Jan 22 2006

Democrat Self Destruction

Published by at 2:01 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

Victoria Toensing asks a pertinent question of the left in the US:

Do Al Gore and other Democrats really want to keep the government from finding al Qaeda agents in the U.S.?

Well, if that is the price to win elections and beat Bush and the Republicans the answer is clear – yes. Democrats will allow Al Qaeda planning in the US to be protected so they can impeach Bush. They are that afraid of Bush succeeding. For Dems to win now, Bush and America must lose. It has gone that far.

In a speech last week, Al Gore took another swing at the National Security Agency’s electronic surveillance program, which monitors international communications when one party is affiliated with terrorists. Specifically, Mr. Gore argued that George Bush “has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently,” and that such actions might constitute an impeachable offense.

The only people who should be impeached (i.e., thrown out of office) are those who are so emotionally unstable they believe terrorism is less of a risk to this nation than them being out of power. The Democrats believe their lack of power is more important than protecting America from the next 9-11.

Talk about being unstable. They want to return to the pre 9-11 pretend world. A world were legal theoreticians let ‘what if’ scenarios trump reality:

I have extensive experience with the consequences of government bungling due to overstrict interpretations of FISA. As chief counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee from 1981 to 1984, I participated in oversight of FISA in the first years after its passage. When I subsequently became deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, one of my responsibilities was the terrorism portfolio, which included working with FISA.

In 1985, I experienced the pain of terminating a FISA wiretap when to do so defied common sense and thwarted the possibility of gaining information about American hostages. During the TWA 847 hijacking, American serviceman Robert Stethem was murdered and the remaining American male passengers taken hostage. We had a previously placed tap in the U.S. and thought there was a possibility we could learn the hostages’ location. But Justice Department career lawyers told me that the FISA statute defined its “primary purpose” as foreign intelligence gathering. Because crimes were taking place, the FBI had to shut down the wire.

Boy, don’t we miss those days?

FISA’s “primary purpose” became the basis for the “wall” in 1995, when the Clinton-Gore Justice Department prohibited those on the intelligence side from even communicating with those doing law enforcement.

Let me try and expand on this. This was a time when leads being detected by the NSA on possible terrorists overseas contacting their cohorts here in the US could not be passed onto the FBI – because the FBI does crime and the NSA does intelligence. All the reporting I have seen indicates the only change since 9-11 is leads detected by the NSA were finally being passed to the FBI for review.

And that is an impeachable offense? No, being against that is an impeachable offense. And Ms. Toensing expands on what I pointed to earlier – to understand who a terrorist overseas is communicating with, you have to read the address of the other side of the communication. Doing so is the same as reading the to/from addresses on an envelope. It is not illegal to do that, it is illegal to open the envelope without good cause.

The NSA undoubtedly has identified many foreign phone numbers associated with al Qaeda. If these numbers are monitored only from outside the U.S., as consistent with FISA requirements, the agency cannot determine with certainty the location of the persons who are calling them, including whether they are in the U.S. New technology enables the president, via NSA, to establish an early-warning system to alert us immediately when any person located in the U.S. places a call to, or receives a call from, one of the al Qaeda numbers. Do Mr. Gore and congressional critics want the NSA to be unable to locate a secret al Qaeda operative in the U.S.?

Folks, if you want your kids to be exposed to a terrorist attack in their schools, support the liberals. Because Al Qaeda wants to frighten us into backing off. And the best way to do that is to launch an attack on our schools. Are you sure you don’t want tips coming from the NSA to the FBI?

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Democrat Self Destruction”

  1. sbd says:

    The Dems are such hypocrites, it kills me. Hey Gore remember this??
    From EPIC
    Fact Sheet on Administration Anti-Terrorism Proposals
    July 29, 1996

    — Multi-Point Wiretaps.

    These were authorized by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (as amended), codified at 18 USC Sec. 2518(11). We propose harmonizing the standards for obtaining a roving microphone and a roving electronic intercept. Under existing law, roving microphone interceptions require only a demonstration of probable cause that it is “impracticable” to use a standard uni-point order, while roving electronic interceptions require a demonstration of probable cause that the subject is attempting to evade surveillance by changing telephone devices. This latter standard is extremely difficult to meet in the investigative phase of a case. By way of example, an individual switching between multiple cellular telephones, all of which he can carry in a brief case, may be doing so to defraud a cellular carrier rather than to evade surveillance. Since the burden is on the government to demonstrate probable cause, an absence of proof means that the burden is not met. Absent a court order, multi-point surveillance like nonconsensual uni-point intercepts is punishable as a crime or a civil offense and evidence gained through the illegal surveillance is subject to supression.

