The actual fact in this matter, the subject of the NYT blog posting is that the president did break a law that's on the books. Nobody disputes that, not even his own people. Even Colin Powell came out sayig he supports what the president did, but doesn't agree with him not going through the legal channels to get it done. It is pure BS that they didn't have time to do it. They can get a warrant as fast os 24 hours, and with a presidential mandate, probably faster, then htey can leave that warrnat open during the investigation.

Is Nixon said - "We are a nation of laws, nobody is above the law and nobody is below the law."

That includes President Bush.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Nothing that the New York Times published about the NSA intercepts of foreign Al-Queda conversations with each other and with American accomplices is illegal, as even they admitted today. I have in my files similar orders issued by President Clinton (the Ames case) and by President Carter - both of whom exerted the same constitutionally granted presidential power. Revealing the existence of this program is treason - both the person who leaked it and the person who published it. Also, there have been several published surveys indicating that 80-85% of journalists voted for Gore or Kerry.

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Mason said...

To Bob
Our esteemed George Washington on foreign policy said ' don't think for one minute that you can treat a foreign power as your next door simply doesn't work. They only respond to power and their treaties only last until it serves them no longer'. If you tract history, he has proven many times to be correct. I once believed the same way you did until I started reading history and tring to find out why your viewpoint didn't work. It never has. ...Mason

At 9:19 AM, Anonymous steve said...

I'm just glad to see mostly civil open discussion on this. I'm also glad to see Bob participating even when he knows it's a stacked deck on this site. I tend to agree with Bob that inflamatory statements help neither side. Even when we disagree, there needs to be some compromises. That's what good government and good citizens should be about. I try to see both sides in any "arguement" whenever I can...but, I can also see where leading democrats would rather see the US fail so Bush fails rather than the US "win" so Bush would get credit.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous bob said...

This is John Dean's legal opinion -
(former legal counsel to President

George W. Bush as the New Richard M. Nixon: Both Wiretapped Illegally, and Impeachably;
Both Claimed That a President May Violate Congress' Laws to Protect National Security
Friday, Dec. 30, 2005

On Friday, December 16, the New York Times published a major scoop by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau: They reported that Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans without warrants, ignoring the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

It was a long story loaded with astonishing information of lawbreaking at the White House. It reported that sometime in 2002, Bush issued an executive order authorizing NSA to track and intercept international telephone and/or email exchanges coming into, or out of, the U.S. - when one party was believed to have direct or indirect ties with al Qaeda.

Initially, Bush and the White House stonewalled, neither confirming nor denying the president had ignored the law. Bush refused to discuss it in his interview with Jim Lehrer.

Then, on Saturday, December 17, in his radio broadcast, Bush admitted that the New York Times was correct - and thus conceded he had committed an impeachable offense.

There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable. After all, Nixon was charged in Article II of his bill of impeachment with illegal wiretapping for what he, too, claimed were national security reasons.

These parallel violations underscore the continuing, disturbing parallels between this Administration and the Nixon Administration - parallels I also discussed in a prior column.

Indeed, here, Bush may have outdone Nixon: Nixon's illegal surveillance was limited; Bush's, it is developing, may be extraordinarily broad in scope. First reports indicated that NSA was only monitoring foreign calls, originating either in the USA or abroad, and that no more than 500 calls were being covered at any given time. But later reports have suggested that NSA is "data mining" literally millions of calls - and has been given access by the telecommunications companies to "switching" stations through which foreign communications traffic flows.

In sum, this is big-time, Big Brother electronic surveillance.

Given the national security implications of the story, the Times said they had been sitting on it for a year. And now that it has broken, Bush has ordered a criminal investigation into the source of the leak. He suggests that those who might have felt confidence they would not be spied on, now can have no such confidence, so they may find other methods of communicating. Other than encryption and code, it is difficult to envision how.

Such a criminal investigation is rather ironic - for the leak's effect was to reveal Bush's own offense. Having been ferreted out as a criminal, Bush now will try to ferret out the leakers who revealed him.

