Dec 16 2008

Portrait Of A Benedict Arnold

Published by at 1:30 pm under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

Updated: cleaned up the text, added missing links, basically had more time to do a better job! BTW – welcome Real Clear Politics and Powerline readers.

All traitors think they are on the side of right. All enemies of this country, big and small, think they are agents of divine providence. And so it is with the idiot who exposed the new NSA procedures that were changed after 9-11 when we learned internally that we were blind to terrorists within our midst due to arcane rules which did not protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but protected the movement and coordination of mass murderers.

This fool actually believed that to “believe in the US  Constitution” meant he could (and should) break the laws under that constitution based on the flimsiest of evidence and backed by a liberal personal bias against the policies in place. The story Newsweek has out on Thomas Tamm, a modern day Benedict Arnold, is not the story of a hero fighting an evil administration, like the liberal news media wants to portray. It is the story of rogue individual who created fantasies out of thin air and then used those fantasies to expose one of the most important defenses this nation has to terrorist attack – detecting these attacks before they can be executed. Defenses which, when exposed, can still be thwarted if you know what the defense is based on.

This is the story of a petty man who took the law, and our lives, in his own hands and exposed us all to greater risk of terrorist attack, as told by his accomplices in the liberal news media who share the blame for these acts. The public’s judgement on these acts is already in, they are just too blind with self aggrandizing to understand the depth of their crimes. All the facts they claim as proof to support their actions are now law, having been voted on by large bi-partisan majorities multiple times (see here for one example) and with the support of all three branches of government. For something the liberal media seems to think was illegal, they never explain why it has been the law of the land ever since 9-11.

If the fantasy running around these jerks heads was right they would be heroes. But they are just criminals who felt it was their mission to break the law so their vision of America would be the one hoisted on the rest of us. I want to hit some highlights in the story, but I need to set the stage on what happened after 9-11 to our surveillance practices. I have done many posts on this matter since it broke and it was clear the NY Times and their media allies were dead wrong about what was happening. For an extensive review on what happened please go here and here.

But the essence of the changes can be summarized quite simply:

  • Both prior and after 9-11 the NSA monitors the electronic communications (email, web forums, phones, etc) of known or suspected terrorists overseas.
  • Both prior and after 9-11 the NSA would intercept communications between these terrorists and others who were either located in the US or US citizens (not all people in the US are US Citizens, not all US Citizens are in the US).
  • Prior to 9-11, if the intercepted communication included a possible threat to the US, the contents of the communication could be passed onto the FBI for investigation, but not the name, location, etc of those entities inside the US participating in the communication.  This critical information was literally thrown away. We would know there was a pending an attack, but actually throw away the details that could lead law enforcement to those individuals caught in the act of communicating about the execution of an attack.
  • Naturally, after 9-11, the NSA was directed to pass not only the threat onto the FBI, but also the names, locations, phone numbers, etc of the entities within the US borders who participated in the threatening communication so they could investigate further.

All of this seem simply obvious to most as what is required to make sure those talking to known terrorists are harmless or a real threat. The US has always had the ability to investigate suspected threats, but there are limits to what evidence could be gathered to prosecute those caught in the act. And that is where another change was required.

Prior to 9-11 the FIS Court, the now not-so-secret court that hears the government’s requests for warrants and wire taps on terrorists, would not accept any incriminating evidence if it all originated from the NSA picking up a terrorist threat through it surveillance of overseas entities out to kill Americans or attack Americans. Yeah, I know it sounds stupid (it was), but that was The Wall erected between intelligence and law enforcement to avoid any possibility of abuse of power. A weak, culturally embedded, excuse to be blind, but that was the law since the late 70’s, and possibly earlier.

The truth is the system cannot be abused in the way the naive liberals claim – too many people taking, targets not authorized by the President directly, etc. But it was this decades old limitation slapped on by some liberal extremist that blocked the NSA from providing critical information to the FBI prior to 9-11. (Note: if the FBI had a warrant from the FISA court, and directed the NSA to do an intercept,  then the evidence can be used).