    — Pen Registers and Trap-and-trace devices for foreign intelligence investigations.

    Pen registers are devices which record numbers dialed on a telephone. Trap and trace devices record the incoming number similar to Caller ID. Neither records the content of the conversation. Both may be issued on a representation by an attorney for the government — generally an Assistant United States Attorney — that the information is “relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation,” 18 U. S.C. Sec. 3123(a). In FISA investigations, a full electronic intercept order, approved by the Attorney General must be sought. We seek to harmonize the FISA and criminal standards so that a FISA application may be made on the same showing and representation. Under existing law, a FISA pen register could not be authorized under the criminal standard and the use of a pen register without a court order may result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

    — Taggant

    Congress should fund at $25 million a six-month study of indentification taggants — microscopic partiles which are identifiable and which are designed to survive an explosion — and thereafter permit the Treasury Department to promulgate regulations — subject to a 45-day review period – — which would criminalize the possession of untagged explosives, including black powder and smokeless powder. The 1996 Terrorism Act expressly excludes the study and regulation of black powder.

    — Common Carrier and Public Accomodation Records

    We seek authority for the FBI to issue administrative requests — National Security Letters — to common carriers, hotels, communications providers and storage facilities for records in foreign counterintelligence (FCI) cases. Under existing law, grand jury subpoenae may be issued in criminal cases, see Fed. R.Crim. P. 6(e), the Attorny General has authority which she has delegated to certain Federal agents in narcotics cases to issue administrative subpoenae. We seek the same authority as exists in routine criminal cases for the FBI in FCI cases. Under existing law, carriers need not comply with an FBI request and there is no sanction for them not doing so. Those who fail to comply with a valid grand jury and/or adminstrative subpoena are subject to penalties which may include criminal contempt.

    — Emergency Wiretap Authority

    These are authorized in ECPA in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2518(7) and permit the Attorney General (and Deputy) to authorize an emergency wiretap without a court order for 48 hours in certain limited situations involving organized crime, national security or immediate risk of injury. At the conclusion of the 48 hours, a standard application must be presented to a judge and if the intercept order is not approved by the judge, evidence gained during the 48-hour period cannot be used. We seek to expand the emergency situation to those which are clearly terrorist related but which do not trigger one of the exceptions. An emergency order granted outside of the specified statutory criteria would constitute an illegal intercept and would subject the interceptor to criminal and civil penalties and the evidence to suppression.

    — Terrorist Offenses as RICO Predicate The Rackateer Influenced Corrupt

    Organizations Act (RICO) provides severe criminal, civil and forfeiture penalties for organizations engaged in certain conduct. Although most serious violations are RICO predicates, terrorist acts are not. We propose to make terrorism offenses RICO predicates so that investigators and prosecutors can utilize the proven tools of the statute which include freezing assets, lengthy sentences of imprisonment and favorable case law.

    — Expanded Predicates

    ECPA limits the Federal felonies which can constitute a sufficient predicate for an intercept order, see 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2516(1). We propse that any Federal felony ought to constitute a Section 2516(1) predicate when there is a nexus to terrorist activity. While most crimes which are likely predicates in terrorism cases are already listed, in the early stages of a terrorism investigation, it is entirely possible that the only predicate may be a relatively technical crime. By way of example, explosives shipped to a terrorist in the United States but labelled on a Customs declaration as “medical supplies” give rise to a putative violation of Customs statutes. While more serious violations may become apparent through further investigation, investigators may only have the relatively technical false statement violation in the first instance. Under existing law, a court order could not issue. If an intercept were conducted, it would be illegal and could lead to criminal and civil penalties as well as the suppression of evidence.

    — Statute of Limitations on Unregistered Firearms/Explosive Devices

    We propse extending the statute of limitations for firearms registration offenses — crimes designed to prohibit the possession of machine guns and short-barrelled firearms — from 3 to 5 years. The five-year statute of limitations applies to virtually all other Federal crimes, including the misuse of the Smokey the Bear emblem.

    — Encryption

    We will seek legislation to strengthen our ability to prevent terrorists from coming into possession of the technology to encrypt their communications and data so that they are beyond the reach of law enforcement. We oppose legislation that would eliminate current export barriers and encouraging the proliferation of encryption which blocks appropriate access to protect public safety and the national security.


  2. Larwyn says:

    Wow! Glad you are on our side.