Jan 06 2006

Wire Taps Stop US Attack

Published by at 1:22 pm under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

Interesting news out today – something our media is not reporting. We avoided a recent attack due to wiretaps which detected the attack before it could be executed. The likely reason the US media is avoiding this story is it really undermines their claims about faux constitutional crisis. The reporting is supposedly all over the media outside the US – so I gather the media cannot claim more ignorance than usual. Here is the story from a source I have no clue about – so take it for what it is:

The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist plot against the U.S. – because it would tend to support President Bush’s use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog groups.

News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually unreported in the American media.

Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S.

Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists’ goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.

I don’t know, but this would seem newsworthy to me!

“U.S. terror attacks foiled,” read the headline in England’s Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, “Three Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S.”

Well, let’s see. A Google search does show a lot of items on the story. Whether they were a serious threat could be argued, but I still think the story is newsworthy.

Now I am sure the phones taps in Italy were legal. As were the NSA monitoring of terrorists overseas. But somehow a lot of people have lost the facts in this issue. So let me recap:

(1) NSA legally can and d0es (and damn well should) monitor communications of known or highly suspected terrorists overseas (I use terrorist as short hand for Al Qaeda and affiliated groups trying to kill us).
(2) The target of the NSA surveillance is the terrorist, but all who communicate with the terrorists are monitored
(3) The monitoring can, and apparently did, catch communications between these terrorists and people in the US – this is legal! Just as anyone who contacts the target of monitoring here in the US, under a warrant, is considered a legal intercept, same with the target of surveillance overseas.

The normal, expected step after detected a contact in the US is to pass that to the FBI, who would go to the FISA Court to have that person become a target of a warranted surveillance effort. To get the warrant, the FBI would have to show probable cause.

Here is the catch: only the Chief FISA Judge knew evidence from NSA monitoring of overseas terrorists was being used to justify probable cause, since she/he was the only one who was briefed and aware of the NSA program?

Why was on the Chief Justice briefed and aware of the NSA program? Well, someone had to be to handle the transfer of evidence and establish rules of quality, etc. But since the NSA program was one of our most secret, the need-to-know had to be at the bare minimum.

Now this is what we all want. We want the NSA and CIA and DIA monitoring potential threats overseas. And when they detect communication with a person inside this country we want that information passed to the FBI to begin a proper and legal investigation here.

Now, many have concluded without any proof and only the word of leakers and their media conduits that Bush side stepped FISA. There actually is never been clear statement by the administration that Bush side stepped FISA. In fact, it appears NSA monitoring is simply a natural precursor to FISA. We use the NSA to look outside and try and detect pending attacks. Once the elements of that plan hit our shores we need to handle it with law enforcement.

It appears some extreme leftwing FISA judges resisted using the NSA as a lead to terrorists in the US. If you look at the latest Washington Post article, it is clear not one of the ‘anonymous‘ Judges are not concerned about Bush bypassing the court. They are only concerned NSA intel was used to justify FISA warrants!

Let me repeat without intending to insult anyone’s intelligence. A small, left leaning cadre of FISA Judges are not claiming Bush bypassed the FISA process. Not one peep.

Several judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said they want to hear directly from administration officials why President Bush believed he had the authority to order, without the court’s permission, wiretapping of some phone calls and e-mails after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Of serious concern to several judges is whether any information gleaned from intercepts by the National Security Agency was later used to gain their permission for wiretaps without the source being disclosed.

The part I emphasized is the rumor mill issue. The red herring claim that Bush did anything to bypass the court is nothing more than media spin. The nugget is the concern of several judges as to “any information gleaned from intercepts by the National Security Agency was later used to gain their permission for wiretaps without the source being disclosed”

That is it folks. Only the Chief Judge new NSA intel was being used for probable cause justification. So it was being passed to the FISA judges without being noted as NSA intercepts (which is normal for classified intel – trust me).

These judges are only concerned they were in the dark as to the SOURCE of the information. The information could be Atta 2.0 talking to Bin Laden – the content – and these judges are focused on the SOURCE!

I have said this many times. Legal theorists naively believe process creates valued information. They have no concept that information is either true, false or irrelevant no matter the process used. Outside coercion, there is no problem with how the truth is found!

Believers in process are duped to believing false information gained through a made up process carries more weight than truth passed through some YET TO BE SANCTIONED path. Well, others may pray at the altar of process, but I tend to reality as a combination of processes, but truth being the ultimate test.

This is what the liberals are basing their impeachment claims on – misunderstanding what happened by the media and false deities praised by misguided leftist judges. So, you may ask, why doesn’t the administration clear this up?

