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December 24, 2005

Comments

Rider

BurkettHead - Thanks. Makes sense.

The political and the legal are running along two separate tracks, as with all scandals in DC. A lot of the public thought it was ridiculous to try and connect Nixon with a two-bit break-in, especially at first. Some still cling to that, though the man went down a long time ago. Most Americans did finally accept that Nixon really was a crook. People want to believe the best.

On the political side, though, note that major Republicans are calling for investigations. CNN/USA Today shows Bush's numbers unchanged from before the story broke. Online, unscientific CNN polls showed public overwhelmingly supported NYT breaking the story. Politically, it's not breaking one way or the other at this early date.

Syl

boris

I think that's the case though. And if it's not, it would troubling that it's easier for us to deal with the mob than al Qaeda.

PeterUK

Would not having you number on a mass murderer's dialer constitute probable cause? At least the police would want to have a chat with you.

topsecretk9

Rider

Dream on buddy...people are comforted to know the Bushies are busy tracking Al Queda...but you deny it if it makes you feel better.

Syl

Rider

It's a stupid comparison to make as far as public reaction is concerned. Political corruption vs capturing terrorists? Dream on.

clarice

Pincus might have done us a favor if he'd shown that the information sharing is exactly what everyone demanded once it was clear that Atta et all fell between the cracks of the Gorelick wall and thereby escaped detection.

Syl

clarice

The MSM obviously has a memory hole. They never put things into context. It's only the news of the last five minutes that matters to them.

boris

Syl: I think that's the case though.

What's the case? That if the FBI has a wiretap warrant on the crime boss they also need warrants on eveyone he talks to before they can monitor.

Or that prosecutors and investegators would scream their heads off if that's what they had to do.

Syl

As for the public overwhelmingly approving the publication of the story, that's perfectly understandable. I'd say the majority have no clue how this would really hurt national security, even though it does. The feeling is one of relief.

We thought we were safe on 9/10. After 9/11 we realized the government wasn't doing enough to protect its citizens--its prime duty.

Then we simply hoped the govt had fixed whatever it had to, but we didn't know for sure.

Now we know at least Bush is doing what is necessary, and the govt itself did NOT fix everything--left giant holes in our capabilities.

But the jihadis are being identified BEFORE they can do their thing. It's nice to be assured of that fact.

Syl

boris

Both :)

danking

TS,

I just love Larry Johnson explaining the difference between a good leak and a bad leak. I think they are slowly realizing how hot the water is.

Clarice, I haven't bugged you about your Plame source in a while. Although I could have missed it.

May I (we) please have an update?

Syl

Rider

But Rasmussen says 64% approve. And about 80% say they are following closely. I'd hardly call that 'not breaking one way or the other' politically.

Rider

Guess you need to go vote at msnbc.com

Should the White House continue ordering selected wiretaps without warrants? (8097 responses)

Yes 14%

No 85%

I don't know 2%

clarice

danking, I got confirmation and the story is solid, but for the moment, I'm exploring whether there isn't a better way to deal with this..

boris

Syl, the intended question is either or, there is no both.

If the FBI has a wiretap warrant on the crime boss they also need warrants on eveyone he talks to before they can monitor.
Seems to me that would be a pretty easy system to defeat if nothing in the wiretap can be used to obtain a warrant for the other party. I don't believe the FBI needs a warrant for both ends to monitor a specific warranted wiretap.

Is that really what you claim? Or is one of us misreading the other?


danking

MSNBC. LOL!

How about the poll results from the DU or Daily KOS?

topsecretk9

Oh my Budha Rider, you're killing me....

Guess you need to go vote at msnbc.com

yes and OFTEN TOO!

danking

Clarice,

Rats!

With the latest NSA story, Plame looks to be falling down the interest ladder. Even though, it's used as a nice compare and contrast example.

Keep us posted...

Curiously yours,

dk

boris

The question looks blinkered ...

Where is "international" ... where is "terrorists"

topsecretk9

Clarice

I'm exploring whether there isn't a better way to deal with this..... is the "this" the story you have or the subject of this thread?

Darn you Feldman!

