Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Novak And Armitage | Main | Bush And The "Secret" Eavesdropping »

December 17, 2005

Comments

kim

What's Behind the Green Door?
==============================

owl

Dunno Kim but it better happen here. After TM fixed it, this only one I can get in...

Specter

Welcome Back!!!

noah

Glen Reynolds said it was fixed 12 hours ago so I guess he needs more editorial oversight!

noah

I do notice you have lost old posts tho.

Jeff

So here's my question: assuming for the moment that Bob Novak isn't just lying, as is his wont, why would he be amazed, not just surprised but amazed, if Bush didn't know who his source was?

kim

TENET
=-=-=-=

Kate

Can we ignore Raw Story as a source now? They either:

confused Conrad Black with Karl Rove or
had the wrong Wednesday which means;

GJ watch this week!

clarice

Oh, how I have missed you all--well almost all.
Can we talk about how very much more important Plame's non outing is than the revelaations of the NSA taps, the AQ prisons and transportation of AQ prisoners is?

About when and whether there will ever be any pursuit of these leaks and whether we can keep Rockefeller who has a seditious intent out of them?

And, hey, how great is it that Congress seems to want the Gorelick wall back?

Kate

The good news is that the President finally came out fighting this morning. The talking heads at MSNBC and CNN seemed actually flustered.

We need an investigation into the NSA leaks and prison leaks. This is hurting our national security.

noah

Totally agree. Hey...they can just expand Fitz's jurisdiction...after 2 years warming up maybe he can put a couple of traitors in jail before next November!

BTW the Corner at NRO has a partial transcript of his radio address.

Does anybody know a site that would have the audio?

Lew Clark

The real leaks are serious. Providing national security secrets to the enemy in time of war is treason. Isn't it time we investigated and indicted the real "traitors". And I'm looking real hard at Rockefeller. He has access and a history.

Specter

LOL....I've been debating this exact issue on a local web site with a rabid liberal. He told me this morning that with regards to the NSA and prison stuff, the leak is more important than the crime, but in Plame the crime is what counts. Muddy headed....

noah

"Its times like these that try men's souls (Thomas Paine)..." as quoted by Norman Podhoretz in his amazing piece in Commentary (and reprinted at OpinonJournal.com). (What wouldn't I give for the gifts that those 2 patiots have).

Patrick R. Sullivan

Yes, after all the crocodile tears by lefties over how Valerie's being named as CIA destroyed one of the country's 'intelligence assets', it should be fun to see the hypocrisy about the eavesdropping story.

topsecretk9

And I'm looking real hard at Rockefeller.

DRUDGE: ANGRY BUSH: CONGRESS MEMBERS WERE BRIEFED ON EAVESDROPPING -- A DOZEN TIMES...

Rockefeller might as well have a neon sign on his forehead. You know right after the Libby indictment dem members of Congress started up with the "we were duped, Bush twisted intel" but that had an unfortunate unintended consequence of illustrating their denseness (like, um, you were briefed, had access to the same Intel) so they ditched that and...voila...LEAKS.

If you can't beat them, lie and undermine.

noah

Now, now,...lets be fair to the scumbag Rockefeller. He isn't the only traitor in Washington.

Specter

lol

hrtshpdbox

I'd love, just once, to see Bush take it a step further and specifically identify who in the media he's talking about. Call out the Times for revealing secrets, Feingold for his dopey "chill running down the spine of every American" comments, the ACLU for being anti-American, uncivil, having nothing to do with liberty, and not even a real union. How about some threatened legal action against leakers?

Rick Ballard

Here is a good summary of the President's remarks and some speculation as to what they may entail.

topsecretk9

The Pres.
Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country.

noah

Actually its pretty much treason all the time just ask Pollard.

SteveMG

Hmm, Ledeen just posted that a source in Iran has informed him that there was an assassination attempt on Ahmadinejad.

It appears that his bodyguards were killed and he was injured. Reportedly, not life-threatening.

No more nice guy anymore, I guess.