This restriction meant that any evidence that cascaded from an NSA intercept against an individual in the US – no matter how damning and clear – could not be used in court to prosecute the terrorist. Or to get wiretaps from the FIS Court. The obvious answer was to fix this artificial restriction and allow the FIS Court to hear cases for wiretaps and warrants that emanated from an NSA intercept. That was the big change in the FISA-NSA relationship, the court had to respect evidence gathered by the FBI in response to the NSA detecting a threat inside our borders.

The court still will not allow warrants, etc based on the NSA intercept alone – the FBI to this day has to develop additional evidence. But now they know where the threat is and who it surrounds, so they can begin looking immediately into the situation. No more vague references to some individual out of the 300+ million somewhere inside this vast country. 

And because of these obvious, common sense changes some fool goes off his rocker and exposes our defenses to our enemies, with the help of the clueless and technically challenged liberal media out for Pulitzer glory.

Now Newsweek has named the guy who fed the news media false information because – in the end – he was clueless about the program he exposed. From Newsweek we learn he did not know the details, but was a liberal individual biased by his Bush Derangement Syndrome. Some key elements of the Newsweek reporting that proves this to be the case:

In the spring of 2004, Tamm had just finished a yearlong stint at a Justice Department unit handling wiretaps of suspected terrorists and spies—a unit so sensitive that employees are required to put their hands through a biometric scanner to check their fingerprints upon entering. While there, Tamm stumbled upon the existence of a highly classified National Security Agency program that seemed to be eavesdropping on U.S. citizens. The unit had special rules that appeared to be hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance. 

Emphasis mine. My analysis of this story has discovered, through other reporting, that these appearances of supposed wrong doing were flat out wrong conclusions. The only way a person in the US (because prior to the NSA-FISA changes any person in the US was treated as a US Citizen) would be monitored would be if they contacted an overseas terrorist suspect. And it was only those communications that would be initially reported to the FBI. In addition, if the FBI determined through their efforts that there was probable cause, these leads would be taken to the FIS Court.

What Tamm did not know, because he was not authorized to know, was that the FIS Court head judge WAS being notified when evidence was being submitted that was initiated by an NSA detected threat. There was no “hiding the NSA activities from a panel of federal judges who are required to approve such surveillance”. The head FIS Court judge would know when a case was the result of an NSA intercept and not from an FBI directed wiretap. The FIS Court head judge kept this information secret from the other judges so as to not taint their decisions on whether the threat was real or not:

Lamberth, the presiding judge at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, and Kollar-Kotelly, who took over in May 2002, have repeatedly declined to comment on the program or their efforts to protect the FISA court. A Justice Department spokesman also declined to comment.

Both presiding judges agreed not to disclose the secret program to the 10 other FISA judges, who routinely handled some of the government’s most highly classified secrets.

So early in 2002, the wary court and government lawyers developed a compromise. Any case in which the government listened to someone’s calls without a warrant, and later developed information to seek a FISA warrant for that same suspect, was to be carefully “tagged” as having involved some NSA information. Generally, there were fewer than 10 cases each year, the sources said.

According to government officials familiar with the program, the presiding FISA judges insisted that information obtained through NSA surveillance not form the basis for obtaining a warrant and that, instead, independently gathered information provide the justification for FISA monitoring in such cases. They also insisted that these cases be presented only to the presiding judge.

What this proves is Tamm went off half-cocked and simply fantasized what was happening. He was wrong, and Pulitzers went out for reporting that was completely inaccurate.  

Newsweek even notes the man’s liberal biases, which clearly clouded his thinking:

Tamm concedes he was also motivated in part by his anger at other Bush-administration policies at the Justice Department, including its aggressive pursuit of death-penalty cases and the legal justifications for “enhanced” interrogation techniques that many believe are tantamount to torture.

So his own personal opposition to completely unrelated matters, such as the death penalty, is somehow a legitimate rational to expose a program he knew nothing about? Hell no, that is not the way it works. And flights of fantasy are not valid reasons to break the law:

 “I thought this [secret program] was something the other branches of the government—and the public—ought to know about. So they could decide: do they want this massive spying program to be taking place?” Tamm told NEWSWEEK, in one of a series of recent interviews that he granted against the advice of his lawyers. “If somebody were to say, who am I to do that? I would say, ‘I had taken an oath to uphold the Constitution.’

