Feb 15 2006

Congressional Probe Of NSA Program Fizzles

Published by at 9:29 am under All General Discussions

Captain Ed Morrissey has the scoop on how Congress is rethinking the need for a probe of the NSA scandal.

Another reason for the ebbing of outrage by Congress, although unspoken and unreported by Babington, has to be the reaction of the American people. Having been informed that the administration authorized warrantless surveillance on international communications between people with ties to al-Qaeda and people in the US, the American electorate … yawned. Most had probably presumed that such efforts had been underway all along, as the 9/11 Commission made clear that the US needed more aggressive counterterrorism of this explicit type.

Captain Ed notes the same poll I did here. The other problem, though, is the scandal is not what it was supposed to be. The changes Bush made did not allow NSA to go around FISA, they forced FISA to accept leads coming from NSA regarding possible terrorists in the US. And FISA has resisted these leads at every turn. In fact, the 72 hour provision for FISA warrants cannot be used for NSA terrorist leads because to this day FISA will not allow a warrant based on NSA intel alone.

As it became clear FISA was stonewalling the same kinds of leads that would have prevented 9-11, any politician worth their salt was not going to stand against Bush’s decision. The media was played by PR experts – and duped.

From the original Washington Post story we see the dagger to the heart of the probe

Senate intelligence committee member Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said in an interview that he supports the NSA program and would oppose a congressional investigation. He said he is drafting legislation that would “specifically authorize this program” by excluding it from the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established a secret court to consider government requests for wiretap warrants in anti-terrorist investigations.

While good for Bush and Co. this will rile up the liberal base as they see another Bush imperial coupe in the making. They will go ballistic.

Personally, I want more information on the resistance of courts to use leads garnered from intelligence to protect American lives. This is not a game.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Congressional Probe Of NSA Program Fizzles”

  1. Congressional probe of NSA surveillance may not happen afterall

    The Washington Post is reporting this morning that the WH lobbying campaign has swayed a few key GOP lawmakers in Congress to the point where they are reconsidering whether not an Congressional probe is necessary:
    Congress appeared ready to launch an…

  2. As NSA Probe Fizzles, How Much Damage To National Security?

    Washington Post
    Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may kill …

  3. Iowa Voice says:

    NSA Investigation May Be Dead In The Water

    From the Washington Post:

    Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may…

  4. BurbankErnie says:

    As the NSA Probe fizzles, so too will Able Danger. You know CSPAN isn’t even carrying it? I cannot find any MSM links to any story, and did Brit mention it on the News yesterday?

    Repubs let these things fizzle. I have no confidence in any Hearing regarding National Security. So far it has all been BS, from the 9/11 Commission to now.

    The only Hearings that will get any traction will be the phony Impeachment Hearings orchestrated by the Loony Tune Division of the Dem Party (which is growing larger by the day) led by John Conyers. Yeah, thats the ticket.

  5. Greenwalds Latest Partisan Strategy

    While Jay at Stop the ACLU and the Washington Post are reporting that the NSA investigation is fizzling and the Dems are retreating Glenn Greenwald is egging them on in his latest post The NSA Scandal and Public Opinion Myths is your classic Democrat…

  6. Larwyn says:

    Finally CSPAN ran the Whistleblower hearing at way after
    midnight, I stayed up until a few minutes before 5am EST
    to watch the entire thing.

    Russel Tice was there and Kucinich had him read the Fourth
    Amendment aloud. The Dems kept playing the NSA leakers
    are “whistleblowers”.

    This was their main talking point through-out – so they are
    afraid and trying to pre-empt the NSA & CIA prisons leak
    investigations by “bumper stickering” the goodness of
    all whistleblowers.

    I also think that just as the DLC has thrown Paul Hackett overboard,
    they have seen the latest Hillary polls, while realizing that ABLE DANGER IS GOING TO COME OUT!

    Their only hope seems to be to prolong ABLE DANGER info
    about the CLINTONS thru election season – if they can get
    the house, and DEFEAT CURT WELDON in PA they can
    limit the damage (they think).


    AbleDangerBlog has a link to his campaign office and I hope
    our side of the blogosphere will respond .

    And finally we all know how “neutral” CSPAN is (not).
    While searching for the hearings all evening – I was offered 2
    broadcasts of the president of the Urban League talk on
    Katrina. In addition to duplicate broadcasts of Tony Blair and
    Gordon Brown.

    The House stayed in session – so that is CPAN’S out I guess.

    Sorry, CSPAN there is pattern of programming where those
    events of most interest to Conservatives – those that might
    expose the Dems are played late at night. NGO’s and
    Press Club events, and “progressive” think tanks are played
    when people with normal sleep patterns are abed. Hmmm
    give the LSM ability to pick and chose the sound bites.

  7. Larwyn says:


    NGO’s and
    Press Club events, and “progressive” think tanks are played
    when people with normal sleep patternsare awake, those events and hearings detrimental to the Left are played when they are abed.
    Is strategy to give the LSM ability to pick and chose the sound bites.

    I am a bit cranky today as the dog didn’t join me to watch the
    hearings and rose with sunshine as usual.

  8. Roberto says:

    How does this leak help Al Quaeda?
    Didn’t they already know we are eavesdropping on them (with warrants)?
    What benefit do we have over them by spying on them w/out warrants?

    The only way this becomes a scandal is if they already know who we have warrants on. Is there a leak in the Justice Dept?

  9. Larwyn says:



    Matthews has a list of what they don’t know about Cheney

    Posted earlier:
    It is 3:55pm EST and CSpan channel that covers the House
    is showing presser regard Katrina report.

    Have not even seen a reference to the Able Danger Hearing
    going on in their “capital news” captions.

    They’ll show it in wee hours of the morning to make sure
    it can be filtered thru the LSM.

    CSPAN, THE NEUTRAL (ha!) wouldn’t want to hurt the
    Dems or the Clintons.

    This is just sick!

    Left by Larwyn on February 15th, 2006

  10. Roberto says:

    Katrina’s not even a real Bush scandal.
    Someone lost their job over that one (unlike Iraq War–why hello Mr. Rumsfeld).

  11. BIGDOG says:

    O little OT.

    I posted here about the intellegence summit coming up. Well ABC is airing these tapes tonight on nightline.


    Just a heads up. Its now coming out saddam and WMD’s was a reality.

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  13. Sloan says:


    A month or two ago it was reported by some in the intelligence community that, almost immediately after the NY Times blew the cover on the NSA surveillance program, large orders for disposable cell phones were placed by individuals or groups that were suspected of being linked with Al Qaeda.

    They may have had some idea that we were tapping their lines, but they didn’t know everything. Now, they obviously know enough to prompt them to change their behavior patterns. Thanks a pantload, NY Times!

  14. Snapple says:


    I am going to that conference and also posted on another thread that this is the kick-off to the conference. The tapes, so far as I know, are not from just prior to the war. They are mid-90s or so. The tapes may not tell us what the situation was just before the war.

    Certainly the tapes show Saddam’s intentions. Maybe we will hear more.