SMG

noah

Pretty good speech by Bush. The video is at CNN.com. Maybe tomorrow he will announce a criminal investigation.

clarice

Ledeen's right--I earlier sent the same thing to my editor..Iran v Jahad posted the same story--Not clear if it's an internicine fight (he's accused the mullahs of corruption and he's proving a bit of an international embarrassment to them) or the Baluch..

Hope thay all kill eachother off.


_________I've got my eye on Rockefeller:We have the 2004 secret memo; his pretense that the SSCI didn't discredit Wilson's fable. Any other evidence of perfidy will be welcome.


kim

Maybe someone can drop a shiny new dime on him.
==============================================

creepy dude

Bush is lying again you poor deluded idiots.

Let's take this quote: "Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."

Ok-before this leak we all knew there was a secret court that issued secret warrants.
Now we know Bush skipped the secret warrant part. I certainly learned something new.

But what about the terrorists? Is Bush really saying that terrorists have just learned-for the first time-i.e. YESTERDAY-that their cell phones and e-mails may be under government surveillance-warrant or not???

Cause terrorists that stupid don't really scare me. Bush certainly does though...

boris

clarice:

Can we talk about how very much more important Plame's non outing is than the revelaations of the NSA taps, the AQ prisons and transportation of AQ prisoners is?
I claim this is what happens when officials can pretend that the red rubber stamp is a substitute for tradecraft. The fervent belief that they can "classify" something that isn't hidden, with no effort to protect, and never secret to begin with, leads inevitably to sloppy mindless treatment of important issues that need to be hidden and protected in order to remain secret.

The exact frakken opposite of the Plame was classified but secret prisions need to be exposed.

"I would say they didn't give a damn," Fredrik Laurin, a producer with a Swedish television show, "Kalla Fakta," or "Cold Facts," said when asked what priority the agency gave to keeping the air operation secret. "If I was an American taxpayer, I would be upset,"
This taxpayer sure as hell is!

Richard Miniter:

I was appalled by the NYT piece. I think this kind of reporting goes deep into the no-go area of the Agency's "sources and methods" ...

I would never dream of reporting many of these things. But then again, I am in favor of the war on terror and the war in Iraq. Stephen Grey and others are not ...

Look, the CIA was sloppy (possibly purposely so) about listing the movements of the airplanes it leases and the corporate officers of its front companies. You have to admit it was very poor tradecraft ...

The bigger questions are: Why didn't the CIA cover its tracks better and why are American newspapers discussing the internal workings of our intelligence services while we are at war?

Maybe because too many no longer know the difference between official assertion and reality.

SteveMG

Creepy Dude:
Is Bush really saying that terrorists have just learned-for the first time-i.e. YESTERDAY-that their cell phones and e-mails may be under government surveillance-warrant or not???

No one is saying that the terrorist have now learned for the first time that their communications may be monitored.

Instead, the terrorists have now been informed, among other things, that if they use their cell phones for short calls or use multiple devices or if they use different or serial e-mail addresses that they can circumvent the ability of the US to legally monitor or intercept those domestic calls.

Reportedly, the reason that the Bush Administration circumvented some of the warrant requirements was that the delay in getting judicial approval made it more difficult to track those communications.

So, terrorists now know with certainty that quick brief conversations can be undertaken without concern of being quickly traced because legal requirements (if followed) preclude discovery.

Good news for them; not good new for us.

SMG

clarice

I think Porter Goss may be directing the dismantling of an agency which has repeatedly proved itself not up to the task. And I think this time we do not need a clueless investigator. Indeed, watching carefully, I think another "bipartisan" Commission or Congressional hearing is not sufficient--we need to establish an independent panel appointed by the President or a special court to deal with such things--clearly the existing structures are no better able to monitor the intelligence leaks than the CIA officials are.

Sue

What the terrorists have learned is they can now purchase a cell phone with a US phone number and come in under the radar. When the next terrorist attack occurs, will they be so forgiving of Bush not doing everything to prevent it?

creepy dude

Steve Mg-no offense-but your post is total bullshit. The "delay" excuse is just total crap-and frankly merely meant to fool useful idiots.