It takes a twisted mind to see breaking the law and exposing our national defenses to our enemies as somehow upholding the Constitution, which gives the authority to the President to protect this nation and its Constitution from threat.  Not the President-in-his-own-mind Tamm. The fact is the other branches of government DID know about the program. And backed the essence, clearly evident by the fact it has been voted and instantiated in our laws many times since.

This is the Portrait of a zealot who broke the laws of this country, put us all at risk, because he did not know the details of what he was concerned about. This is how fanatical political positions, and Bush Derangement Syndrome, created a traitor. Bottom line: Tamm did more for our enemies than he did for America or its Constitution.

I will probably be updating this post and challenging the revisionist history of the liberal news media as I continue to assess this story (busy on my day job). I expect to find a lot more falsehoods as the liberal news media try and salvage their Benedict Arnold. But the rest of us know how the story ends. Tamm was wrong. The changes put in place after 9-11 by President Bush are now the law of the land, and this nation has been free of attack since 9-11 in large part because of these changes.

Look for updates if I get a breather to do more analysis on this whitewash job.

31 responses so far

31 Responses to “Portrait Of A Benedict Arnold”

  1. Cobalt Shiva says:

    If the Bush Administration was 1/100th as evil as his paranoid delusions make it out to be, he would have, to use some classic Cold War CIA argot, “caught the measles.” (“Catching the measles” refers to killing somebody and making it appear to have been natural causes.)

  2. aerawls says:

    Thanks for the review AJ. I, for one, would like to see the traditional penalty for treason enforced.

  3. Terrye says:

    There was an alternative to going to the press even if the guy was sincere about being concerned. Whistleblowers go to the Inspector General. Paranoid, partisan morons go to the NYT.

  4. WWS says:

    When I saw that headline I thought that was a picture of Newt Gingrich.

  5. conman says:


    I won’t comment on Tamm’s motives or tactics in pursuing his concerns about the NSA program, but I am always amazed at your revisionist view of the history on this issue. While there are many holes in your version of the story, I’ll just focus on the most glaring one.

    The biggest hole in your story is that you assume that the NSA program adopted after 9-11 is the same program that was ultimately approved by Congress. You dismiss claims that the intial NSA program was much broader as conspiracy theories. But we now know for a fact that is the initial program was broader and yet you keep claiming otherwise in your posts. How do we know?

    As the Newsweek story notes on page 3, in March of 2004 the acting Attorney General James Comey (Deputy Attorney General)refused to sign off on the renewal of the domestic NSA program because the DOJ had become convinced that it was unlawful. Comey was acting Attorney General because Attorney General Ashcroft was in the hospital at the time. The White House first tried to get around Comey by sending then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card to Ashcroft’s bedside, while he was drugged and woozy, to overrule Comey. Comey and FBI Director Mueller got wind of this attempt and arrived at the hospital just in time to thwart their effort. President Bush intially ordered the program to continue anyway without DOJ approval, but backed down when Ashcroft, Comey, Mueller and other senior DOJ officials threatened to resign en masse. Because the NSA program is secret, the part of the program that the DOJ would not renew has never been publically disclosed so we don’t know what they were doing. Comey testified about it under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 15, 2007 and Ashcroft and Mueller subsequently confirmed the story. The White House has never denied this story. So there is no basis for disputing these facts.

    Since you seem to have annointed yourself the NSA surviellance expert, maybe you can explain to the rest of us why the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, FBI Director and several other senior DOJ officials, most of whom were Bush appointees and life-long Republicans, were prepared to resign in masse over the White House’s insistence to continue the secret NSA domestic program initially adopted after 9-11? We don’t know what this aspect of the program entailed, but it is fair to assume that when the entire DOJ and law enforcement leadership threaten to resign if the President insist on continuing it, something that has never happened before in the history of our country, it is a strong indication of something really bad. It also tells us that Tamm was not the only one worried about it. So AJ, how do you square these facts with your version of the story?