Syl

boris

I honestly don't know! But I suspect anyone that talks to someone who is being surveilled, is a USPERS, and does not suspect his communications are being monitored, there is no immediate crime being discussed, nor a threat on a specific person's life, has his end of the conversation scratched.

And prosecutors, even when they follow the law, bitch and moan a lot anyway.

Syl

Questions like the MSNBC one, which are misleading, mislead the Democrats with the results. No wonder they keep losing--they have no clue what the public really thinks.

quirk

Just a random thought on the timing of the original NYT account (Dec 15 2005) ...

The NYT account appeared 11 days after the 9-11 Public Discourse Project finished its work ... 6 months before its charter expired. The Project began in June of 2005 and was intended to last for a year ( http://www.9-11pdp.org/about/index.htm ). ("This new organization, intended to remain in effect for one year..."

Interestingly, one of the funders of the Project was the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (founded by Jay Rockefeller's Dad and Uncles).

Granted - the Project had ample incentive to disband in the interest of dodging the Able Danger controversy, but isn't it convenient that it will now be easy for it to avoid comment on the NSA programs as well?

MayBee

I think we've all been around the blogosphere enough to know who the online voting 'public' is. Unscientific ain't the word for it.

Freep this poll!

clarice

The Coldwarrior report shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. He may be reporting on some last bit of info to the NYT which hadn't been provided a year ago by others.

clarice

ts,I'm not a reporter who has to print scoops to live. Perhaps this information can be out to better use another way. I'm leaving it to others to decide.

topsecretk9

Syl
No wonder they keep losing--they have no clue what the public really thinks.

Is this not the definition of insanity? Ignorance is not bliss?

clarice

ts-I meant "put" to better use, not "out".

boris

Ok Syl,

Got it. Assume criminal activity is discussed and even a retro warrant would require information gained from the monitored call ...

I don't think requiring independent probable cause to obtain a retro warrant so the entire call can be used is current procedure. If the other party is unknown it might not be possible.

Seven Machos

Rider -- You don't understand that courts have no business in foreign policy issues. They knosw this, and they demure to the other two branches when foreign policy is interjected into court.

You really don't know what you are talking about. I mean, my God.

Anyone who is paying ANY attention to what constitutional scholars are saying realizes that the courts will have to fashion an innovative interpretation of the Fourth Amendment and existing law so that the Fourth Amendment can coexist with new technology and the War on Terror. You are trying to apply horse-and-buggy law to the autobahn.

Also, of course you can't legally classify something that's illegal. The thing that is illegal is still illegal. You are stupid. You are a knave. You know nothing about law. Stop quoting it. Stop asking about it. Stop trying to interpret it.

topsecretk9

Clarice
It's just that you have me at the edge of my seat! However, your judgement is trusted.

PeterUK

"Should the White House continue ordering selected wiretaps without warrants? (8097 responses)"

and how many were you Rider,or those activists like you ?

clarice

Thanks, dk and ts..

Syl

boris

As far as the current controversy, it seems to me one of the basic stumbling blocks to getting actual warrants is the minimization procedures required by FISA. The general do's and don'ts are laid out, but specifics are not...the Justice Dept lays out the specific minimization procedures for any specific type of surveillance.

That's why we get the x'ing out of the USPERS end of the convo, as well as the phone number. That is laid out in the NSA's own rulebook and thus is security against even the suspicion that they are spying on USPERS.

I'm sure these minimization procedures are the reason why the Justice Dept opted for the reporting to the intel committee rather than going the warrant route. The info cannot be kept/used according to the parameters.

Kinda like the wall. You don't see the actual thickness of the wall by simply looking at the law. You need to see the Gorelick memo that forbids even the appearance of communication.

clarice

It's not relevant to this thread, but the year begins with a very brilliant piece by Mark Steyn which I want to bring to your attention: http://www.newcriterion.com/archives/24/01/its-the-demography/

Syl

BTW, reporting to the intel committee as an alternative to the warrant route IS specified in FISA itself. Seems to me that the Justice Dept IS following procedure.

Off to read Steyn!

Thanks Clarice!

(and thanks for the bombshell we don't know about yet. LOL)

BurkettHead

so, who was #1000?

Rider

"You are stupid. You are a knave. You know nothing about law. Stop quoting it. Stop asking about it. Stop trying to interpret it."

Geez. Was it something I said? My, such churlishness!

"and how many were you Rider,or those activists like you?"

Ouch. You got me there, Peter, you "agent of a foreign power." I dunno, maybe about 8,000? You're pretty sharp for a senile old guy who wears nappies.

"You need to see the Gorelick memo..."

You really do, too, because it doesn't say what you say it does at all.

First of all, it says the agent assigned to the criminal case will also be assigned to the intelligence case at the same time. No wall there.

Then this:

Foreign counterintelligence collected during the course of the FCI investigation will be disseminated pursuant to FBI guidelines and FISA. If, in the case of the FCI investigation, facts or circumstances are developed that reasonably indicate that a significant federal crime has been, is being, or may be committed, the FBI and OIPR are each independently responsible for notifying the USAO and the Criminal Division. Notice shall include the facts and circumstances developed during the FCI investigation that supplied the indication of significant federal criminal activity, whether or not such activity relates to the indicted cases or criminal investigations referred to in subparagraph (2) above.

So....where's the wall???

http://www.cdt.org/wiretap/20040410Gorelick1995Memo.pdf

Talk amongst yourselves now. Back to work in the real world tomorrow for me. It's been an educational experience. Again, my apologies for the intemperate invective directed at you. You've been fairly decent for the most part, and those who haven't...well, you know who you are.


PeterUK

"Geez. Was it something I said? My, such churlishness!"

Exactly Rider,everything you have said,probably everything you have done,your entire life,cursed with your crass stupidity.
Even your invective is pathetic.

BTW Have you had another senior moment,or are you just a liar?

"Please explain. I am an old man and rapidly losing interest."

Posted by: Rider | December 27, 2005 at 06:08 PM

Rider

Got me again, Peter. I'll admit, I'm not anywhere near as good at invective as you. You da man.

Syl

Burketthead

If I counted right, I think it was Top at 3:03


Rider

So....where's the wall???

Ask Gorelick:

We believe that it is prudent to establish a set of instructions that will more clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued, criminal investigations. These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation.

same place

And I'll echo someone whom you probably believe has not been, condescendingly, one of the fairly decent ones: Don't take any bar exams.

PeterUK

Rider,
Don't take up lying for a living you haven't got the memory for it,that rules out politics,not good, getting that Christmas in Cambodia moment,forgetting the meaning of "is".
Tell you what, there will probably be some jobs at the New York Time coming up after the stockholders meeting,the way you make stuff up you will fit in well there.

Have a happy New Year and don't forget,always use a different payphone....and don't use this name..the NSA have it on file.

topsecretk9

NO WAY? I was 1000? WOW

By the way, pretty sure that Rider got his euphoria reduction poll (that was what we were supposed to experience) by "hamsterwheel" atRockPaperScissors, I mean firedoglake.

What is really sad about this is having to embrace an online poll that you encourage your readers to vote in , to make yourself feel better.

Weird...no grown-ups in the party with enough cajones and wisdom to advise s major back away from this issue.

millco88

Boris,

I think this it where it dovetails with your issue. Is listening on the call unconstitutional even if some parties are not "warranted" or is it using the information obtained from that listening against you in court unconstitutional?? It seems that it's the latter.

If that's the case, what about if Terrorist calls US Citizen and they have what seems to be a "coded" conversation. Does the govt have the right to monitor the next conversation(s) US Citizen has? If so, how long? If they know about this 72-hour retro need, wouldn't they just wait 3 days to make the next important call??

topsecretk9

pretty sure that Rider got his ---OR HER
sorry my apologies

clarice

I'm not sure--there's that damned criminal law v. counterterrorism thingy, but I think if you had that situation you could claim probable cause and seek a FISA warrant to continue listening in.

MayBee

The other option as to why the NYTs didn't report sooner:
They knew the leaker was politically motivated. What if it was Clarke or Beers or someone who has come to them before with political beefs? Or even if it is a Democrat- the cries of partisianship would be obvious. Wouldn't that make them more inclined to hold off for a while?

clarice

Yes, though at that time they were probably not certain the source would be found out. OTOH, it might have been more obvious then, wouldn't it?

PeterUK

Might it not just be something as mundane as money? Circulation and profits are down,there are large scale layoffs,was there anything else in the shot locker which would cause as much of a stir? Perhaps the temptation was just too much.

Syl

Man, I just read this year-old Rivkin piece criticising the 911 commission report.

He basically said that the Report didn't get close to the heart of the matter, the legal framework, and changes necessary therein to strengthen our intelligence gathering in order to prevent another 9/11.

In other words, the report concentrated on structural changes (homeland security and reorganization of intelligence depts with a czar in charge) rather than the underpinning legal issues.

Read the section on the Wall. He said unfortunately we won't have an opportunity to bring this up again for a while...well, at least he was wrong on that. We're in the middle of that very discussion right now.

clarice

Professor Fried's article should be a good starting point should the Hill ever get off the blathering idiot soapbox and into the real world..Maybe, if we stripped down their staffs to 1965 limits, they'd be working more and posturing less.

MayBee

clarice- it might have been more obvious who the leak was, closer to the time it was first made. Or with less information added. Who knows what they might have thought? We saw mission creep with the Ken Starr investigation. Maybe they (NYT) were afraid the Justice Department would just throw this leak in with the Fitzgerald invstigation, and leaks about the leaks would come out before the election.

And PeterUK, it sure could have been financial. It could have been anything. They aren't under any obligation to say.

PressThink is blogging about this right now. It is interesting, though, that the press-affiliated commenters critizing Keller for not being more forthcoming and not listening to criticism that he didn't release this article critical of Bush sooner, in turn refuse to listen to non-press commenter's criticism of the press's slant on this story. (run on sentence, no?)
I guess no one likes criticism, and very few believe it is offered in good faith.


Syl

Yes, Clarice! I agree that article is a great starting point. I imagine behind closed doors the matter won't be as controversial as what is said in public. Dems gotta let the Left know they 'care' about their shiboleths.

(that is, if I used or even spelled that word correctly.)

clarice

Everytime I read or listen to press critiques of their own performances, I feel I've entered an alternate universe.

Frankly, most of their non-press critics (lawyers, business people, engineers) have a far firmer grip on reality and honesty than they do.The prisom through which they measure themselves seems to have a major flaw in it.

Rider

"The NSA's Overt Problem" by Michael Hirsh

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/30/AR2005123001594.html

The NSA is barking up the wrong tree, it seems. We've all been assuming wrongly that this sigint stuff actually works. Turns out what we really need is another Bletchley Park packed full of hackers and no eavesdropping at all.

G'night.

clarice

Michael Hirsh is an idiot.

clarice

That should be "prism"..I'm invoking the midnight rule early tonight.

MayBee

It's midnight somewhere.

millco88

Clarice,

How many NEXT conversations could you monitor?? Let's say US Citizen 1 calls US Citizen 2 and says some "interesting" things. He then calls US Citizen 3 and some similar "interesting" things. Does the govt have the right to start monitoring US Citizens 2 and 3 to see who THEY call?? For how long?? You can see where this leads.

I can see why Bush did what he did. I'm just not sure where it ends. Isn't this ultimately a six degrees of separation issue and we should all understand that all calls MAY be monitored just like they are when talking with a corporation?? It's not the listening, per se, that's the problem. It's what you do what that information.

As long as we don't see misuse of the information, is there really a problem??

clarice

According to the Pincus article which some are inexpliacbly arguing proves the program was illicit, the program was stopped and revised to prevent abuse AND an independent audit was done which established there was none. (Nonein the Patriot Act enforcement either and the Hill DID look hard to find some.)

I'm for concentrating my worries on real problems not paranoid fantasies.

kim

I meant Post earlier when I mentioned that the Times was documenting a lot of t-crossing and i-dotting by the administration. But again, the headline is inflammatory and inaccurate. The explication of the argument proving the program illicit is that those making the argument can comprehend headlines but not the small print.
========================================

Syl

Half of all perceived bias in the media would go away if they fired all their copy editors and got new ones--just to write the headlines.

boris

How many NEXT conversations could you monitor??

The admin claims all secondary monitoring between US parties was done with warrants. Taking that at face value my only point was this:

With regard to criminal investigation, does a legal wiretap on one person (eg crime boss) allow monitoring of calls between him and other parties for whom there is no warrant?

My point assumes it does allow monitoring all calls. And further that if FISA type rules were applied to criminal investigation ...

(1) No monitoring without warrants for all other parties

(2) 72 hour Retro warrants allowed "in emergency"

(3) Probable cause for retro warrants needs to be independent of monitored content.

My Point is that criminal investigators and prosecutors would scream ther heads off that FISA style restrictions applied to them would be completely unworkable.

But then there are a number of assumptions in there relative to criminal investigation that I cannot vouch for.

boris

For clarity the point assumption sentence should read ...

My point assumes it currently does allow monitoring all calls. And further that if FISA type rules were to be applied to criminal investigation ...

I hope that makes it more understandable. I'm never sure what I'm trying to convey is coming across.

kim

It was the Times: James and Eric. The article belies the headline. CQ has it.

Do you suppose, Boris, that that is why they chose to go the route of informing the AG every 45 days?
=================================

boris

that is why they chose to go the route of informing the AG every 45 days?

Yes and also that would explain why presidents from Carter to Bush claim the authority to override FISA.

maryrose

My concern is how fast out of the gate the left is in declaring this a whistleblower situation. Chuck Schumer, their official mouthpiece couldn't wait to declare the leaks OK because of some people's uneasiness. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. The fact that he serves on the intelligence committee is enough to give anyone pause. At least Jane Harmon appears to grasp the seriousness of the situation.

kim

Boris, it is a truism that whatever one is trying to convey fails to completely get across. It's analogous to changes of form of energy; there is always something lost. This an approximate business. But you approximate splendidly.
==========================================

owl

Thanks for the Steyn tip, clarice. Powerful stuff, so sent it a couple places. A 'must read' before discussing immigration...an eye opener.

owl

FOUND COOPER.....

owl

He was just on FOX, commenting on the NSA. He said nothing. I do mean nothing I could even remember. He mumbled and I had to turn the volume up 10 times. Go back into foxhole.

kim

Many members of the left are worried that this surveillance has actually been used against domestic opponents. They hate to get explicit about their fears for there isn't any evidence of it, but make no mistake, that is what is driving the fervor. I'd bet it's not been so used; perhaps it's tempting tactically, but it's political folly. Look what the mere fear of such use has done to the more hysterical among us.

Next question: What's to be done with datamining done by political parties?
===============================

maryrose

Just saw Cooper on Fox News and he is of the opinion that whoever is investigating the NSA leak will determine its' intensity and how big it plays in the media.

maryrose

Owl,
I agree,Cooper has no new real insights and can't even comment on his role in the Plame fiasco.

boris

Many members of the left are worried that this surveillance has actually been used against domestic opponents.

Well that would be credible if the left is in contact with terrorists providing advice, PR, and support. Surely not. But they did go all out for the communist Sandinistas.

Extraneus

I think it's likely that the fervor and related misdirection ploys are related to their fears of who will be exposed. It could be some pretty big fish -- bigger even than, say, someone you've never heard of like Libby, and this time complete with violations of the underlying crime itself. The strategy of claiming high-minded motives on the part of the leakers, without once acknowledging the possibility that the leaks damaged national security, seems one of desperation, as if someone's trapped.

noah

You are not going to like this guys but when I visited this thread a while back there 1020 comments...so I counted back 21 and lo and behold the 1000th post was made by none other than that troll without peer....Rider!!!

Thanks clarice for the link to the piece by Mark Steyn. It is a more detailed argument that he and others have been making for some time.

I used to post a lot on Left2Right...a now largely defunct site which folded when its principal contributor David Velleman a supposed rational secular philosopher was exposed to be just another raving moonbat when you dug a little.

None of the contributors or leftist commenters there would ever respond coherently to Steyn's thesis other than to say basically "whatever will be will be...lets stick to X" where X is one of the secondary priorities Steyn is talking about.

clarice

Steyn is a polymath genius. We are fortunate that he is a prolific writer because his insights are so brilliant. (I started reading him regularly as the media began gaslighting its readers with the Afghan quagmire, and have been nodding and laughing with him ever since.)

noah

Altho Steyn's thesis has no direct link to the NSA kerfuffle or Plamegate it does illustrate that the outcomes of blogosphere debates will have little if anything to do with the fate of Western Civilization. The Left will never engage on the subject because to do so would make their heads explode!

So my advice to the women of the Western world...if you want your genes to survive have plenty of babies and do not send them to Harvard if you want to have grandchildren!

kim

Oh, extraneous, I have to agree, the fervor and uproar may well be for the benefit of who's in the trap. Any speculation? Would they go to the wall for Kerry? Rockefeller? Schumer? Surely there are other candidates. Oh, and just tangentially, where's Bill or his numerous Friends?

BTW, your nom de blog is a misnomer. It should be 'intrinsic', to better characterize your insights and contributions.
============================================

clarice

I think if it turns out that any candidate or Dem Senator or staff were the leakers, the party will be in big trouble. And that's the only reason Chuckie is making a fool of himself.

PeterUK

Boris,
"Well that would be credible if the left is in contact with terrorists providing advice, PR, and support. Surely not. But they did go all out for the communist Sandinistas."

There will definitely be cross over through some of the myriad organisations which operate under the cover of legitimacy.
The main problem is the Islamofascists use the left's talking points,bin Laden himself employed them in his tapes.So it is fairly certain that these new disclosures will benefit al Qaeda,from now on communications will only be with USPERs.
The main issue is one of perception,al Qaeda sees the Loyal Opposition as an ally against Bush,there is nothing in the MSM and Democrat's agenda to persuade them otherwise.
Each atrocity is aimed at US domestic opinion,amplified by the MSM and used as a stick by the Democrats to beat the administration.
It is apppalling that a bitter war is being played out against the backdrop of US national politics,which is all this disclosure by the New York Times is about

kim

The US is remarkably fortunate that its immigrant economic underclass is Christian, fertile, and speaks a language with many cognates in common with English, and most of the same sounds.
=====================================

cathyf

When is Tom scheduled back? We've beaten this Deadest of Dead Horses thread to death, and dammit we need a new one!

(Hmmm... How long can we discuss how long we have to wait? I predict it oughta be good for at least a couple hours of completely pointless blather if we need it to be!)

cathy :-)

millco88

Boris,

Isn't there some time frame of a call's duration you can monitor if warranted guy talks to unwarranted guy, i.e., the first x seconds of the call?? If they say something that keeps you listening, that may or may not be probable cause. If your reason #3 means probable cause must be gathered independent of the phone call, I'd agree, it's completely unworkable.

kim

By one interpretation, bin Laden threatened red states over blue states in his pre-election video. I take that threat seriously. It helps explain how calm some seem to be in the face of this horror.

The next successful domestic terrorist event will be in Houston or Dallas. Don't you think Bush is trying to stop that?

I'm sure T's shabbas will be fruitful.
======================================

boris

Isn't there some time frame of a call's duration you can monitor if warranted guy talks to unwarranted guy

I google-found this in an article from 1999 ...

For example, the FBI would be able to listen in on the cell and ordinary telephone conversations of all parties to a conference call, even if some are put on hold and are no longer talking to the target of the legal wiretap.
So I'm guessing my assumption is accurate that in regard to criminal investigation a legal wiretap on one person (eg crime boss) does allow monitoring of calls between him and other parties (for whom there is no warrant). I specifically use the term "legal wiretap" instead of warranted to better match the analogy to the NSA situation.

If it were proposed that FISA type rules should apply to criminal investigation ...

(1) No monitoring without warrants for all other parties

(2) 72 hour Retro warrants allowed "in emergency"

(3) Probable cause for retro warrant needs to be independent of monitored content

Criminal investigators and prosecutors would scream ther heads off that FISA style restrictions applied to them would be completely unworkable.

PeterUK

Who framed the FISA laws ,the Taleban? It seems most peculiar that greater rights are extended to those who consort with terrorists than those who consort with criminals.

Syl

Cathy

LOL. Actually with all these messages, we've maintained pretty good discipline and stuck at least within the NSA business for the vast majority of messages. That's got to be some kind of record. Kudos would have to go also to the 'troll' who wasn't trolling in the normal sense of hijacking a thread into other topics but pretty much helped maintain the focus.

Sue

Syl,

What are you saying? We behaved like adults, for the most part? How dare you!!!!

::grin::

Extraneus

Kim: "Would they go to the wall for Kerry? Rockefeller? Schumer?"

Kerry? No way. They probably think he's as big a dork as everyone else does. Rockefeller? Maybe, and he's got to be a prime suspect. Schumer probably isn't, or he wouldn't have been sent out to be the point man on the silly leaker-motivation strategy. But your observation that we're below quota on Friends-of-Bill is interesting, since we all know the real end-game strategy of their efforts involves Hillary. How does she figure into all this? Her silence isn't exactly out of character, but it's pretty quiet.

maryrose

MSNBC is back to pedaling incorrect information. Matthews is suggesting that Comey was against it and had to be corrected by Pete Williams that after clarification, Comey was on board. He now has Andrea Mitchell and Evan Thomas,{what happened to being fair and balanced?}Oh sorry wrong network! Thomas says ,Things are a little out of balance." Now they are saying Specter is a "bellweather". Andrea says "millions and millions of communications". I find it hard to believe they would have all that information already. Andrea says" It's disengenious to say ,"Don't you want whoever is talking to Osama to be tapped?" Uh yes Andrea we do want that person tapped.

clarice

I'm beginning to think there are two programs involved:The sweeping data mining established under CLinton and then called Echelon.

And a more limited calls to and from AQ members and suspects found abroad. And the latter is what the President is talking about and the former what Mitchell is.

There is simply no way to get warrants in an Echelon type program as the system involves millions of calls and doesn't tell you the names of the participants--just threads and patterns from which might zero in. In the second situation, getting warrants is hard because you have no probable cause and acting fast is crtical.

MJW

Syl: "Kudos would have to go also to the 'troll'..."

I agree with Syl. Except for the offensive "neo-cons a facists" garbage, Rider doesn't really qualify as a troll. I disagree with most of what he says, but in general his arguments aren't pointless or made just to annoy. Occasionally I follow a link to one of those leftwing sites where no opposing views are allowed. Every thread devolves into a group hug, with posters reassuring each other how very right they are, and with the most obvious flaws in their arguments (and often their facts) being blithely ignored. I think a contrary voice keep things interesting.

kim

Oh yeah, her silences are revealing.
==================================

Rider

"Occasionally I follow a link to one of those leftwing sites where no opposing views are allowed."

You are dead right. (Don't worry, I just popped in to see if the thread had changed. This one was like being trapped in an elevator for seven days!) My apology was sincere, btw. I particularly regret that I resorted to name-calling on one of the very few conservative blogs that Ive found which allows comments or which is not closed to newbies. Shame on me. Keep up the good work. This is what Americans are supposed to do. Carry on!

Specter

I got invited to sit in on a locat "forum" on what to do about the "Bush" problem. The forum's problem is that they can't find any conservatives to sit on the panel. The reason is simple - it is like the blogs - no matter the facts, the people sponsoring the forum say they are right and everybody else is wrong. And then they pat each other on the back for being so "right". LOL

boris

My apology was sincere

The one where Rider apologized for calling Hitler a neoconservative because it's an insult to Nazis?

Where Rider implies that what we don't like is people bad mouthing Hitler?

That one?

richard mcenroe

Anybody else want to encourage Rider to encrypt his posts?

Rider

Good Lord, boris, are you irony-challenged? I "apologized" for that because both you and noah had chastized me for calling Hitler a neoconservative.

Noah said my remarks had "an air of anti-semitism" (December 30, 2005 at 09:51 AM) about them, and you said that they were "racist and hateful" (December 30, 2005 at 08:24 AM).

I thought it was ironic, to say the least, that these were the terms you two were using to lambast me for referring to Hitler as a neoconservative. My tongue-in-cheek "apology" was my way of calling your attention to that point.

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Wilson/Plame