The FISA specifically authorizes emergency orders-that is electronic surveillance without a warrant if you get retroactive approval within 72 hours.

Read it yourself FISA sect. 1805:

"(f) Emergency orders: Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, when the Attorney General reasonably determines that— (1) an emergency situation exists with respect to the employment of electronic surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence information before an order authorizing such surveillance can with due diligence be obtained; and (2) the factual basis for issuance of an order under this subchapter to approve such surveillance exists; he may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance if a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title is informed by the Attorney General or his designee at the time of such authorization that the decision has been made to employ emergency electronic surveillance and if an application in accordance with this subchapter is made to that judge as soon as practicable, but not more than 72 hours after the Attorney General authorizes such surveillance. If the Attorney General authorizes such emergency employment of electronic surveillance, he shall require that the minimization procedures required by this subchapter for the issuance of a judicial order be followed. In the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance, the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the expiration of 72 hours."

So the "short call" defense is just stupid.

I'll repeat my query-what have the terrorists learned from this leak?

creepy dude

Sue-U.S. cell phone under the radar???

What are you talking about-do you even have the slightest clue?

creepy dude

In short-the only reason Bush would need to proceed with surveillance without a (retroactive even) warrant is only if he thought even the rubberstamp FISA court would balk at the warrant.

boris

electronic surveillance without a warrant if you get retroactive approval within 72 hours.

Then there should be no objection to the new policy because it simply removes meaningless red tape.

Sue

Creepy,

Did you read the report? Do you have a clue what is at issue?

creepy dude

Yes the red tape is called "checks and balances" Boris.

creepy dude

Sue-if you look at our respective posts I think it's clear who has a better grasp of the issues. So tell me what you mean by U.S. cell phones are now under the radar?

boris

Can't have it both ways creep.

creepy dude

Incidentally-judge for yourself whether this part of the NYT story is itself bullshit.

From the original article: "The standard of proof required to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is generally considered lower than that required for a criminal warrant - intelligence officials only have to show probable cause that someone may be "an agent of a foreign power," which includes international terrorist groups - and the secret court has turned down only a small number of requests over the years. In 2004, according to the Justice Department, 1,754 warrants were approved. And the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court can grant emergency approval for wiretaps within hours, officials say.

Administration officials counter that they sometimes need to move more urgently, the officials said. Those involved in the program also said that the N.S.A.'s eavesdroppers might need to start monitoring large batches of numbers all at once, and that it would be impractical to seek permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court first, according to the officials."

I just quoted the actual law of the United States above. These sorry administration excuse makers can't reconcile their pathetic excuses with the clear language of the emergency order exception. Can you?

Sue

Gosh Creepy, I could never measure up to the greatness you have created in your own mind.

Try using conversation instead of telling someone they are stupid. You might actually get a discussion going. Otherwise, F...off... ::grin::

larwyn

Clarice,
What happens if the Patriot Act expires on Dec 31st:

- to those being held for trial for crimes under the now expired act?

- to those already convicted under the laws that expired?

- was the Blind Shiek's attorney, Lynne ______ tried and covicted under parts that expire on Dec 31st?

Do attorneys for these poor victimized terrorists and their helpers have to wait for Fed Courts to open on Tuesday Jan 3rd or are the papers being put together now to be emergency filed
at 12:01AM Jan 1st?

Be a great Happy New Year for the
DEMS and RINOS and ISLAMISTS - don't think the American public will share in the celebration.

Sue

Larwyn,

They are tried under the Act as it existed at the time of their arrest.

SteveMG

Creepy Dude:
Those involved in the program also said that the N.S.A.'s eavesdroppers might need to start monitoring large batches of numbers all at once, and that it would be impractical to seek permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court first, according to the officials."

None of us (well, at least I'll admit to my ignorance) know how quickly the NSA must act in order to trace large batches of phone calls or whether the existing requirements are still too cumbersome and cause delays that are intolerable.

As the Times piece mentions, the FISA court is very permissive in giving warrants. So it seems clear that the Administration would have received judicial approval to monitor these communications.

Why they circumvented those requirements in these cases needs to be determined.