  6. crosspatch says:

    “Comey was acting Attorney General because Attorney General Ashcroft was in the hospital at the time. The White House first tried to get around Comey by sending then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card to Ashcroft’s bedside, while he was drugged and woozy, to overrule Comey. Comey and FBI Director Mueller got wind of this attempt and arrived at the hospital just in time to thwart their effort. President Bush intially ordered the program to continue anyway without DOJ approval, but backed down when Ashcroft, Comey, Mueller and other senior DOJ officials threatened to resign en masse. Because the NSA program is secret, the part of the program that the DOJ would not renew has never been publically disclosed so we don’t know what they were doing.”

    Conman, you are only partially right. That event did happen, but it wasn’t concerning the surveillance program that Tamm was leaking. That event was concerning a *different* program having nothing to do with actual surveillance as in intercept of actual communications.

    What the bedside rush concerned was a different program where NSA was collecting call “meta data” from the various telecom carriers. The carriers were apparently providing NSA with all phone call data. It included called and calling numbers, duration, and date/time of call. The argument was that it was legal to collect this information because it was not targeted at any individual and no actually communications was being intercepted. They were only collecting information about communications, not the communications itself and so it was outside the scope of intercept requirements.

    Others felt that the wholesale vacuuming of this call data could lead to abuse if the data were misused. The idea was not so much to prevent another 9/11 as it was to aid the investigation after the fact in case of a terrorist incident. Should an another attack occur and if we had a suspect, we could then go back into the record and see who that suspect had been in contact with. The argument against it was that there would be nothing in theory to prevent someone with access to the data from checking on anyone (their wife, a co-worker, anyone) if they had that person’s phone number. And since that call meta-data is already available to the government if the telco is presented with a specific court order for it, there would be technically no need for it except to possibly greatly speed up the search.

    The assumption that the bruhaha was concerning the “domestic intercept” issue was a jumping to conclusions by Tamm and others (you included, apparently). THAT program was eventually validated as operating within the law. I am not sure what the status is of the second program. The purpose of that second program was to be able to very quickly fold up networks of people without having to get a court order on one, wait for the data, see who they communicated with, get more court orders, wait for more data, etc. They wanted to have the entire database warehoused so they could mine it instantly in case of an emergency. I don’t really have a problem with that program either. I give NSA permission to obtain all of my call meta data any time they want it. They will find it extremely boring.

    In other words, in an emergency, the second program could provide the phone numbers required for warrants to engage in the first program or give the FBI a starting point on who should be interviewed or located immediately after an attack or should a terrorist be discovered. It allowed entire networks of intercommunicating subjects to be quickly identified.

  7. Notthemayor says:

    Franklin – “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    Lincoln – “At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the Ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

    The problem is that you on the right have no faith in our Constitution and our ability to protect ourselves while remaining faithful to it.

    Bush had warning of Obama’s intent to hijack airplanes within the United States over a month before the attack. His administration’s response: none.

    No warning to the airlines or the flying public. No increased security. No alert to law enforcement.

    9/11 did not occur because we lacked information; we had information that we failed to act upon.

    Bush failed to protect the United States. He abrogated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

    You condemn as a traitor a man who exposed a lawless attack on our fundamental liberties.

    A thousand Al Qaidas in a thousand years could not destroy the United States of America.

    Only we can do that.

    I am grateful we have men like Mr. Tamm to speak up in defense of America.

  8. AJStrata says:


    That is the dumbest thing I have ever read. The reason the laws were changed was out of lack of trust to the constitution, it was to uphold it. The fact is once the terrorists reached our soil it was harder to track them, even if we caught them talking to their masters back in Yemen or Afghanistan.

    And that is what happened with 9-11. We were tracking many of the 9-11 leaders outside the country until they entered the US – then we ‘lost’ them because we had to throw away the information about who was where calling whom inside the US.

    Hayden has mentioned many times that these archaic and naive rules allowed 9-11 to happen. And it is simple minded crap like what you spew that kept these idiotic rules in place for so many years and cover to the murder of 3,000 people.

    You would think 3,000 dead innocent people could penetrate the dull mind of a liberal. But they are not human beings with families, it’s just a number. Spouting out of date and irrelevant quotes is MUCH more important than the death of 3,000 people!

