Dec 18 2007

Dems Fear Second Coming Of Nixon More Than Terrorist Attack

Published by at 9:52 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

I have posted on the facts of the FISA issue many times and how the Democrats like to misrepresent it to the public. Here is one post with lots of links to articles. But much of this bears repeating since the media is incapable at grasping the essence of this issue. The issue really boils down to paranoid delusions on the left pitted against real world threats from al-Qaeda.

The biggest point to make up front is that the deadly holes uncovered in FISA during the aftermath of 9-11 were fixed by the President immediately. It is why we sit here 6 plus years on without another attack. But our incompetent and impotent Congress has not been able to make those fixes permanent in those 6 long years. Which goes to show you why you need an executive branch to act in the nation’s defense – Congress would let thousands die debating their paranoid delusions.

The Democrats have lost the battle of FISA reform time after time because there is a dark little secret on Capitol Hill, and that is Congressional democrats know they cannot push too hard or Bush and Company will explain to the public what is up with FISA and 9-11. Call it mutual assured political destruction. Because if the public knew they would probably hang the Democrats for not fixing the problems. And then all sorts of back and forth ‘exposures’ of the way the government works would explode and the government would cease to function (like it is functioning now?).

I firmly believe the only reason Bush doesn’t expose the the true nature of the FISA debate is he is trying to work it through the wink-wink system, where one side makes some public hay out of it before it passes because it is the right thing to do. Most know you can trade pork on the Hill, but you can also trade propaganda time. So the President would allow the Dems more time to play to the cameras to demonstrate their sincerity to their base. In return they let the legislation pass. The sad fact is Dems keep passing the FISA fixes in short spurts because the price for their support is time to dodge political bullets from their base. But the bullets have not stopped flying and have gotten worse coming into 2008.

The changes that FISA went through after 9-11 fixed the fact that intelligence leads on attacks here in the US used to be throw in the trash. This idiotic policy was per direction of paranoid liberals who think Nixon will rise up from the grave to listen in on all their whacky conspiracy theories. For example, prior to 9-11 all information on contacts by terrorists in Yemen with terrorists here in the US were removed of the key information on who and where in the US those contacts were. (a href=”″>see here for the Congressional record that proves this). This apparently did happen.

Current CIA Chief Hayden, who was previously head of the NSA, once admitted publicly that the NSA had detected the 9-11 highjackers prior to their attacks. And he admitted the NSA was not allowed to pass that information on to the FBI to investigate it. He confirmed that the price we paid as a nation for this FISA foolishness was the death of 3,000 innocent people.

Hayden, a cerebral leader whose specialty is setting broad visions for sprawling government bureaucracies, faced a number of difficult challenges after Sept. 11. Among the obstacles was a legal one: NSA employees had long been technically capable of tracking phone calls that either originated or ended in the United States but they were frustrated at being legally required to stop tracking calls as soon as potential suspects dialed someone in the States, and they could not listen to purely domestic calls.

He admits that we knew that Mohamed Atta and his crew were in the US. But he says that “we did not know anything more” because prior to 9/11 “Mohamed Atta and his fellow 18 hijackers would have been presumed to have been protected persons, U.S. persons, by NSA “.

Protected to the point of suicidal insanity. They are STILL protected, because you need a court order to tap anyone’s communications in the US to this day. There is no ‘warrantless’ surveillance in this country. That is a liberal myth. People who get caught up in legal surveillance activities DO get investigated all the time, and evidence must be provided to a court to transform someone from a “lead” into a “suspect under surveillance”. Every day in this country someone’s call is being listened to because they contacted someone under warranted surveillance. Per the loose terms on this story that is ‘warrantless’ surveillance because the warrants never cover all the people a target might contact.

But terrorists from overseas had to be handled special. They could not be caught up in incidental contacts with legally monitored enemies overseas. No, for ALL NSA leads prior to 9-11 there was no path to the FBI to say “we have this lead you might want to check out”, no way to chase down a possible threat inside our borders. NONE! And we paid the price on 9-11.