Orrin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy noted that the laws on wiretaps are both complex and incomplete. That this is an area where things are still unsettled.

Before stringing folks up, I'd like to learn a bit more about what was involved. Reading one small section of the FISA laws isn't going to do it.

SMG

clarice

As I understand it here is the circumstance where the normal process was circumvented by the Executive Order: We pick up some terrorists along with their computers and cell phones. Those have email addies and numbers in them--all of which will be dumped within minutes of the arrest getting out.

God bless George W, Bush.

larwyn

Sue,
I understand that they would be tried under the law "as it existed"
- but COULD they be successfully tried?

Won't every defense attorney wanting LSM face time - be arguing that it is not "fair" in the eyes of America or our Consitution that someone should be punished for breaking a law that no longer exists. That even seems a reasonable argument for "reasonable doubt" to me.

How many will be willing to plea
out if the laws they broke are no longer laws?

boris

clarice: We pick up some terrorists along with their computers and cell phones. Those have email addies and numbers in them--all of which will be dumped within minutes of the arrest getting out.

Yes, and in those situations using the 72 hour retro permission procedure as proposed would be meaningless red tape. The retro rule appears to allow 72 hours of monitoring approved or not. After that the useless links would be discarded and any remaining active links would get certain approval anyway.

Jeff

Well, it's valuable to know that we have no conservative libertarians in our midst, or limited government conservatives, or those who value checks and balances or the rule of law.

SteveMG

Jeff:
Well, it's valuable to know that we have no conservative libertarians in our midst, or limited government conservatives, or those who value checks and balances or the rule of law.

No, instead we have folks here who want to know a few more details as to what took place, what the law says, and whether that balance between security and our civil liberties was thrown off.

For threats to our liberties come from a number of places.

But if others wish to pronounce guilt before the facts are in, they're welcome to it.

SMG


R FLANAGAN

Given the adverse consequences of the
existing Patriot Act expiring Dec 31 presumably Bush will forestall them by accepting the three month extension which the Dems have offered.

Dwilkers

Actually Jeff, those of us that value checks and balances and the rule of law may be satisfied with the fact that congress has been consulted over a dozen times on this and that it was done in accordance with the law.

Then of course there's also that without defending the US we won't have any checks and balances or rule of law at all.

Er...welcome back from the ether TM. :-)

boris

libertarians in our midst

The expectation of privacy while communicating with foreign agents is not a libertarian concern. You might consider cultivating some consistency in your own ideology before falsly criticizing a lack of it in others.

maryrose

For me personally it comes down to one thing. Either you trust the president to use the means necessary to protect our country or you don't. If you have nothing to hide you shouldn't be upset. We need to stay on the offensive and have tha ability to move quickly in the instances cited in above posts. As regard to the Patriot Act I fail to see where anyone's civil liberties have been violated.

Jeff

meaningless red tape, checks and balances, what's the diff?

Either you trust the president to use the means necessary to protect our country or you don't. I know where the Constitution stands on that one.

SteveMG

MaryRose:
Either you trust the president to use the means necessary to protect our country or you don't.

Well, the problem is that we're talking about hundreds if not thousands of people that we're giving great power to use. Not just one man or woman.

And given the recorded history of human beings using force over others, I'm less than sanguine about trusting them with it. I want some checks, some safeguards to prevent their abuse of the powers we give them to protect us.

The dilemma is that we're facing an adversary that uses stealth and secrecy. In order to disrupt them, in order to prevent attacks, the president needs to use stealth and secrecy as well. Some of the policies he promotes will have to be kept from us.

Still, I'd like some check to ensure that the policies aren't abused.

Of course, even judicial oversight doesn't prevent mischief (or worse). After all, the court approved the internment of Japanse-Americans during WWII.

SMG

boris

where the Constitution stands on that one

Quote me the "right to privacy" in the constitution. No implication, no penumbras, no emanations. Where does it SAY "right to privacy"?

I don't disagree with a legal expectation of privacy, but constitutional for international communication? not

boris

I'd like some check to ensure that the policies aren't abused.