    For the record, Bush did not act because the law did not allow the NSA to tell Bush or the FBI about where the terrorist were and who they were. Those laws, as I noted, date back to 70’s. Only a moron would not know that given all the reporting on this matter.

  9. Terry Gain says:

    Lincoln lived before the inventions of the telephone and airplane so he could not have envisioned the current threats to the United States which arise from foreign lands but which are strengthened by the activites of Americans who play politics with national security.

    Given his conduct during the civil war I have no doubt he would have approved wholeheartedly of the efforts of GWB to protect the nation.

    Are the opponents of the measures taken by the Bush admiistraton able to point to even one instance where an American citizen suffered actual damage or where the information obtained – to protect the country and the lives of innocent people from attack – was abused? Or is this just politics?

    I would rather the privacy rights of some person talking to a suspected terrorist be infringed, and no more than necessary, than to see innocent people killed.

  10. Terrye says:

    Lincoln actually suspended many Constitutional rights in the course of the civil war. The only American president who came close to suspending that many rights was Woodrow Wilson during WW1. The biggest point however, is that Obama voted to support this program and I do not hear the NYT or any other Bush critic showing any real concern about Obama’s lack of respect for constitutional rights. The whole issue is partisan.

  11. Terrye says:


    Bush did not know when or where the terrorists would strike. Neither did Clinton. Do you think he should have grounded all domestic flights indefinitely? Deported every Middle Eastern male? It is easy to sit there and run your mouth when you do not have the job of protecting the country.

  12. Notthemayor says:


    Since you asked – we should have increased airport security, put air marshals on more flights, begun the process of hardening cockpit doors and warned airlines to keep the current cockpit doors locked.

    Does that guarantee that 9/11 doesn’t happen? Of course not; but they are all reasonable responses, that don’t require specific knowledge of the flights targeted, that might have made a difference.

    And that’s just me sitting here running my mouth. I bet the experts with the job of protecting the country could have done even better at coming up with protective measures without advance knowledge of the specific target.

    You know, if the administration had treated the threat seriously and put them to work on it.

  13. Terry Gain says:

    Notthemayor – Noi’mthedemocraticpartisan

    Every measure you mention costs money and infringes on the rights of the law abiding. Why is it your heart bleeds for the terrorists and those communicating with them, rather than their intended victims?

    Unless you can answer the question I raised earlier your complaints are nothing but partisan b.s.

    Here it is again. Have at it.

    Are the opponents of the measures taken by the Bush admiistraton able to point to even one instance where an American citizen suffered actual damage or where the information obtained – to protect the country and the lives of innocent people from attack – was abused?

  14. AJStrata says:


    What amazing 20-20 hindsight you have. Too bad you couldn’t predict the attack would be through commercial air carriers.

    The problem was we had NO intel on the nature of the attack. If you were as well read as you try to pretend you were you would know that the intel prior to 9-11 pointed to numerous attack options, including bombing nuclear plants, rail systems, etc, etc, etc. Not to mention there were indications the attacks would be in Europe as well.

  15. Terry Gain says:

    George Bush stands charged that he didn’t do enough to prevent the 9/11 attacks and further he did too much to protect America from further attacks.

  16. crosspatch says:

    “George Bush stands charged that he didn’t do enough to prevent the 9/11 attacks”

    George Bush took office in January. The attacks happened less than 8 months later in September. When Bush took office, the primary coordinators of the attacks were already in the US. The plan had been in the works for at least a year before Bush was in office.

    The 9/11 plan was hatched and trained for during the Clinton administration. Al Qaeda could not have known if Bush or Gore would have been President when they actually perpetrated the attack nor would they have cared.

    The main blame for 9/11 can be placed on the Clinton appointee Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick who is the one that created the policy that led to 9/11. She created “the wall” between intelligence and law enforcement in 1995.

    She also served on the 9/11 commission and more or less critiqued her own work. She was both the cause of the problem AND an investigator.

    But her damage wasn’t limited there. She went on to be CEO of FNMA (Fannie Mae) where she managed to get $26 million in taxpayer’s money.