Nixon's Wiretapping - and the Congressional Action that Followed

Through the FBI, Nixon had wiretapped five members of his national security staff, two newsmen, and a staffer at the Department of Defense. These people were targeted because Nixon's plans for dealing with Vietnam -- we were at war at the time -- were ending up on the front page of the New York Times.

Nixon had a plausible national security justification for the wiretaps: To stop the leaks, which had meant that not only the public, but America's enemies, were privy to its plans. But the use of the information from the wiretaps went far beyond that justification: A few juicy tidbits were used for political purposes. Accordingly, Congress believed the wiretapping, combined with the misuse of the information it had gathered, to be an impeachable offense.

Following Nixon's resignation, Senator Frank Church chaired a committee that investigated the uses and abuses of the intelligence derived from the wiretaps. From his report on electronic surveillance, emerged the proposal to create the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Act both set limits on electronic surveillance, and created a secret court within the Department of Justice - the FISA Court -- that could, within these limits, grant law enforcement's requests to engage in electronic surveillance.

The legislative history of FISA makes it very clear that Congress sought to create laws to govern the uses of warrantless wiretaps. Thus, Bush's authorization of wiretapping without any application to the FISA Court violated the law.

Whether to Allow Such Wiretaps, Was Congress' Call to Make

No one questions the ends here. No one doubts another terror attack is coming; it is only a question of when. No one questions the preeminent importance of detecting and preventing such an attack.

What is at issue here, instead, is Bush's means of achieving his ends: his decision not only to bypass Congress, but to violate the law it had already established in this area.

Congress is Republican-controlled. Polling shows that a large majority of Americans are willing to give up their civil liberties to prevent another terror attack. The USA Patriot Act passed with overwhelming support. So why didn't the President simply ask Congress for the authority he thought he needed?

The answer seems to be, quite simply, that Vice President Dick Cheney has never recovered from being President Ford's chief of staff when Congress placed checks on the presidency. And Cheney wanted to make the point that he thought it was within a president's power to ignore Congress' laws relating to the exercise of executive power. Bush has gone along with all such Cheney plans.

No president before Bush has taken as aggressive a posture -- the position that his powers as commander-in-chief, under Article II of the Constitution, license any action he may take in the name of national security - although Richard Nixon, my former boss, took a similar position.

Presidential Powers Regarding National Security: A Nixonian View

Nixon famously claimed, after resigning from office, that when the president undertook an action in the name of national security, even if he broke the law, it was not illegal.

Nixon's thinking (and he was learned in the law) relied on the precedent established by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Nixon, quoting Lincoln, said in an interview, "Actions which otherwise would be unconstitutional, could become lawful if undertaken for the purpose of preserving the Constitution and the Nation."

David Frost, the interviewer, immediately countered by pointing out that the anti-war demonstrators upon whom Nixon focused illegal surveillance, were hardly the equivalent of the rebel South. Nixon responded, "This nation was torn apart in an ideological way by the war in Vietnam, as much as the Civil War tore apart the nation when Lincoln was president." It was a weak rejoinder, but the best he had.

Nixon took the same stance when he responded to interrogatories proffered by the Senate Select Committee on Government Operations To Study Intelligence Operations (best know as the "Church Committee," after its chairman Senator Frank Church). In particular, he told the committee, "In 1969, during my Administration, warrantless wiretapping, even by the government, was unlawful, but if undertaken because of a presidential determination that it was in the interest of national security was lawful. Support for the legality of such action is found, for example, in the concurring opinion of Justice White in Katz v. United States." (Katz is the opinion that established that a wiretap constitutes a "search and seizure" under the Fourth Amendment, just as surely as a search of one's living room does - and thus that the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirements apply to wiretapping.)

Nixon rather presciently anticipated - and provided a rationalization for - Bush: He wrote, "there have been -- and will be in the future -- circumstances in which presidents may lawfully authorize actions in the interest of security of this country, which if undertaken by other persons, even by the president under different circumstances, would be illegal."

Even if we accept Nixon's logic for purposes of argument, were the circumstances that faced Bush the kind of "circumstances" that justify warrantless wiretapping? I believe the answer is no.

Is Bush's Unauthorized Surveillance Action Justified? Not Persuasively.

