"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, February 03, 2006

What if wiretapping works?

What if wiretapping works? (user registration required)

WOW, this was brought to my attention this morning by Bill Bennett on his radio show, it is linked at his site. The column is very straightforward and honest. For something less than so, see a previous post of mine regarding the NYT, an editorial and my blather.

'"If the NSA just wants to listen to his calls to others abroad, fisa doesn't require a warrant. But it does if either (a) one party to the call is in the United States and the interception takes place here or (b) the party on the U.S. side of the conversation is a "U.S person"--primarily either a citizen or a permanent resident. If both parties are in the United States, no warrant can be issued; interception is prohibited."'

The above quote describes the NSA wiretap scenario in a very understandable way. Wouldn't it be nice if CNN and/or the rest in the MSM could report along these lines. At the The New Republic, Richard Posner cuts to the chase by getting to the deeper and more important point of '"Lawyers who are busily debating legality without first trying to assess the consequences of the program have put the cart before the horse."'

The piece is not a call as to whether the NSA program is legal or not, but one that covers where the debate should begin, based on the limits of FISA as a tool in the surveillance of possible terrorist communications; and what the NSA wiretap program actually is doing (as much as one can know).

Bottom line, register (free) and read it as I have mangled it at my end due to interruptions.


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