    During Gorelick’s tenure, FNMA suffered a $10 billion accounting scandal, an ominous harbinger of the firm’s looming troubles. One of the falsified transactions helped FNMA hit earnings targets for 1998, which triggered bonuses for top executives including nearly $800,000 to Gorelick.

    Where is she now? She is an adviser to Barack Obama and had been considered a possible pick for his Attorney General.

  17. conman says:


    As I mentioned in my previous comment, I wasn’t commenting about Tamm’s motives or tactics in pursuing his concerns about the NSA program. I’m commenting on AJ’s consistent claims that Bush’s NSA surveillance program adopted after 9-11 was never illegal or overreaching and any claims otherwise are pure conspiracy theory. I don’t care what you call the program, but the facts I noted above demonstrate that the DOJ concluded that part of the program was illegal and sufficiently dangerous that practically the entire DOJ and federal law enforcement leadership of our country were prepared to resign en masse over it. It also demonstrates that Bush has no regard for the rule of law given that he tried to get a drugged-up Ashcroft to sign off on it and was prepared to proceed with the program notwithstanding DOJ’s refusal to sign off on it until the threat of resignations forced him to back off. Can you imagine how freaked out you conservatives would be if you found out Clinton or Obama tried to get an illegal program signed off by a drugged up Attorney General? And sorry, you can claim that you know the nature of the NSA program at issue but it is only speculation given that the nature of the program has not been disclosed due to its secrecy.

    The bottomline is that AJ’s claim that “The changes put in place after 9-11 by President Bush are now the law of the land” is flat wrong. Every time I mention the Comey/Ashcroft/hospital incident in response to Aj’s bogus claims about the NSA surveillance program he ignores it because he can’t explain it away. I guess as they say, ignorance is bliss!

  18. conman says:

    Terry Gain,

    “Are the opponents of the measures taken by the Bush admiistraton able to point to even one instance where an American citizen suffered actual damage or where the information obtained – to protect the country and the lives of innocent people from attack -was abused?”

    Just two months ago two military intercept officers who worked at a National Security Agency center in Georgia disclosed to ABC News they eavesdropped on the phone conversations of hundreds of U.S. citizens overseas. The officers told how operators would pass around time codes of the calls journalists, soldiers and aid workers made to friends and family back home. The Navy linguist said the calls picked up phone sex and other obviously personal conversations.

    As for damage claims, all claims of damage have been dismissed based on the state’s secret act and the FISA legislation that provided retroactive immunity for telecomm companies. Therefore, we don’t know what abuses have taken place or what damage has been done because the secrecy of the program prevents anyone from even obtaining documents/evidence as part of discovery. Here is a link that notes a fraction of the multiple lawsuits filed over the NSA program that were eventually dismissed on these grounds.

    Lastly, the real danger is the potential for abuse. You should educate yourself about the impetus for the original FISA legislation. It was enacted in 1978 in response to President Nixon’s abuse of federal resources to spy on political and activist groups. Nobody disputes the fact that Nixon abused his presidential powers and violated the 4th Amendment. That is the whole purpose of the Bill of Rights – our founders belief that our liberties needed to be protected against the abuse of federal powers based on the principle that power corrupts. It is amazing to me that the conservatives of today advocate that we should simply trust the government not to abuse its surveillance powers and not worry about liberties until someone can prove actual damages (despite the fact that it is impossible to prove damages if every claim is summarily dismissed). I’ll bet you all of the modern icons of conservatism (Goldwater, Reagan, Buckley) are rolling over in there graves at how quickly today’s conservatives abandon the principles of limited government power and checks and balances because they got scared into believing that the government needs vastly expanded powers to protect us against the terrorist.

  19. Q22 says:

    “A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means. ” – Thomas Jefferson

  20. joe six-pack says:

    History is loaded with successful surprise attacks: Pearl Harbor; the ardennes offensive; savo island; North Korea invading South Korea; operation barbarossa; and on and on. War is full of nasty surprises.

    The point being that in many cases the information was at hand that would at least limit the disaster but was not acted upon.

    The real key is how we reacted. It looks like our response was effective: We have not been hit directly again. (Exception: Our military on ground of our choice.)

    I have bad news: We will be hit again. It is only a matter of time. Once again, the key will be in how we react.