Feb 17 2006

NY Times To Be Investigated

Published by at 3:07 pm under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

** Updates at the end **

I am going to predict the NY Times is going to rue the day they got the congressional investigation they so desperately wanted

Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday that they had agreed to open a Congressional inquiry prompted by the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program. But a dispute immediately broke out among committee Republicans over the scope of the inquiry.

Representative Heather A. Wilson, the New Mexico Republican and committee member who called last week for the investigation, said the review “will have multiple avenues, because we want to completely understand the program and move forward.”

But an aide to Representative Peter Hoekstra, the Michigan Republican who leads the committee, said the inquiry would be much more limited in scope, focusing on whether federal surveillance laws needed to be changed and not on the eavesdropping program itself.

Recall it was the NY Times which erroneously reported that Bush order the NSA to bypass FISA. We now know that this is 100% wrong. We now know Bush ordered the NSA to provide the leads they had been collecting on terrorists contacts with people here in the US since before 9-11 to domestic law enforcement to follow up. The authority for the NSA activities was established in 1981 – not 2001. What changed after 9-11 is the NSA would provide the FBI the leads and the FBI would take the leads to the FISA Court for warrants if they were deemed solid leads.

Prior to 9-11 the NSA would not pass on any information to domestic law enforcement regarding anyone in the US in contact with terrorists overseas. Apparently, if Bin Laden himself was on a conference call with Atta in Germany and Midhar in San Diego and the NSA intecepted the call and heard the plans – the Midhar end of the discussion would disappear.

After 9-11 Bush did not order domestic spying, he did not change a thing. Instead of bypassing the FISA Court (FISC) the administration was investigating leads and taking the serious leads to the FISC – which refused to consider them.

There was no attempt to bypass FISA, all efforts were made to use FISA and the FISC judges refused to hear evidence from FISA alone – no matter how clear the intercepts were:

The revelations infuriated U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly — who, like her predecessor, Royce C. Lamberth, had expressed serious doubts about whether the warrantless monitoring of phone calls and e-mails ordered by Bush was legal. Both judges had insisted that no information obtained this way be used to gain warrants from their court, according to government sources, and both had been assured by administration officials it would never happen.

The House investigation is going to open this up for public debate. We have judges who dismissed evidence of terrorist attacks simply because the NSA was the source – like somehow the assumption must be the NSA is below consideration. Our military people working to find the next attack were unworthy of being considered a valid source. Judges who would not allow a lead that could protect 3000 people from a horrible death, because the NSA heard the conversation and not the FBI. Judges who would not allow a warrant to find all the members of an Al Qaeda cell here in the US because the NSA was the one that found the first member – but that member’s communications with his partner terrorist here in America would go unmonitored until the FBI could develop indenpendent and aussage arrogant judges playing games with our lives over legal theory.

Debra Burlingame wrote about how the government learned of a switchboard in Yemen through which 9-11 murders Midhar and Hazmi talked to their partners out of country. A lead which could have stopped 9-11.

It was the FISA Court’s made up rules that the FBI was valid and the NSA invalid that allowed that lead to go unused. The FISA Court is still obstructing the process of tracking down terrorists (as well as exhonerating others) by not allowing the surveillance on all communications for a person here in the US in contact with terrorists overseas. Still – to this day. Bush tried to use the FISA Court, not bypass it. And the FISA Judges refused to use simple common sense and work to protect us. That court belongs to us, the people of America. And if it is a barrier to protecting us from obvious risks in the lame idea there is an outside chance Bush may spy on Al Gore – than I say tear down that court.

It is more useful to Al Qaeda than it is to us.


Junkyard Blog posts on two new terrorists plots detected and stopped in the US

One cell allegedly wanted to help al Qaeda and Taliban fighters battle US troops … The other would-be terrorist allegedly wanted to blow up oil refineries and pipelines from New Jersey to Alaska

Is this the kind of activity we might now miss thanks to the inaccurate NY Times and prudish FISA Court Judges?

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “NY Times To Be Investigated”

  1. mary mapes says:


    This really didn’t go the way they were thinking did it?

    The NYT’s assumed…

    A) the “american people” would surely see it “once revealed” as a horrific thing, and so once again the NYT’s could impeach Bush

    but B) all it revealed was that sane “American people” expected let alone be scandalized by such

    so C) in a roundabout way THANK YOU NYT’s. You succeeded in getting a “scandalous” program for which you leaked secret information LEGAL!

    So now , the NYT’s has LEGA:IZED but made worthless our safety AND they now stand to be promoting a book that is MEANINGLESS and Fitzgeralrd and Wen Ho Lee has made their argument nothing more than dollars in a windbag on papers wet dream.

    Good Job, Rove.

  2. How Ideological Bias Destroys Reality Testing: Yet Another NY Times Example

    It is the weekend and while I rarely get a chance to go to the movies these days, I do enjoy reading movie reviews and planning which movies I will put on my must see list for future home DVD