A couple of reasons. When your enemies are committing suicide it is not in your best interest to save them to kill you off on a later day. Also, the investigation is currently being performed, and right now those who leaked have a false sense of hope they may skate by this as long as the media keeps the diversion alive that Bush bypassed FISA. However, this false hope will lead them to make a mistake, and make the investigation into the crime of leaking much easier. Once the American public to realize this is not about circumventing the process by the administration, but was an attempt by some judicial activists to hinder our efforts to stop terrorists in the country so they could see more democrats win elections…

Well, the American people will be asking for some heads on platters. Do not call them to arms against illegal acts only to have them find those making the call lied to them and were the ones performing the illegal acts. Once called, they will take their anger out on someone.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Wire Taps Stop US Attack”

  1. […] This is pretty interesting, via AJ Strata: […]

  2. Donkatsu says:


    Generally in agreement with your view. However, I do think that this is something of a constitutional crisis, since we have a court that claims its decisions to be above and beyond judicial review. That is the inference that I took from the 2002 Court of Appeals procedings and the subsequent refusal of FISC judges to accept the Silberman decision ordering them to stop the unilateral maintenance of the Gorelick wall.

  3. Larwyn says:

    A MUST READ – Promise you will see the “CRISIS CULT” at
    work in every LEFT output – Hear the Ghost Dance drummings
    as you read or hear the latest LEFTY meme.


    End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance

    The great psychoanalytic anthropologist Weston LaBarre wrote extensively of “crisis cults,” which involve non-rational belief systems that cultures develop when under severe stress and faced with breakdown. Similar to the neurotic individual, at the core of every crisis cult is a welcome but false “noble lie” which “is defended with the same religious fanaticism as neurosis.” As he writes, “Crisis cults are notable for their foolishness and unreality, because they tend to deny and misapprehend the real situation surrounding the society. But they all promise relief from unendurable current catastrophe.” In fact, as irrational as they may appear on the surface, the crisis cult is “the would-be therapy of the traumatized culture.” It doesn’t do anything in the real world, but it comforts those who cling to the beliefs of the crisis cult.

    In his book The Ghost Dance, LaBarre describes dozens of crisis cults. In fact, the book takes its title from one of the most famous crisis cults, the Ghost Dance of the late 19th century, when American Indians were facing the complete dissolution of their way of life–loss of their hunting territories, near extinction of the once vast buffalo herds, a series of disastrous military defeats, multiple droughts, and new and fatal diseases. The Ghost Dance was a fantasied solution to all their problems, involving the widespread idea that “a new skin would slide over the old earth, covering up the whites and all their works, and bringing upon it new trees and plants, great buffalo herds, the ghosts of the dead, and the great departed warriors and chiefs.” This utopia would come about if only each person in all the tribes danced the elaborate Ghost Dance.

    Another famous example is the “cargo cult” of early 20th century New Guinea. There, the natives couldn’t help but notice that they had to work very hard, while the white colonialists seemed to sit around a lot, and received great stores of goods simply by sending out little scraps of paper. They reasoned that this had something to do with the mysterious cargo ships that left with native products and returned loaded down with all of the machines and other items that seemed to make the white men so powerful. The New Guineans developed the idea that these powerful objects were fashioned by their ancestors in a far-off volcano and were actually meant for them. But in order to ensure receiving them, they would have to imitate the behaviors of the white men by “sitting solemnly and speechlessly around tables,” waiting for their ship to come in, so to speak.


    Click here: One Cosmos: End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance

    Once you have read the entire essay you’ll give kudos to Dr. Robert Godwin for painting these vivid word pictures.
    Visions of FDR, JFK fill their heads and set the beat – with absolutely
    no understanding.

    “a slow withdrawal will look like victory” John Murtha – need I say

  4. Snapple says:

    The Assyrians in the article you cited are the descendants of the original Christians in Iraq, I think. There are Christian Arabs, but they are a minority. They were there before Islam, of course.

    Here is their home page http://www.aina.org/index.shtml

    They are the Assyrian International News Agency.

  5. Snapple says:

    I thought this was also an interesting quote from a conservative publication. Congresswoman Jane Harman says she has been briefed on the NSA program and that it is essential.

    “Ranking Democrat On The House Intelligence Committee Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) Calls The NSA Program “Essential” To Targeting Al Qaeda. “As the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to US national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.” (Rep. Jane Harman, Harman Statement on NSA Electronic Surveillance Program, Press Release, 12/21/05)

    Here is her homepage

    She has some issues about what has been going on and claims that the program went beyond what she was briefed about, but she also seems open to the idea of changing the law, if needed. The concern I have with her approach is that it requires the “oversight” of a lot of congressmen and staff. I don’t think they would keep this stuff secret.

    Here is her position in a press release from her office:


    December 21, 2005


    ~ Calls for expanded Congressional briefings, open and closed hearings in New Year ~
    Washington , D.C. – Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA), Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee, today issued the following statement:

    “As the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to US national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.

    “Due to its sensitive nature, I have been barred from discussing any aspect of this program, and until the President described certain parts of it on Saturday, I have made no comment whatsoever.

    “Like many Americans, I am deeply concerned by reports that this program in fact goes far beyond the measures to target Al Qaeda about which I was briefed. Since Saturday, I have consulted my staff as well as attorneys who specialize in constitutional law and now believe that:

    1. It was inappropriate to limit congressional briefings on this program to the so-called Gang of Four the most senior majority and minority members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. The National Security Act of 1947 gives the President authority to limit congressional briefings only when covert action – not foreign collection – is involved.

    House Intelligence Committee Democrats have written to the President and Chairman Pete Hoekstra requesting a briefing as well as open and closed hearings as soon as Congress reconvenes in January. Vigorous congressional oversight requires Member and staff involvement.

    2. Domestic-to-domestic surveillance requires the approval of a FISA court. It has always been my view that the President must seek FISA approval if domestic-to-domestic surveillance is involved. The FISA statute allows a 72-hour grace period in an emergency.

    3) The Blue Ribbon Commission called for by a number of House Democrats is a very good idea. Once armed with full information, Congress can and should change the laws regarding domestic surveillance if warranted.

    “We must use all lawful tools to detect and disrupt the plans of our enemies; signals intelligence and the work of the NSA are vital to that mission. But in doing so, it is also vital that we protect the American people’s constitutional rights.”

  6. MikesAmerica says:

    Newsmax repeated the Assyrian report. But I could not find the headline or cited piece in the London Sunday Times.

  7. sbd says:


    Contributed by Michael Ledeen
    Friday, 06 January 2006

    Like everyone else in Washington, I’ve been reading excerpts from James Risen’s new book, the one that “exposes” the “crimes” of the Bush administration with regard to the war on terrorism.

    The most recent excerpt deals with the CIA’s activities vis-à-vis Iran, and Risen says some very shocking things, things which a serious city would find far more troublesome than the legalities about NSA’s intercepts of conversations involving terrorists.

    Since I’m just an amateur at these arcane subjects, I thought it best to get some real expertise, and so I dusted off the old Ouija board for the first time this year, and got it up and running. After about 20 minutes of searching, I finally got my old friend James Jesus Angleton, once upon a time the head of counterintelligence at Langley.

    JJA: Happy New Year! Hope everyone’s doing well.

    ML: Thanks, dittos. We’re okay down here, hoping for a terrific 2006. And you?

    JJA: Kind of you to ask. I’m doing fine, it’s just that the puritans who run this place won’t let me smoke. They say it’s totally contrary to the milieu, and that if I want to smoke I can put in for a transfer to the other place…

    ML: Probably not what you’re looking for?

    JJA: Not at all. But enough about me, what’s on your mind?

    ML: Have you read that excerpt from the Risen book, State of War, that was in Thursday’s Guardian?

    JJA: Indeed I have. I was hoping that’s why you called. It’s simply amazing. Unbelievable.

    ML: You mean the buffoonery by the CIA operations directorate that Risen talks about?

    JJA: Well, obviously. But the really amazing part is that Risen doesn’t even notice the truly horrible aspects of his own story. He doesn’t have the wit or the energy to think half a step beyond the tale he’s been told.

    ML: Okay, let’s take them in order. The first one dates back to Clinton. It’s about an operation called “Merlin,” and consisted of feeding doctored information about the design of nuclear weapons to the mullahs via a Soviet scientist who had defected “years earlier” to the United States. The concept was to get the Iranians to use the snafued version in their bombs so that they would fizzle instead of explode.

    JJA: Right. We’ve been doing such things for years, and for good reason. If you know that your enemies are trying to steal your blueprints, or buy good weapons on the clandestine market, you’re well-advised to try to get them to steal or buy things that won’t work, instead of running around trying to plug all the cracks in the dyke. Nothing wrong with the concept.

    ML: Except that we never did it with nuclear stuff before, did we? And Risen’s got expert testimony that the Iranians could easily have sorted out the good parts of the blueprints from the disinformation, so that in the end we would have actually helped them.

    JJA: Yes, I saw that. You can always get somebody to say that any given idea is idiotic. But you’d need to know a lot more than Risen knows to be able to judge it, in this specific case. And that points us to the really interesting question, the one that Risen doesn’t bother to ask, let alone answer.

    ML: I’m following you. If we knew enough — in 2000, mind you — to be able to design an effective disinformation program, then…

    JJA: Then (he started shouting in that gravelly voice of his) THEY KNEW THE IRANIANS HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM SIX YEARS AGO.

    ML: But they were forever testifying, in those years, that they really didn’t know.

    JJA: The damn fools.

    ML: Well, maybe they had a political problem. They certainly knew that Clinton wasn’t going to do anything about it, so why should they make the case? There’s a long history of this, including the CIA’s failure to sufficiently warn about al Qaeda, etc. etc…

    JJA: Nononono! They did make the case — that’s Risen’s real scoop, and he doesn’t even know it. They had to make the case in order to justify the operation. You couldn’t have “Merlin” unless you knew there was an Iranian nuclear-weapons program. Remember that Risen makes a big deal about the fact that the Russian defector was carrying “a technical design for…a ‘firing set’ for a Russian-designed nuclear weapon.”

    ML: You’re right. Good heavens!

    JJA: Damn right. And that takes us to the true idiocy of “Merlin.” It’s not, as Risen has it, that we might have inadvertently helped the mullahs design a better weapon; they had all the help they needed on that one. That was a component of a Soviet bomb.

    The true idiocy was the apparent failure to realize that the Iranians could find out all about the defector, because their nuclear program was being helped by the Russians, who had to know all about this guy.

    And the Russians also knew all about that “firing set,” because they’d designed it in the first place. So the buffoons in the DO [CIA Directorate of Operations] should have known — I mean, five minutes’ deep concentration would have gotten them there — that this particular deception could not possibly work.

    ML: They didn’t think about the counterintelligence angle.

    JJA: To put it mildly. Nor did any of the policymakers; they should have seen through it right away. But they didn’t, because counterintelligence is a lost art out at Langley, as Risen’s other story proves quite effectively.

    ML: That’s the one about the lady at CIA who mistakenly sent information to the “wrong spy” — an agent inside Iran.

    JJA: Ha! Wrong spy indeed! Risen says, “She had sent information to one Iranian agent that exposed an entire spy network; the data could be used to identify virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran.”

    ML: All three of them…

    JJA: Chortle.

    ML: And Risen continues, “The Iranian who received the download was a double agent. The agent quickly turned the data over to Iranian security officials, and it enabled them to ‘roll up’ the CIA’s network throughout Iran…”

    JJA: There you go. We had fallen for a classic deception, just as we did during the Cold War with Cubans and East Germans (remember that it turned out that most all the presumed “spies” in those countries were double agents).

    So much for “spycraft.” It’s a replay of an earlier catastrophe, in the Nineties, when scores of Iranians were rounded up and killed because the CIA had made a hash of the operation and exposed their identities. All that should raise some serious questions in the minds of the policymakers, don’t you think?

    ML: Yeah, like: if we are constantly tricked by the mullahs, why should anyone believe anything the CIA has to say about Iran?

    JJA: Pfui. Risen says that, “In the spring of 2005, in the wake of the CIA’s Iranian disaster, Porter Goss…told President Bush…that the CIA really didn’t know how close Iran was to becoming a nuclear power.”

    ML: But that doesn’t parse! They had known enough, years before, to launch “Merlin.”

    JJA: Or they didn’t, in which case there’s no excuse at all for “Merlin.” In fact, it looks like the real disinformation program was running the other way. If I were in charge of counterintelligence (his voice got a bit dreamy here, as the static was starting up on the Ouija board), I’d run some operations to see if the so-called “agents” in Iran were ours, or the mullahs’. And (the board was now sparking and it was hard to make out his voice) find out…if…some bastard at the DO…working….the other side.

    At least that’s what it sounded like. Anyway, you know how JJA thought: Anything could be its own opposite. He loved to tell the story of the “Trust,” the Soviet disinformation operation that tricked the West into supporting a bogus army of presumed anti-Communists who were working for Soviet intelligence all along.

    We thought we had penetrated the Soviet Union, but it was the other way around; they had penetrated our intelligence services. They found out what we were up to, and they deceived us into striking at their strongest link.

    So it’s inevitable that James Jesus would wonder if Risen’s stories were much more important than Risen realized. Maybe they show that the Iranians have done something similar. They’re certainly up to it.

    A few days ago President Ahmadinejad said, “We must prepare ourselves to rule the world.” And he cheerfully commented on Sharon’s stroke, “The Butcher of Sabra and Shatila has joined his ancestors and others will soon follow suit.”

    A regime with such ambitions is capable of anything.


  8. […] See Also AJ Strata, Say Anything, Bayosphere, and Red State […]

  9. […] Jack Kelly does a great job of connecting dots on two stories discussed in the ConBlogSphere: the recent arrest of terrorists in Italy planning attacks on stadiums and other public arenas the MSM has ignored; and the case of Joel Hinrichs who was a Muslim convert and who blew himself up outside a Oklahoma football game. Last month Italian authorities arrested three Algerians who were members of the al Qaida -linked terror group GSPC. […]