Had Bush issued his Executive Order on September 12, 2001, as a temporary measure - pending his seeking Congress approval - those circumstances might have supported his call.

Or, had a particularly serious threat of attack compelled Bush to authorize warrantless wiretapping in a particular investigation, before he had time to go to Congress, that too might have been justifiable.

But several years have passed since the broad 2002 Executive Order, and in all that time, Bush has refused to seek legal authority for his action. Yet he can hardly miss the fact that Congress has clearly set rules for presidents in the very situation in which he insists on defying the law.

Bush has given one legal explanation for his actions which borders on the laughable: He claims that implicit in Congress' authorization of his use of force against the Taliban in Afghanistan, following the 9/11 attack, was an exemption from FISA.

No sane member of Congress believes that the Authorization of Military Force provided such an authorization. No first year law student would mistakenly make such a claim. It is not merely a stretch; it is ludicrous.

But the core of Bush's defense is to rely on the very argument made by Nixon: that the president is merely exercising his "commander-in-chief" power under Article II of the Constitution. This, too, is a dubious argument. Its author, John Yoo, is a bright, but inexperienced and highly partisan young professor at Boalt Law School, who has been in and out of government service.

To see the holes and fallacies in Yoo's work - embodied in a recently published book -- one need only consult the analysis of Georgetown University School of Law professor David Cole in the New York Review of Books. Cole has been plowing this field of the law for many years, and digs much deeper than Yoo.

Since I find Professor Yoo's legal thinking bordering on fantasy, I was delighted that Professor Cole closed his real-world analysis on a very realistic note: "Michael Ignatieff has written that 'it is the very nature of a democracy that it not only does, but should, fight with one hand tied behind its back. It is also in the nature of democracy that it prevails against its enemies precisely because it does.' Yoo persuaded the Bush administration to untie its hand and abandon the constraints of the rule of law. Perhaps that is why we are not prevailing."

To which I can only add, and recommend, the troubling report by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, who are experts in terrorism and former members of President Clinton's National Security Council. They write in their new book The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right, that the Bush Administration has utterly failed to close the venerable loopholes available to terrorist to wreak havoc. The war in Iraq is not addressing terrorism; rather, it is creating terrorists, and diverting money from the protection of American interests.

Bush's unauthorized surveillance, in particular, seems very likely to be ineffective. According to experts with whom I have spoken, Bush's approach is like hunting for the proverbial needle in the haystack. As sophisticated as NSA's data mining equipment may be, it cannot, for example, crack codes it does not recognize. So the terrorist communicating in code may escape detection, even if data mining does reach him.

In short, Bush is hoping to get lucky. Such a gamble seems a slim pretext for acting in such blatant violation of Congress' law. In acting here without Congressional approval, Bush has underlined that his Presidency is unchecked - in his and his attorneys' view, utterly beyond the law. Now that he has turned the truly awesome powers of the NSA on Americans, what asserted powers will Bush use next? And when - if ever - will we - and Congress -- discover that he is using them?

At 6:03 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Spies like us
Kathleen Parker

December 31, 2005

I've been trying for several days now to get upset about the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program. No, wait, make that President George W. Bush's illegal, warrantless, domestic spying scandal.

That sounds more darkly nefarious, more richly conspiratorial and, most important, more impeachable. But is it true? Is Bush spying illegally on Americans? As usual, it depends on whose head is talking and how one spins the yarn.

"The president has authorized a domestic spying program without court approval" sounds like Big Brother is breathing down all our necks. "The president has authorized national security agents to wiretap suspected terrorists" sounds like common sense.

Thus, try as I might, I can't muster outrage over what appears to be a reasonable action in the wake of 9-11. As a rule, I'm as averse as anyone to having people "spying" on me. I'm also as devoted to protecting civil liberties as any other American.

But the privilege of debating our constitutional rights requires first that we be alive. If federal agents want to listen in on suspected terrorists as they plot their next mass murder, please allow me to turn up the volume.

Meanwhile, unless I start placing calls to Peshawar using phrases such as "I want my 72 virgins now," then I figure I'm safe to make my next hair appointment without fear of exposure. OK, fine, so I highlight.