This is also confirmed in the reporting. Here are facts about the post 9-11 FISA-NSA relationship which prove there is no warrantless surveillance of people here in the US:

Intelligence officers who eavesdropped on thousands of Americans in overseas calls under authority from President Bush have dismissed nearly all of them as potential suspects after hearing nothing pertinent to a terrorist threat, according to accounts from current and former government officials and private-sector sources with knowledge of the technologies in use.

Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their domestic calls, as well. That step still requires a warrant from a federal judge, for which the government must supply evidence of probable cause.

Since early 2002, when the presiding judge of the federal intelligence court first learned of Bush’s program, he agreed to a system in which prosecutors may apply for a domestic warrant after warrantless eavesdropping on the same person’s overseas communications. The annual number of such applications, a source said, has been in the single digits.

Far from being an effort to bypass the FISA Court, as the NY Times so infamously mis-reported, the Court was working with the President to allow NSA developed leads to be used in the probable cause claims for warrants on those 10 or less (single digit) instances when the traffic between terrorists overseas and people here in this country actually rose to the level of concern to become surveillance targets. And less than 10 targets a year get the full attention of our nation as possible threats. This is not reckless and rampant surveillance for political purposes.

We finally have a system that will recognize and act on leads regarding possible threats in country, leads detected solely by monitoring terrorists out of country. We have a way to pass those leads onto the FBI who investigate, and if there is concern go to the FIS Court for a warrant to monitor the suspect. And what are the Dems worried about?

They delayed, once again, the permanent and rational fixes to FISA because they are afraid of the Second Coming of Nixon and the abuse of surveillance for political gain. They would risk thousands of our lives and hamstring our national defenses because they fear the some ghost of Watergate more than they fear the hundreds or thousands of Bin Laden jihadists out there, right now, trying to find a way to kill as many Americans as possible (our children especially). To say their priorities are screwed up is an understatement. To DEMONSTRATE their priorities are screwed up is trivial. I think the Dems felt Bush would hold his fire one more time on this subject. They don’t understand that Bush will not let political games or niceties get in the way of making these national security changes permanent. They are part of his legacy and this is the last chance he will have the political power to make it happen. He has played along for a long time because the laws have been fixed temporarily. It is not his fault the Dems have extended their agony by not just doing the right thing and moving on. The gloves might just be coming off this time around.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Dems Fear Second Coming Of Nixon More Than Terrorist Attack”

  1. VA Voter says:

    Two Points:

    1. Aren’t the people who complained the loudest about the Bush administration not connecting the dots prior to 9/11 the same folks not wanting to fix the FISA problems?

    2. During the Civil War Lincoln temporarily suspended Habius Corpus (much to the chagrin of civil libertarians of the day). The Southern states wouldn’t give Jeff Davis (Confederate President) the same powers. The North won. Connection?

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    The far left blogs don’t want telecom immunity. It is hard for them to explain their real reasons why, but if you examine their comments about it they hope that trials will move forward and in some way the sources and methods of how we do our stuff will be exposed.

    Even they realize that if the telecoms get hammered in civil suits those costs will only be passed on to every user of those services to pay for lawsuits they may lose.

    So where it all boils down to to appease their wrong headed hate, the court system will in effect place a non legislated tax on consumers of telecom services.

    Passage of the protection of the telecoms will do no harm to anybody and allow us to move forward and stop this senseless waste of time and resources.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    It was very clear from the debate they had yesterday that they do not have a clue as to how the net or phone system works.

    Sure there are old analog stuff up to your local switching center but after that it all goes digital.

    Some were even seeming to think that NSA was making a total copy of the entire telecom traffic both voice and data rather than picking up just targeted stuff.

    If that were true they would have to have bandwidth equal to the entire telecom amount to feed back to some data farm to make it happen. Then you would probably have to have the entire world production of hard drives to store it on and the data center would have to be big enough to cover a couple of counties somewhere.

    Also you would need your own dedicated power plant just to power the place up.

    They really need a clue.