December 16, 2005
NSA = "No Such Agency?"
I think I've been running off at the fingers lately; all my posts have been re-e-e-e-e-ea-a-al lo-o-o-ong. So I hope y'all don't mind if I write a few short and pithy ones.
My old blog-boss, Captain Ed, has a primo post on the conjunction of the two major stories of the day and the one major story of the post-9/11 world: the Patriot Act plus the SigInt spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) together help explain the big story for the past four years: not one, single attack on the American homeland since October 2001, when the Anthrax attacks occurred.
All I have to add is this: I've been scratching my head in puzzlement so hard that folks will think I have pediculosis. Let's review the bidding... senators, including some renegade Republicans, are getting in a lather because the NSA was caught red-handed intercepting electronic communications that cross the American border (in either direction) and analyzing them -- without the knowledge of the parties whose eaves were being dropped.
In other words, the NSA has been discovered in the act of doing its job.
Somebody correct me if I've got this wrong, but isn't electronic eavesdropping the actual mission for which the NSA was created? Didn't it grow out of the old Army Signal Corps -- which (among other things) "tapped" into telegraph wires to spy on bad guys? Am I hallucinating again? (Darn that Blue-Star acid!)
What the heck did everybody think the NSA was doing the last four years... its nails?
It's as if the Democrats and their willing accomplices in the MSM had never even heard of the NSA before, and now they're shocked, shocked that a federal intelligence agency exists to monitor telephone and e-mail communications. Doesn't seem sporting, somehow. Not cricket. If you asked the New York Times and Sen. Harry Reid yesterday what the NSA stood for, they would have said "no such agency."
I understand that after years of observing the CIA, it might seem weird and freaky to stumble across an intelligence agency that quietly and efficiently does its job, and without tooting its own horn or leaking damaging intelligence all over the joint. I note that the sources of this leak to the New York Times are not even identified as working for the NSA:
Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.
Officials of what agency? We are never told.
So while we're cursing the CIA, let's raise a glass to the silent and effective men and women at the National Security Agency.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 16, 2005, at the time of 11:57 PM
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» More on FISA from protein wisdom
Al Maviva, writing at Cold Fury, well-encapsulates the argument I made yesterday for the legality of Bush's domestic NSA monitoring program:[...] In brief, the warrantless monitoring exception applies to domestic agents of foreign powers th...[Read More]
Tracked on December 18, 2005 12:42 PM
» NSA AND THE LAW: WHAT THE TIMES DIDN'T PRINT from Michelle Malkin
There's a wealth of new information and debate in the blogosphere on the NSA special collections program, including non-Bush-bashing independent legal opinions that the NYTimes, unsurprisingly, had no time and space to see fit to print--even after an e... [Read More]
Tracked on December 19, 2005 8:33 PM
The following hissed in response by: Cynic
So if I understand this correctly Americans don't want to know when sleeper cells are contacted by their bosses?
The following hissed in response by: Stephen M. St. Onge
The National Security Agency was formerly the Armed Forces Security Agency, and before that, the Army Security Agency. It was the ASA that broke the Nipponese "Purple" diplomatic cipher, and later did the VENONA decrypts.
So yes, they have been doing their job. And, they've been doing it legally. The Foreign Intelligence Security Act permits the government to monitor communications with other countries _without_ getting a warrant, even if they originate in the United States.
So, the government agency did its job, did it legally, and caught and convicted at least one terrorist because it did its job. Shocking, they _*HAD*_ to be stopped. Why, the hundreds of people al-Qaeda was keeping in touch with in the U.S. didn't have a sporting chance of committing mass murder!
I'm unable to register my disgust sufficiently on this.
The House of Saud Must Be Destroyed!
The above hissed in response by: Stephen M. St. Onge at December 17, 2005 3:44 AM
The following hissed in response by: Jimbo
Stephen -- Excellent point -- totally ignored by the MSM, of course. What was done was L-E-G-A-L and appropriate. What really fried my nose was that the NYT apparently had known about this for a YEAR and chose only to talk about it the day after successful Iraqi elections. Coincidence? I don't think so.
The following hissed in response by: hunter
The NYT in its collapse faltters itself that they are the arbiters of American policy. They have published illegal leaks at least three times this year:
The CIA airlines, the detention system, and now the tapping of international calls from foreign terror suspects to the US.
They have the gutz to claim in their paper that the Plame afair is a real security leak even while in court they swear under oath it was not.
The MSM to the extent they follow the NYT lead is actively working to hurt this nation's security.
The taps were limited, specific and legal.
Only someone who hates this country would do what the NYT did with that data. Only cynical political hacks would use their elected offices to further damage the war with needless exposure of these intel ops. And the timing is tranaparently obvious: To rob the Patriot of Act of its constitutional and effective tools to protect America.
The madness of the left in hating this country during this war will fill history boks.
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Can't get your trackbacks to work today. I linked from We eavesdropped on the bad guys! Oh, my! -- Part 2. Is it time for the NSA to start monitoring communications between CIA and NYT employees?
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at December 17, 2005 4:00 PM
The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi
Nearly a dozen current and former officials
they are all former officials now, if indeed they worked for NSA and told someone they did.
i think the NYT is lying. some congressman briefed to the program leaked.
or those were CIA pretending to be NSA.
frankly, i cannot believe the leakers were NSA. because they would know what the president did was lawful.
i have a good idea.
let's have the security officers that briefed the congressional leaders that the president mentions, go to their mosler safes and pull up the briefing lists and publish them.
that should shut some people up.
The following hissed in response by: stackja1945
If we play by some twisted rules that control one side and not the other then there will be little wonder why the game is lost.
The above hissed in response by: stackja1945 at December 18, 2005 2:14 AM
The following hissed in response by: ras
Which of these things do NOT go together?
...because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters...
It's the end of irony as we know it.
The following hissed in response by: opine6
NSA has listening and interception devices on top of every mountain in the US (I've been to a few) , and probably all over the world. They can hear a pin drop in Washington, D.C. Can they use everything they intercecpt? No.
Wanna bet GW knows where the leaks are coming from? I'm betting he does, but may not be able to act on the information. People need to be jailed over these leaks.
The following hissed in response by: Jim,MtnViewCA,USA
As you say, discovered in the act of doing their job. Indeed, doing it for quite a while. In fact, as pointed out in instapundit, doing it since BEFORE the Bush Administration.
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