You're worried about the wrong examples. The use of personal encryption is legally restricted. Why do you suppose that is?

boris

checks and balances, what's the diff?

In the example you quoted from there is no check, there is no balance. 72 hours of unrestricted monitoring was claimed to be already allowed.

SteveMG

You're worried about the wrong examples. The use of personal encryption is legally restricted. Why do you suppose that is?

To enable the government to monitor or intercept communications when there's probable cause that a crime is being committed or will be committed.

With a - if possible - warrant.

Madison (Federalist #10):
The chief diffculty of devising a government of men over men is this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next instance oblige it to control itself.

You really want to permit a President Howard Dean to have unchecked powers to monitor our communications?

Not me.

SMG

boris

You really want to permit a President Howard Dean to have unchecked powers to monitor our communications?

Do you really expect he won't ??? Not me.

If I wanted my communication to remain unmonitored I'd use encryption. The good stuff.

Syl

Every 45 days the committee reviews these things. There are Dems on the committee. So WTF is the beef?

Actually I think some who assume this is all illegal should be disappointed that it's not. Because if this is illegal, nothing gained in the wiretap could ever be used in a court of law against you.

Think about it.

Checks and balances aren't just between govt branches, they occur all throughtout our judicial system.

So you'd better be damn sure this is illegal before you dial up the Zarqman.

topsecretk9

Still, I'd like some check to ensure that the policies aren't abused.

Perfectly reasonable expectation, unfortunately with the shrill tone and typical hostilities by the HitlerBush crowd that just can't happen anymore. The blame America first, the evil empire mentality has crippled meaningful debate.

Kind of OT, but for some reason because of this issue I was reminded of that elusive "Barrett Report", and the lefts seemingly disinterest and lack of outrage over mass abuse of powers using the IRS to invade the privacy of citizens for political gains...detailed in the report.

Syl

SteveMG

No worries, you're not important enough.

SteveMG

Do you really expect he won't ??? Not me.

Well, he might try.

But if the laws are enforced, if the checks and balances applied, he won't be able to succeed.

Unless we decide that it's okay for our guy to do it. Then we won't be able to prevent their guy from doing it.

SMG

Syl

SteveMG

You really want to permit a President Howard Dean to have unchecked powers to monitor our communications?

This is a stupid statement. Bush doesn't have unchecked powers why should Dean have them.

SteveMG

No worries, you're not important enough.

Hah, good.

That knocks my pontificating ass down with one shot.

Wait until I win the lottery, though .

SMG

boris

it's okay for our guy to do it.

Not sure I'd be disappointed if co-presidents Hill and BJ were equally as diligent at protecting the US from terrorism.

SteveMG

Syl:
This is a stupid statement. Bush doesn't have unchecked powers why should Dean have them.

I never said that Bush did.

My response was to our friend Boris who seemed to be arguing that it was okay for the NSA to monitor our communications and that, to quote him, "If I wanted my communication to remain unmonitored I'd use encryption. The good stuff."

So, in the world according to Boris, if it's okay for Bush to permit the NSA to monitor our communications with no judicial oversight, it would be okay as well for a President Dean to do so likewise.

Sorry, I want some safeguards that I don't have to install on my computer.

SMG


boris

If "they" get back in the white house and misapply the W precedent of monitoring "international" communication with terror suspects to warrentless monitoring of US conservatives will I be suprised? No.

Should we be concerned that rational action taken with bipartisan oversight will someday be used to justify unrestricted moonbat abuse? No again. That way lies madness. There be dragons.

Syl

From what I've read if one NSA guy sees another doing something illegal he is considered just as guilty if he doesn't report it.

The Dems should be outraged by this. I mean spying on your co-workers! That's awful!

I tell you, for the party that thinks terrorism is a law enforcement issue only, the Dems don't demonstrate they're even capable of that.

So, they say we can't use the military.
And they say the laws are too strict. Dumpt them.

America might as well give up right now.

boris

So, in the world according to Boris, if it's okay for Bush to permit the NSA to monitor our communications with no judicial oversight

International communications to suspected terrorists with congressional oversight. Paraphrase accurately or quote please.