I'm not making light of legitimate concerns about government power over private lives -- vigilance is critical and debate worthwhile, but this seems like a manufactured controversy. It also reminds us yet again that America's decency may be her greatest weakness.

It is our nature to project onto others the principles, values and qualities we hold dear. But it is our enemies' nature -- and their strategy -- to take advantage of those same principles. If not for our open-heartedness toward diversity and our generous spirit in welcoming all comers to these shores, Sept. 11, 2001, might never have happened.

Instead, 19 terrorists traveled freely and lived among us undetected because we were too fat, dumb and happy to imagine that anyone would want to kill us. We were innocent then, but no more. Now we look for dots and try to connect them. We use sophisticated technology to track calls, collate data, and match suspicious-sounding words with names and numbers to create a mosaic of potentially murderous intent.

Sometimes we might get it right and prevent another attack; sometimes we might mistakenly eavesdrop on an innocent conversation. What we save -- possibly thousands of lives -- compared with what we lose (mostly the exposure of our embarrassingly dull lives) would seem sufficiently self-evident to preclude the meme-driven hysteria now clotting airwaves: Bush lied; Bush spied. And, oh, yes, people died.

Or maybe not. Maybe people didn't die because federal agents acted in the moment and wiretapped someone they thought might be a threat to U.S. security. Maybe thousands didn't get blown up on the Brooklyn Bridge as Iyman Faris had plotted because agents wiretapped Faris' phone.

Now we learn that Faris, who pleaded guilty in October 2003 to working with al-Qaeda, is prepared to sue Bush for illegally wiretapping him. The crux of his case would be that Bush's NSA policy violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires a warrant from a special court before an American citizen can be wiretapped.

That, at least, is his attorney's position. Other legal authorities assert that Bush is well within his constitutional authority to pursue foreign intelligence and to monitor communications without a warrant. For more on this, read "Unwarranted Complaints" in the Dec. 27 New York Times (ny y.html?pagewanted=print) by David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey, both lawyers who served in the Justice Department in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

However the fine legal points are resolved, the current tenor of debate seems out of tune with events. In theory, I don't want to be wiretapped without due process, no matter how unlikely it is that anyone would want to know the shade of my highlights.

But in practice, the task of getting scores or hundreds of warrants to wiretap terrorism suspects mid-conversation seems impossible to imprudent.

More to the point, I want the government to connect all the little dots it can in order to prevent another slaughter on American soil. How rich that Bush should be treated as a criminal for trying to prevent another 9-11 attack, while a known al-Qaeda terrorist could be set free on a technicality.

Our decency may kill us yet.

Kathleen Parker can be reached at or 407-420-5202. Her column usually appears on the editorial pages on Sunday.

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous bob said...

The constant, organized, pervasive tactic of defining any sort of disagreement with President Bush's methods as "hate-america" or "hating President Bush" or "unpatriotic" or "liberal" is,
at best, counterproductive.

Sorry, but I can neither initiate nor continue discussion when this tactic is employed.

Peace and good luck with the rest of your discussion.

At 6:29 AM, Anonymous Joe Alves said...

The fact of the matter is, "loose lips sink ships." You may not agree with the President's wire tapping, but I say, "if it's going to protect our country Mr. President, then have at it." If he wants to listen to my conversation, let me be the first to turn up my volume, Sir. We're in this war to win, so that we can go on later and enjoy our liberties. How can we be safe in this country if you want to protect civil liberties for terrorists? You can't have it both ways.

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the love of gawd--
notify their elite advertisers
and let them know.
start a group....BOYCOTT THME.
i'm begging people for YEARS,
and i am not one with original thoughts.
After their reporting of the WTC
attack,reporting like we were a FOREIGN country----
and then one the Sun. before the first anniversary they publish a full page ad on page 3 for some commie antiwar group---
BOYCOTT THEM and their advertisers--
their stock is WAY down---
BOYCOTT THEM ! it's easy.
close them down.
and to those elitist that think disagreeing with our presidents policies , and the safety and security of this nation makes them
sooooo superior to the unwashed/uneducated masses---your neck is just as suitable to the jihadist.
yeah, you don't think this is possible ?
read fallacci.


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