SteveMG

Boris:
You said:

If I wanted my communication to remain unmonitored I'd use encryption. The good stuff.

As I noted, you seemed (note the qualifier) to be arguing that the way to prevent abuse by the government is use technological checks and not legislative or constitutional ones.

Is that not a fair reading? You think that the constitutional checks will be ignored by President Dean anyway and so they're useless.

If I'm wrong, I apologize.

SMG


Cecil Turner

Seems to me we're back into the war vs. law enforcement argument. Obviously if it's the former, intercepting enemy communications is perfectly acceptable (and the Executive's responsibility). If the latter, a court involvement is necessary. Just as obviously, there's a significant difference in having to have an emergency determination from one man (AG)--followed up by a court order--or doing it as a matter of routine. If it's routine, you do it a lot more often. Personally, I think we're at war . . .

I also think your average terrorist might decide to be just a bit more careful with his communications procedures based on this report. Rumsfeld would probably call the leak that spawned it "unhelpful." Others might call it "treason."

boris

Well, "seemed" is a little different than "So, in the world according to Boris ..." and the rest of the line was one stretch of a non sequitor.

I just would not depend on government "privacy by restraint". If the choice is between liberty or security, I'll take liberty. If the choice is security or privacy by restraint I'll take security and make my own privacy. I just don't believe in hampering the government of the people in it's primary function on the basis of make believe privacy any two bit private investigator can get around.

Rick Ballard

CT,

Sedition wasn't working out for them. What were they supposed to do?

SteveMG

Boris:
Well, "seemed" is a little different than "So, in the world according to Boris ..." and the rest of the line was one stretch of a non sequitor.

You left out the first paragraph which included "seemed" and then setup the following one.

The key line (from you) again is:

"If I wanted my communication to remain unmonitored I'd use encryption. The good stuff."

Since we were discussing government monitoring of our communications and the limits on that ability, how else can one conclude but that you were dismissive of legislative limits on spying?

Anyway, if you don't want to accept the apology for my inadvertent mischaracterization, so be it.

SMG

boris

You left out the first paragraph which included "seemed" and then setup the following one.

The non sequitor was unqalified. "In the world according to Boris" was followed by something I did not write or imply. The change represents little more than reduction in red tape as the quantity of links after 911 swamped anything resembling actual judicial oversight. Data mining is a far greater intrusion into the illusion of privacy anyway and as it turns out, the only realistic way 911 could have been prevented.

So the Clinton adminstration's concern about privacy after Waco and 900 FBI files seems a little insincere to me. If you prefer lip service on privacy to reasonable tradeoff for security then likewise.

maryrose

Boris.
I'm glad you brought upthe infamous 900 FBI files of republicans during the Clinton era. Where was the outrage from the left then?

Sue

The NYTs report said that phone calls and emails that were domestic to domestic still required the necessary warrants. Only those that involved international were involved. To pretend the president has done this in 'secret' is baloney. It has congressional oversight. A judge knows about it. The justice department reviews it. All according to the article from the NYTs. One, I might add, that took over a year to become serious enough to report. Or maybe a book deal had something to do with it. Who knows? Watch 60 Minutes. I'm sure Mr. Risen will tell us the rest of the story there, while on book tour.

maryrose

Sue,
You are right about the book tour angle because I heard Tony Blankley mention it on the McLaughlin Report yesterday.

Sue

The book is being published by Simon & Schuster. Think Viacom. Think CBS. Think 60 Minutes. And there are those who claim we are idiots. ::grin:: I can connect dots when they are presented in the right order.

noah

I hope...check that...I pray that Bush opens a leak investigation. The squeals of the Dimocrats will be deafening!!

The fact that the NYT piece confirms that congressional leaders were briefed may be circumstantial evidence that the dims were directly involved. A perp walk for Rockefeller would warm the cockles of my heart to say the least!

richard mcenroe

boris — Hey, the Clintons had a perfectly good explanation for that: they only wanted 300 files but "someone" got carried away...

maryrose

R.Mcenroe
Craig livingstone, former bouncer-nuff said.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame