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Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE NSA AND YOU....The Washington Post's big story on Sunday about the NSA's domestic spying program provides answers to some questions and clues about others. Here's a Q&A style roundup using excerpts from the story:

Q: How many serious suspects has the program identified?
A: Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their domestic calls.

Q: How many Americans has the NSA listened in on to identify those suspects?
A: Two knowledgeable sources placed that number in the thousands; one of them, more specific, said about 5,000.

Q: How many calls does the NSA vacuum up in order to identify those thousands of targets?
A: The program has touched many more Americans than that. Surveillance takes place in several stages, officials said, the earliest by machine. Computer-controlled systems collect and sift basic information about hundreds of thousands of faxes, e-mails and telephone calls into and out of the United States before selecting the ones for scrutiny by human eyes and ears.

Successive stages of filtering grow more intrusive as artificial intelligence systems rank voice and data traffic in order of likeliest interest to human analysts. But intelligence officers, who test the computer judgments by listening initially to brief fragments of conversation, "wash out" most of the leads within days or weeks.

Q: What information is the NSA collecting in order to decide whose conversations to listen to?
A: "We debated a lot of issues involving the 'metadata,' " one government lawyer said. Valuable for analyzing calling patterns, the metadata for telephone calls identify their origin, destination, duration and time. E-mail headers carry much the same information, along with the numeric address of each network switch through which a message has passed....the FISA court, as some lawyers saw it, had no explicit jurisdiction over wholesale collection of records that do not include the content of communications.

Q: Really? The NSA's computers aren't data mining the actual contents of conversations?
A: For years, including in public testimony by [General Michael Hayden, the deputy director of national intelligence], the agency has acknowledged use of automated equipment to analyze the contents and guide analysts to the most important ones. According to one knowledgeable source, the warrantless program also uses those methods.

Q: So is the NSA targeting people who are found in al-Qaeda rolodexes? Or what?
A: Machine selection would be simple if the typical U.S. eavesdropping subject took part in direct calls to or from the "phone numbers of known al Qaeda" terrorists, the only criterion Bush has mentioned. That is unusual. The NSA more commonly looks for less-obvious clues in the "terabytes of speech, text, and image data" that its global operations collect each day, according to an unclassified report by the National Science Foundation soliciting research on behalf of U.S. intelligence.

Q: Is the program legal?
A: The minimum legal definition of probable cause, said a government official who has studied the program closely, is that evidence used to support eavesdropping ought to turn out to be "right for one out of every two guys at least."....Michael J. Woods, who was chief of the FBI's national security law unit until 2002, said in an e-mail interview that even using the lesser standard of a "reasonable basis" requires evidence "that would lead a prudent, appropriately experienced person" to believe the American is a terrorist agent. If a factor returned "a large number of false positives, I would have to conclude that the factor is not a sufficiently reliable indicator and thus would carry less (or no) weight."


I have to confess that after reading this story I'm not entirely sure how much new information it contains. It provides some figures about how many conversations are being intercepted and how many suspects have been identified, although even that's a little hazy since the program might have identified suspects beyond just those who earned themselves a domestic warrant. It also provides some confirmation of the "common channel" theory I blogged about earlier, which suggests that the NSA's data mining is focused more on metadata than on the content of domestic communications though one source suggests content is also being data mined.

Beyond that it's hard to say more. The article combines information specifically about the warrantless wiretap program with public information about general NSA capabilities in a way that's hard to tease apart. The most likely short explanation, I think, is that NSA has created patterns of possible terrorist activity and is actively mining communications metadata from domestic calls to find targets that fit those patterns. Data mining of the content of domestic calls may also be involved, though that's less clear. Feel free to shoot this guess down and provide your own speculation in comments.

Kevin Drum 1:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (99)

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Comments

I have to confess that after reading this story I'm not entirely sure how much new information it contains.

If you already know that George W. Bush is an anti-democratic, ethically challenged, wannabe dictator deserving of nothing more than impeachment, followed by a very harsh prison sentence, there is no new information at all.

Posted by: Repack Rider on February 6, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

The director of the secret NSA program has described significant parts of the WaPo report as "not true", and Kevin-the-gullible still laps it all up!

Posted by: am on February 6, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Q: How many serious suspects has the program identified?
A: Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their domestic calls.

The fact that fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents have aroused suspicion shows how effective the Terrorist Survelliance Program has been. The terrorists knows Bush is doing everything to listen to them. So they have decided to not plan another attack on American soil because they know Bush will have found about it using the Terrorist Survelliance Program before they can attack. That's why there have no attacks on American soil since 9/11.

Posted by: Al on February 6, 2006 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, it's been very effective. The Bushies have created a climate of fear in which all discourse, of whatever nature, is tinged by paranoia and repression. And we all know that this will fully protect us from Osama's next move, don't we? Well, don't we?

Posted by: Kenji on February 6, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Goodness, Al old chap, you are one well-informed fellah. Where DO you get such deep information about the plans and intentions of the enemy?

Posted by: Jones on February 6, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hearings start soon.

I'm laying heavy odds that, once again, the Democrats are going to manage to perform the political equivalent of throwing a five-gallon bucket of pig manure directly at the exhaust of a jet engine.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 6, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

Does a 500 to 1 ratio of identifying "suspects" from intercepted communications represent enough of a success ratio to merit sacrificing the Constitution in favor of warrantless domestic spying on citizens?

The Ends vs. Means debate aside, why should we believe our government can identify a terrorist when it can't find WMDs, can't respond to Katrina, can't rebuild Iraq, can't respond to pre-9/11 intelligence about terrorist plots.

Judging by the success ratio, warrantless monitoring of domestic communications is the electronic equivalent of hauling random drivers off the New Jersey turnpike and doing background checks.

All the NSA analysts have to do is tweak the key word search criteria a little bit to monitor all kinds of suspects.


Posted by: pj_in_jesusland on February 6, 2006 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

It isn't hard to say more. "Impeachment" is very easy to say. 10 possibles? At the least, it seems a complete waste of resources. And that's probably simply Bush's version.

The important thing to remember simply regarding efficacy: they had all the information they needed regarding 9/11 to connect the dots. They lacked the wisdom and the will to act.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 6, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Rove's got them all appearing in photos with iPods...for obvious reasons...these guys love to talk all "systems" 'n shit...but c'mon.

Al Gore is on the board of the company that MAKES THE iPODs.

This is about re-fighting the bitter days of the Vietnam era for these old, tired men.

We're out here in the West actually designing and building the systems of the future. Systems that work. Media, data, commerical space flight, etc.

Time to put this Texas Cabal in its place and get back to fighting terrorism and upgrading America's motherboard.

Republicans could give a shit.

Posted by: The Hague on February 6, 2006 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

Just watch the GOP sell out the concept of the "free and open internet" over the next two, three years. Before they (Rove) gotta go.

Who just got put on the FCC board? Some expert? (In Law?)

Can't let "the hippies" roam free, huh Karl?

They will lose ALL INDEPENDENTS over this...

Posted by: The Hague on February 6, 2006 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

"The minimum legal definition of probable cause. . . is that evidence used to support eavesdropping ought to turn out to be 'right for one out of every two guys at least.'"

Sorry that you had to be the other guy, and as soon as you're done cleaning up the smoldering pile of ashes that the military drone left in place of your home and family, here is the number of KBR. Give them a call, and they can help you rebuild!

Posted by: MarkC on February 6, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

It would be an understatement to claim that data mining is not an exact science. It uses a lot of computational resources, and so has a great appeal to those who do not have a deep understanding of the subject, just as many people are awed by the involved computations of planetary orbits into believing in astrology.

I think it's sheer lunacy for the government to be wasting its resources in such a large scale application of data mining, specially to have the (intended or unintended) affect of restricting our civil liberties.

However I think that for the reasons mentioned abaove, this sort of nonsense will not go away, just as astrology has been with humans for thousands of years. Sadly it will not be as harmless.

Posted by: lib on February 6, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

This fake Al is really not bad. The fact that this program appears not to provide much useful intelligence is proof that it's keeping us safe. That, folks, is trolling as it was meant to be done.

I find pissing on the trees in my yard so far a completely adequate means of keeping the coyotes away. Also lions, tigers, bears and velociraptors.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 6, 2006 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum has obviously spent a lot of time on the subject, but his tone appears to suggest that he is not that much bothered by this program.

I cannot imagine the magnitude of effrontery to the concept of democracy that GWB will have to affect in order for Kevin and his ilk to be fed up by all this.

Posted by: nut on February 6, 2006 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

efficacy: they had all the information they needed regarding 9/11 to connect the dots. They lacked the wisdom and the will to act.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 6, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

That's what data mining is. Connecting dots. Liberals are calling for shit at the same time they criticise actually doing it and wondering why they aren't taken seriously anymore.

Loser

Posted by: McA on February 6, 2006 at 4:24 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder 1) how many criminals you would catch with completely random phone tapping, 2) what percentage of the population you could round up if you used metadata and data mining techniques to identify folks with marajuana in their homes, and 3) how the success of the NSA program would compare to a Dateline internet sting targeting american hating muslims.

Posted by: kekekeke on February 6, 2006 at 4:30 AM | PERMALINK

McA:

If your telltale schoolyard insult wasn't enough, the fact that Jeffrey's point went completely over your head confirms that you're up way past your bedtime.

Like real mining, data mining is not effective unless you know what you're looking for, and have some knowledge that indicates where you might find it. Jeffrey is pointing out that the vein of gold was there in Washington, but they were much more interested in their Saddam Hussein trading cards.

At best, the data mining can lead to warnings like those in the PDB's, but if you lack the wisdom to understand how to defend your country, no amount of new data and PDB's can help you.

To clarify, what we're calling for is for the administration not to waste their time and our money on a program that is both grossly inefficient and unconstitutional.

Posted by: MarkC on February 6, 2006 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

McA: That's what data mining is. Connecting dots.

Show your proof, McA. Linkies, please. BTW, don't you know that the USA has been using data mining for a long time even before Bush took office?

Liberals are calling for shit at the same time they criticise actually doing it and wondering why they aren't taken seriously anymore.

Ah, McA. You are so dishonest. Liberals and conservatives object to the warrantless wiretaps. The late Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed U.S. District Judge James Robertson to the FISA court. Judge Robertson resigned in protest. Also, quite the conservative Bob Barr isn't happy with Bush's program either. Many Repubs have voiced their objections to the point that Senate hearings are about to commence. Did you miss Kevin's post on the objections of conservatives and Bush appointees within the DOJ? Did you read Newsweek's Palace Revolt? Here's one quote from Newsweek:

Demanding that the White House stop using what [Justice Dept.lawyers] saw as farfetched rationales for riding rough-shod over the law and the Constitution, Goldsmith and the others fought to bring government spying and interrogation methods within the law.
Comey, as acting AG while Ashcroft was in the hospital, refused to reauthorize the "secret eavesdropping program." So Repubs along with Dems also don't think that Bush is above the law.

However, McA, acknowledging the disdain of some conservatives for this NSA program would upset your jaundiced anti-liberal POV. So you don't. How dishonest of you to ignore that this controversy isn't solely partisan.

Loser

Projection is what we've come to expect from the likes of you, McA.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting question...

To what extent does analysis of bulk telecom data require a warrant?

For example, if the government asks a telco to give it a list of all people who have a certain level of connection to known Al Quaeda members based on the directed graph of all calls, faxes, etc. made through that network should it require a warrant?

What about it it asks 10 telcos for a complete list of all calls so the government can do a meta-analysis?

This isn't the kind of information that warrants are designed for. Does that mean it is off limits?

Posted by: Michael Friedman on February 6, 2006 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

Who, short of a brain-dead bedwetter, would condone this sort of crap?

It doesn't work. It's a waste of money. It's a waste of time.

Ooh, scary Osama bin Laden. Ooh, scary Islamofascists.

People, you'll live longer if you monitor your waistlines. Take yourself for a walk. Don't treat yourself to a Mud Pie every night.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 6, 2006 at 6:35 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, McA. You are so dishonest. Liberals and conservatives object to the warrantless wiretaps.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK


http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/NSA.htm

If this is a bipartisan outrage. There seem to be a huge number of independents all of a sudden.

Having said that I thing you should pressure the Dems to take a strong position on this -it'll help your party in elections. Really.

-------------

but if you lack the wisdom to understand how to defend your country, no amount of new data and PDB's can help you.

Posted by: MarkC on February 6, 2006 at 5:50 AM | PERMALINK

So the anti-war left have no positions, no answers and they expect anyone to assume they have wisdom? Dream, dream, dream.

---------

McA: That's what data mining is. Connecting dots.

Show your proof, McA. Linkies

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

Links aren't any good in defining a colloquialism like 'connecting dots'. All I'll say is that this issue is making Bush go up and up in the polls.

You can't even find a serious non-nutjob Dem to take that position anymore. Notice the extended the Patriot act?


Posted by: McA on February 6, 2006 at 6:48 AM | PERMALINK

It doesn't work. It's a waste of money. It's a waste of time.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 6, 2006 at 6:35 AM | PERMALINK

Really, Mr. OC Beach Liberal with the 2 million house. Who's President?

Posted by: McA on February 6, 2006 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

McA: Liberals are calling for shit at the same time they criticise actually doing it and wondering why they aren't taken seriously anymore.

Another example of a Repub criticizing Bush's secret eavesdropping program: Specter's statement that Bush domestic spying broke the law garnering major news coverage

Sen. Arlen Specter said Sunday he believes that President Bush violated a 1978 law specifically calling for a secret court to consider and approve such monitoring. The Pennsylvania Republican branded Gonzales' explanations to date as "strained and unrealistic."

See, McA. There are some conservatives who understand that Bush is not above the law. You, however, aren't one of them. Maybe that's because you aren't an American.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 6:52 AM | PERMALINK

See, McA. There are some conservatives who understand that Bush is not above the law. You, however, aren't one of them. Maybe that's because you aren't an American.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 6:52 AM | PERMALINK

Really. Its all positioning for a few votes.

As evident from the new Supreme Court judge, when the votes come down the majority of Americans don't think like the kos-kid left.

And from out here, the bubbles are pretty evident.

Posted by: McA on February 6, 2006 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

So let's see: I need to contact my Al-Qaeda controller for updates on the next Big One.

I call my credit card company's customer service number (or my computer tech support or my insurance or my medical plan or ...). The number is connected to a switchboard which forwards me to a nice young person sitting in a country with a huge Muslim population, like, oh say, India or Bangladesh. After I connect, I ask for extension 1234. This, I know, will connect me to the internal office of a branch manager who is the brother-in-law of Osama Bin Hidin. Voila`. We discuss my 'credit card' in code.

Sound outlandish? Then read today's story on how some of the recent Iraqi elections installed Al-Qaeda members into the provincial governments.

Oh, by the way, all the rest of you 'merkins that are so damn complacent you've never made an international call to a Muslim country, you're on the list.

5000? Feh. Start by assuming that whatever bush says is a blatant lie and work backwards (as does he) from there.

Spying on Americans is no longer conspiracy theory. Assume the worst since you will never be able to prove the least.

Posted by: bushwahd on February 6, 2006 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

And from out here, the bubbles are pretty evident.

McAsshole has yet to prove that he isn't an agent of Al Qaeda. Fortunately, the FBI will be arriving at his door very shortly.

Posted by: ahem on February 6, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Can't they just send the 4990 people they spied on and didn't find anything an apology card?

And has anyone else heard rumors that Bush is actually Irish? Or is that just a slanderous lie?

Posted by: Frank J. on February 6, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

General Hayden refused 3 times to address the point-blank question of whether or not NSA intercepts were being used to monitor Bush's political opponents. I think that tells us all we need to know.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

We didn't even need to know that much, Cranky. Given what a rubber-stamp the FISA court is- plus its ability to even issue retroactive warrants- we are fully entitled to conclude that they're up to no good simply from the fact that they don't want to seek warrants for whatever they're doing. There simply is no other reason to avoid warrants.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on February 6, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Given echelon, and like things, it is very difficult for me to imagine Congress not approving this sort of search.

So why weren't they asked?

So how do right minded people stress the importance of following the law? And the important numbers of false positives?

And assuming that it is only data patterns occurring in meta-data, and that there was proper oversight of what is collected and disposal of the information, how much privacy violation is really occurring here?

We want to avoid the "gmail looks at all your email to provide advertising" kinds of arguments, and really stress why this was done without authorization and how it broke the law, and whether it has been effective or not in terms of future changes to FISA.

But I would really like to hear a Bruce Schnier or Lauren Weinstein or other privacy/telco expert on the metadata stuff.

Posted by: jerry on February 6, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

McAsshole has yet to prove that he isn't an agent of Al Qaeda. Fortunately, the FBI will be arriving at his door very shortly.

Posted by: ahem on February 6, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Not in your country. FBI has no jurusdiction, moron.

Posted by: McA on February 6, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Anent McA's comments:

We had a PDB which said that Osama was getting ready to attack inside the USA. We had FBI agents hearing about these guys getting pilot training. (Just train me to take off. I'll land this one my own way.) Traditional methods had given us everything we needed. All that we lacked was a president willing to focus on the threat. (Compare Bush's response to the Clinton response re: the Millenium Threat.)

Bush's data mining expedition -- even if we accept the description of it that's been leaked to us -- has identified 10 people worthy of a traditional FISA warrant. And no indication that those 10 were actually "up to something". As it happens, someone I know has recently gone to work for a telecommunications firm that does telephone conversation transcription and data mining, and he's discussed the techniques with me a lot. (He's one of his firms engineers.) It would take a somnambulist to think that such a thing would be a useful investigative tool for a criminal or terrorist conspiracies.

Broadly speaking, you have two difficult issues to deal with in data mining telephone transcriptions. One of these is, obviously, spoken language. The software has to transcribe the hugely variable languages of the world with all of its idioms, syntax, tones, and accents of a brazillian different speakers. Second, you have to calibrate your software to focus on specific patterns. If you're a call center for a large company, you isolate for the couple of dozen most common phone conversation topics that you're firm deals with. Since conspirators have no such constraints, there is no real focus. The NSA's software would need to identify everything. And it would need to know (for example) when "the party is next week" means that Cecily will turn 6 next week and when it means "the C4 arrives in Ankara on Wednesday". It isn't a pretty prospect.

My first inclination is to dismiss the notion altogether. They have either not leaked to us the actual mechanism and focus of the program or they're simply flushing brazillians of dollars down the terlet. (Would an NSA data mining operation successfully transcribe the new solecism "brazillian"? How about my faux dialect "terlet"?)

As I pointed to in my original, by August of 2001 we had all the data that we needed to foil 9/11 IF we'd only had the wisdom to do so AND the attention and will of the president. (We know, ironically, that he'd already BEGUN the current NSA program! It turned up nada! Traditional means, otoh, had brought in the ignored evidence.)

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 6, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Frank J: And has anyone else heard rumors that Bush is actually Irish? Or is that just a slanderous lie?
It is a slanderous lie.-- Bush is not Irish. (thank God) In comments on Albion's seed, a classic book on American History by David Hackett Fischer, Steve Sailer disscusses Bush's background (amoung other presidents).

"The family tree of George W. Bush is as close to pure Yankee Puritan as any Presidential candidate's in many decades," the Brandeis professor (Fischer) observed. Dubya's New England-raised father, President George Bush, always had to battle against "the wimp factor." Despite having been the youngest aircraft carrier pilot in WWII, the captain of the Yale baseball team, and a successful Texas oilman, President Bush's prep school mannerisms struck many Americans as effete.

In contrast, although racially Puritan, the second President Bush is culturally mostly backcountry. Although the younger Bush benefits from his family's powerful connections in the Northeast, his personal style is radically different. "Bush has mastered the idioms of the backcountry culture he grew up in down in Midland, Texas," Fischer pointed out. "His subsequent education at Andover and Yale didn't seem to much affect his down-home manner."

Just wanted to clear that up.

Posted by: patrick on February 6, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Not in your country. FBI has no jurusdiction, moron.

Guess how many FBI agents are now stationed overseas, arresting terror suspects and tracking suspected terrorists.

Guess how many are in Kuala Lumpur.

Guess correctly. Soon, a liberal will be their master and soon...very soon...a little Chinese man with a Bible and a penchant for blog thread commenting in the wingnut vein will be within their grasp.

I suggest putting on a crisp white linen suit and fleeing to Rangoon...

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 6, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

NSA data mining, or the precursor to it, has been around for decades. There is nothing wrong with the NSA monitoring, without court warrants, terabytes of data to examine patterns, so long as they aren't honing in on actual human beings and their conversations. But the data mining techniques alone cannot justify an actual full-on wiretap. I believe that's what this article demonstrates. If you used the data mining alone you'd get thousands of false positives for every one potential real positive. And that begs the question - aren't traditional means more effective than that? Now if data mining results are used in addition to more traditional methods (like getting a phone number from an AQ suspect in Pakistan) then they can bolster the case for an actual wiretap. But in that case the NSA would clearly have probable cause, and they could get a warrant.

So here's the deal. Data mining alone is no big deal. Using the results of data mining alone as a basis for conducting warrantless wiretaps is a huge deal because it's nothing more than an ineffective and, probably illegal, fishing expedition.

Posted by: Elrod on February 6, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you Big Brother Bush,

I feel safer wrapped in your surveillance arms.

Posted by: Ben Franklin w/o balls on February 6, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

> There is nothing wrong with the NSA
> monitoring, without court warrants,
> terabytes of data to examine patterns,

I just don't see where the authors of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights anticipated something like ChoicePoint, but even so I really don't see how the FBI and NSA digging around in a non-concensual private database like ChoicePoint fits in with the 4th Amendment.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

"The minimum legal definition of probable cause. . . is that evidence used to support eavesdropping ought to turn out to be 'right for one out of every two guys at least.'"

Really???

Remember that, apart from the NSA program, there have been THOUSANDS of FISA warrants - for which FISA judges have found there to be probable cause. (Wikipedia says there have been 18,761 warrants granted through the end of 2004.) That means that FISA judges have found probable cause 18,761 times.

So, does that mean that there have been NINE THOUSAND (one out of every two warrants) terrorists in this country???

HOLY CRAP!

Posted by: Al on February 6, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

bad Jim - you're comparing apples to oranges.
Urinating on the trees in your yard is in fact relatively efficacious in that coyotes will think twice about entering your "territory", and the likelihood that they are in your vicinity, to be so deterred, is actually high.

In addition, so long as you're not whipping it out in plain view, there's no issue of illegality.

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I can't get my panties in a wad over this, and BTW, I talk internationally on the phone a dozen times a week at least. There are regular jokes that indicate that nobody on the calls I am on has any real expectation of privacy. However; I will share a bit of the thinking on the conservative side of this argument.

Iran-Contra. Many of us conservatives were disapointed in RR that he did not take Iran Contra to the Supreme Court. He should have done what W is doing, that is, fight it out in the open based on principles he believed in.

In the case of Iran Contra, the constitution eplicitly says "The President shall make foreign policy." That would have been Ronald Reagan, not Jim Wright. Most of the trouble came from lack of the will to fight it out in public, where these important issues should be decided.

Same with Florida 2000 and the SCOTUS. It should have gone to congress, where BTW, Bush was a mortal lock, given the numbers. According to the constitution, it should have played out this way.

The 8 Democrats on the Florida Supreme court would finally engineer a count in which Gore won.

The Republican legislature would sent their own slate of electors.

Congress would then decide which to accept, and the Republicans clearly had the votes there. Following the process would have saved a lot of bitterness, but not changed the outcome.

Abortion, if it is so sacrosanct to the American People, why can't they be trusted to vote on the issue? I would think the Democrats would welcome the chance to run against Republicans on a state by state level on this issue.

Instead, it was decided in the courts, outside the rules, and leaving one side embittered, and the other, frozen in time.

Posted by: tool of some sort on February 6, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

These details, Kevin, are all -completely- beside the point. You do the crime, you do the time. This isn't a wiretapping scandal, it's a criminal conspiracy scandal.

Posted by: adam on February 6, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: am on February 6, 2006 at 2:21 AM

Hmm. Always did prefer fm


Posted by: radiohead on February 6, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

> He should have done what W is doing,
> that is, fight it out in the open based
> on principles he believed in.

The whole point, of course, is that W Bush fights out NOTHING "in the open" /until he is caught/. He tried to ram though a major change in interpretation of the 4th Amendment (essentially a repudiation of the 4th in fact) _without_ a single public hearing, discussion, or law change.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

The director of the secret NSA program has described significant parts of the WaPo report as "not true", and Kevin-the-gullible still laps it all up! Posted by: am on February 6, 2006 at 2:21 A


Nothing that this incompetent administration says can be trusted and still am laps it all up!

Posted by: ckelly on February 6, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

I have gotten bored of arguing with you guys. But Cranky, do you have fourth ammendment rights at the border? I know that those pesky customs officers feel free to go through my car, or my suitcases, if they don't like the way I look at them. What's up with that?

Windhorse,
I have to give your props, I think I have a response to your study, but until I line up the links, (as you know, I don't make claims without links) I will keep it to myself.
-tool

Posted by: tool of some sort on February 6, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Tool -
Nice try.
Maybe you should try reading the Constitution of the UNITED STATES.
From Article I, section 8: (Powers of Congress)
a sampling:
- To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
- To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
- To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

here's the bit about executive power vis-a-vis "foreign policy"
- He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present consent;

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

link:
http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK
He should have done what W is doing, that is, fight it out in the open based on principles he believed in.

But since that isn't what Bush did...

I have gotten bored of arguing with you guys

Yeah, cuz it's 'boring' getting your ass kicked all the time.

Posted by: obscure on February 6, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

> I have gotten bored of arguing with
> you guys.

Losing consistently will do that to a person. Particularly Radicals I have noticed ;-)

> But Cranky, do you have fourth ammendment
> rights at the border? I know that those pesky
> customs officers

Absolutely not, a point I have had to explain to many of my coworkers. From the time the airplane enters US-controlled airspace until the Immigration dude waves you across the blue line you are in a weird non-territory space where only a limited subset of the Constitution applies. Although I am not a gun owner, Neil Stephenson's description of the desire to go to the nearest gun shop after crossing that line and buy $47,000 worth of guns was right on the money.

Again as usual, however, this is a meaningless qustion, as it does not address the 4th Amendment, does not address the separation of powers vs the "unitary executive" issue, and does not address the fact that 99.9% of all data sucked into a data mining operation in the US will be US-only transactions between two US citizens on US soil.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

I have gotten bored of arguing with you guys

Being a sore loser doesn't help. Go hang out on FreeRepublic for a while, build up some courage and some cool points, and then try again.

Don't be a quitter!

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 6, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK
Windhorse, I have to give your props, I think I have a response to your study, but until I line up the links, (as you know, I don't make claims without links) I will keep it to myself.

Not to pick nits, tool, but a) this is completely OT and, b) why don't you try a radical idea called taking your own advice.

Posted by: obscure on February 6, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

kenga: Maybe you should try reading the Constitution of the UNITED STATES.

Where did fool of some sort say the Constitution of the UNITED STATES. Clearly he was referring to the Constitution of Wingnut Fantasy Land. Amongst it's provisions are:

Republican presidents shall rule through divine right. To question their actions is treason.

Constitutional interpretation shall be settled through drug addled radio commentators.

Election disputes shall be settled in favor of Republicans. Rigged courts shall be appointed as necessary.

Sheesh, everybody knows that. Please try to stay on-topic.

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

And from out here, the bubbles are pretty evident.

Yes, McA's posts are analogous to farts in a bathtub.

Posted by: ckelly on February 6, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

(Serious) rhetorical question for all you Constitution fans:

How would the Founders have responded to the current state of affairs vis-a-vis the problem of defining warfare?

Please take into account the Founders original intent on the power to declare and wage war as well as the problem of 'warring' with a stateless enemy.

Posted by: obscure on February 6, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

This data-mining doesn't work any more since NYT say "hey, Bush is wiretapping everyone". All those would be Mideast terrorist would simply use different patterns of verbal communication to evade an word or some kind of content data mining it just comes back to Bush needs to use FISA and not his own select close-knit and secret group of crony neo-cons to tell the rest of the world what is good for us.

This is story of how many lawyers at the DoJ, conservative ones in fact, didnt go along with Bush and these same conservative lawyers where pushed out of the DoJ by Bushs thugs, because they blindly followed the law instead of Bushs legal activism.

Since Bush said he didnt mind an investigation I say it's time take Bush at his first misspoken word (before Karl could correct the idiot Preznit face) and do an investigation there is NO reason Bush cant work with FISA except for self-serving reasons. Sorry, with all corruption that's been going on, I just don't think Bush and his programs are well intended.

The Bush administration is nothing but a breeding ground for corporate slush funds, un-bid contracts, crony policies like the non-working senior drug policy and repeated Jack Abramoff style politics.

Since a majority of Americans dont like Bushs wiretapping Kevin isnt even try to reason for conservatives, there is nothing central about his reasoning, but rather Kevin is reasoning for neo-cons. Kevin, you be a lot more comfortable over at NRO. If youre a Leiberman Democrat that youre a dying breed this continued making of excuse for what Bush is doing really is getting quite old.

Posted by: Cheryl on February 6, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

How would the Founders have responded to the current state of affairs vis-a-vis the problem of defining warfare?

I don't watch the West Wing on a regular basis, but I did catch Alan Alda's character lecturing one of the series regulars on the notion of trust.

The idea of one branch of the government 'trusting' another branch of government--of another man trusting someone else--does not appear in our Constitution.

Oversight appears. Checks and balances, they're there. Trusting someone--ain't in there.

The original intent--and this goes out to all the wingnuts who just loooooove strict constructionist legal doctrine--better hope and pray that we fix this problem once and for all and allow NO administration to turn the intelligence gathering apparatus on America citizens in the future.

I do not want a Democrat to do this kind of surveillance without a FISA warrant and I do not want the current group to be doing it either.

If we need to let the Bush Administration take a mulligan and say, 'okay, we'll stop this program and reveal all the details in exchange for immunity,' so be it.

It has to stop--the original intent of the framers was to have a government that answered to the rule of law, not one that made claims to be above the rule of law.

See, that whole 'I don't have to answer to parliament' attitude is the crux of the rule of law--sorry, your Majesty, but yes, you do.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 6, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

As for your constitutional arguments re Iran Contra, I guess that the clause I cited above is obviously a meaningless ornament to the rest of the document, given that it is so obviously overriden by the right to regulate commerce and the Navy, and so forth. Makes you wonder why the founders even put it there.

"Yeah, cuz it's 'boring' getting your ass kicked all the time" -obscure

I knew you guys would bring say that, which is why I acknowledged that Windhorse bettered me in an argument, and why I didn't consider it OT. Actually, what is boring is the predictability of you guys.

Posted by: tool of some sort on February 6, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

> vis-a-vis the problem of defining warfare?

What exactly is the "problem of defining warfare"? Please define.

Plastic explosives and the very remote chances of a terrorist obtaining a nuclear device have changed the risk calculation a bit, but most of the Founders were still around at the time of the Barbary Pirates and I believe the principles were the same. The danger was if anything more acute as the damage to US trade from those pirates was significant.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

which is why I acknowledged that Windhorse bettered me in an argument

I give you credit for acknowledging Windhorse and his debating style--he is formidable.

And far more gracious than he needs to be.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 6, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Since a majority of Americans dont like Bushs wiretapping" - Cheryl

Link please

Posted by: tool of some sort on February 6, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

You guys sucked me in again. Damn it.

Posted by: tool of some sort on February 6, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Tool:

In the case of Iran Contra, the constitution eplicitly says "The President shall make foreign policy." That would have been Ronald Reagan, not Jim Wright.

Wrong

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors.

Even if you are a conservative with a fairly liberal reading of our Constitution, I hope you can admit the truth of the power of the purse. The Prez can plan and propose his little heart out, but Congress must agree to pay for it; therefore the leadership of Congress has a role.

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, as I wrote about here, on January 28th, you wrote in this post that:

Here's another point related to General Hayden's admission today that the NSA's domestic spying program isn't some kind of dazzling high tech black op, but merely garden variety wiretapping that was done outside normal FISA channels because NSA couldn't meet the "probable cause" standard normally needed to get a warrant issued.

Administration apologists have argued that the White House couldn't seek congressional approval for this program because it utilized super advanced technology that we couldn't risk exposing to al-Qaeda. Even in secret session, they've suggested, Congress is a sieve and the bad guys would have found out what we were up to.
But now we know that's not true. This was just ordinary call monitoring, according to General Hayden, and the only problem was that both FISA and the attorney general required a standard of evidence they couldn't meet before issuing a warrant. In other words, the only change necessary to make this program legal was an amendment to FISA modifying the circumstances necessary to issue certain kinds of warrants.

What you wrote there, as I pointed out here on the 28th, and again yesterday wasn't true. It was wrong. You were wrong to assert "But now we know that's not true. This was just ordinary call monitoring" and to take General Hayden's word for it.

Now, I know you know this perfectly well, as we discussed it in e-mail back in January, and I e-mailed you a link to my post of yesterday last night, and you replied.

I'm rather disappointed that you aren't making a forthright correction, or acknowledgement of any of this. There's no shame in having been wrong about something. I hope you'll reconsider.

Posted by: Gary Farber on February 6, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I find it interesting that the Powers of congress are enumerated in Section 1, and the Powers of the Executive are in Section 2.

It suggests to me that the Legislature was considered of greater importance to the author and the ratifiers.
Else, they could have put the Executive in first ...

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Iv'e been burning a candle in my window since 911 and it has stopped 5 terror attacks and kept AQ off our shores.Would anyone like to buy one of these candles and help keep our homeland safe?

Posted by: GOP liar on February 6, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's quite telling when liberals have nothing much to say about the Moslem rioting all over the world, threatening to behead those who don't think much of their vile religion, but have lots of pooh pooh about efforts to stop those who have professed their intentions to kill us. Don't act so surprised when you guys lose again.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 6, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter is right we need to declare war on all muslims.Kill them all before they kill us!

Posted by: GOP liar on February 6, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

The 8 Democrats on the Florida Supreme court would finally engineer a count in which Gore won.

Engineer? All it needed was for the counters to count, per Florida law, the unambiguous double-marked ballots. Gore won Florida by many, many thousands of votes.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 6, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

When Scottish writers use the letter combination "ae" (As in "I'm gonnae show you summat."), what sound do they mean to represent?


'ae


'

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 6, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

I find it interesting that the Powers of congress are enumerated in Section 1, and the Powers of the Executive are in Section 2.
It suggests to me that the Legislature was considered of greater importance to the author and the ratifiers.,


Kenga, the founders were very worried about the over-extension of executive powers. Remember, our first national government had no independent executive. Even after that dismal flop the Const. Convention stressed over what form the exec. would take.

Most scholars agree that it was only the presence of Geo. Washington (waiting to fill the job) that gave those men the comfort to agree to the compromises that created the executive branch.

Among the compromises was the insistence that powers be divided among the branched. Short of Washingtons presence, they thought that the executive was the greatest potential threat to American liberty.

Therefore, the actions of presidents (in their role as the head of government) has statutory limits designed to safeguard our liberty.

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Report from friend in Afgan: 1998 Clinton Missile strike stoppped major AQ terror plot to Blowup as many as 50 airplanes at once The 60 missles Clinton launched killed at least 35 pilots AQ had trained for this mission.Way to Bill!AQ only able to launch 4 plane attack.

Posted by: GOP liar on February 6, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter, you feckless twit. If you stop playing with yourself for just one moment, close the porn sights and check out the liberal blogs, you will find miles of commentary on this cartoons and riots.

As Bugs would say, "What a maroon".

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Say Kevin:

To base your posts on what 'anonymous' sources blab to the Wash Post seems to me to be a huge waste of time:

"according to an authoritative account"
"Two knowledgeable sources"
"officials said"
"one government lawyer said"
"as some lawyers saw it"
"According to one knowledgeable source"
"said a government official"

Why would one choose to take the word of unnamed officials (or develop theories based off of their leaks) when the (former) head of the NSA is standing up for all to see and denying the accuracy of this article? At least he has the nerve to show his face and give his name. In my mind, that automatically makes him a more to-be-trusted source.

(At the least, shouldn't you mention Hayden's comments from yesterday about this article?)

So what has Hayden said?

"Let me talk for a few minutes also about what this program is not. It is not a driftnet over Dearborn or Lackawanna or Freemont grabbing conversations that we then sort out by these alleged keyword searches or data-mining tools or other devices that so-called experts keep talking about. This is targeted and focused.

WALLACE: .. General, as to how wide a net you are casting. Just recently, you denied that the NSA puts out an electronic net that intercepts thousands of phone calls looking for key words. But I want to put up what The Washington Post said ... Without getting into the numbers, is there a broad, wide-scale electronic net that you put out that means that you intercept lots of phone calls or communications involving Americans, or is there not?

HAYDEN: Chris, I'm glad you asked, and I've tried to point this out in the past. Let me try to make this very, very clear. About the last third of the Post article is an excursion along the lines that you just described, that we somehow grab the content of communications and then use the content of the communications to determine which of the communications we really want to listen to.

That is not true.

When NSA goes after the content of a communication under this authorization from the president, the NSA has already established its reasons for being interested in that specific communication. I've said in other places this isn't a drift net over Lackawanna or Freemont or Dearborn, grabbing all communications and then sifting them out. This is very specific and very targeted when it comes to the collection of the content of communications entering or leaving the United States.

Posted by: jerry on February 6, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Pay no attention to the person behind the Freedom Fighter curtain. He's a damn good parody, 19th-century word "Moslem" and all.

Posted by: shortstop on February 6, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why would one choose to take the word of unnamed officials (or develop theories based off of their leaks) when the (former) head of the NSA is standing up for all to see and denying the accuracy of this article?

Because this administration has proven again and again that they are willing to obfuscate (at best) or lie (at worst) to cover up their misdeeds.

Hayden's statements are classic non-denial denials - claiming that the press is totally wrong, without committing himself to any specifics. More likely, the press reports are fundamentally correct, with perhaps a few wrong details.

Posted by: tinfoil on February 6, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be a little more comfortable believing Gen. Hayden's statements if he'd put his ass in legal jeopardy.
A la being under oath.
We already know the Bush administration is actively searching for the "leakers" and working to convince the public that they aren't whistleblowers.

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

but most of the Founders were still around at the time of the Barbary Pirates and I believe the principles were the same.

Did the US 'declare war' on the Barbary Pirates?

I ask about the definition of war because I think it is questionable whether the WOT is properly a 'war.'

Is it possible to declare such a war 'won?' If not, it seems to me much too open-ended to qualify as a war. It then becomes an excuse to give the executive branch carte blanche.

With no end in sight.

Posted by: obscure on February 6, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

You understand of course that this report was actually a mislabelled transcribed document from an original political interview in Red China.

Posted by: murmeister on February 6, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

When G.W. declared Mission Accomplished wouldn't that mean the war declared is over?

Posted by: GOP liar on February 6, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming the wiretapping enterprise involves broad screening of information, obviously NSA needs to know what it is looking for. What is the "gold standard" for deciding what terrorist communication looks like? Past actual experience with terrorist communication? Likely out of date even if there were any significant volume to analyze. Guesses of NSA staff of how terrorists are likely to communicate? Given our flimsy understanding of our enemies, highly unlikely to be useful, even if we understood the language.

All of this suggests that this is almost assuredly a ineffective fishing expedition with the downside of many false positives -- American citizens being labelled as terrorists because they fit some wildly inaccurate profile.

Posted by: jb on February 6, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

During a break in the Senate testimony by Attorney General Gonzales this morning, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions became just the latest Republican to resort to the now standard GOP defense of President Bush's illegal domestic spying program. Call it the "Give Me Death" strategy.

"Over 3,000 Americans have no civil rights because they are no longer with us."
- Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), 2/6/06

"You really don't have any civil liberties if you're dead."
- Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), 2/3/06

"None of your civil liberties matter much after you're dead."
- Senator John Cornyn (R-AL), 12/20/05

For the full story, see:
"The GOP on Domestic Spying: The 'Give Me Death' Defense."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on February 6, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

tinhat and kenga refuse to believe anything Hayden says because the administration has been proven to be full of liars.

"Because this administration has proven again and again that they are willing to obfuscate (at best) or lie (at worst) to cover up their misdeeds."

And yet tinhat is willing to believe unnamed sources from within the same administration as quoted in the article.

tinhat and kenga refuse to believe Hayden because he was not under oath when making statements.

However, they quite readily believe unnamed government officials who provide info to the paper while not under oath!

Further, tinhat agrees that the paper has probably got some minor details wrong, but still prefers to believe what the paper says.

Call me crazy (I know you will) but this doesn't make any sense ...

Posted by: jerry on February 6, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

"tinhat and kenga refuse to believe anything Hayden says because the administration has been proven to be full of liars."

Rilly? I had no idea.

I mean about the "refuse to believe" bit, I knew the administration has proven itself to be full of liars.

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's more a "reasonable doubt" thing.

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oops - apparently Gonzoles just refused to answer the question as to whether or not the Bush Administration had to the power to spy on its political opponents.

Too bad he wasn't sworn in, eh? I guess at least now we know why they are so worried about this investigation.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe my memory is faulty, but I seem to recall that, back in the days of the 9/11 commission, whenever anybody said "if the president/administration/congress/intelligence community had done X, Y, or Z, it could have stopped 9/11," it was met with a cacaphony of voices saying something like "NOTHING could have stopped 9/11! We did everything we could! You hate America!"

And now, two years later, Alberto Gonzales says that unbridled, oversight-free wiretapping could have stopped 9/11. And not a single wingnut bats an eye.

That dripping sound you hear is MY BRAIN COMING OUT OF MY EARS.

Posted by: Viserys on February 6, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Gonzoles just refused to answer the question as to whether or not the Bush Administration had to the power to spy on its political opponents.

Swear him in next time, plunk John Bolton down next to him, and after Bolton is sworn in, ask them both if they have any knowledge of Democratic politicians being wiretapped.

I think you'll hear the Fifth Amendment asserted so fast it would make their heads spin.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 6, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

tinhat and kenga refuse to believe Hayden because he was not under oath when making statements.

Its not that I don't believe Hayden, but that he hasn't really denied anything, except that the program isn't a drift net of 'Lackawanna or Freemont or Dearborn'.

I have yet to hear anyone specifically deny any of the whisteblower claims about the program, which leads one to assume the accounts are generally correct.

Posted by: tinfoil on February 6, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Swear him in next time...

This whole 'oath' thing is silly. Shouldn't these guys be under oath from the day they assume their office? Or at least while reporting to Congress. Otherwise, why do we believe a word they say?

Posted by: tinfoil on February 6, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Hachett:

"This is a war like no other in our country's history. Mr. Attorney General, has the disclosure of this program hurt our ability to gather the intelligence necessary to protect this country."

What a withering inquirey!!

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

McA: Links aren't any good in defining a colloquialism like 'connecting dots'.

No, that is not what I challenged you to produce. You said data mining connects the dots. That's what I want you to prove. Prove it, McA. I am interested to see how you know about a U.S. secret spy program especially as a Chinese national. LOL!

All I'll say is that this issue is making Bush go up and up in the polls.

Oh, really. Bush never reached 50% approval rating during 2005 and of the past five presidents elected to a second terms including Clinton, only Nixon had a lower approval rating than Bush.
Approval Ratings During Second Terms:
Bush, January 2006 -- 42%
Clinton, January 1998 -- 58%
Reagan, January 1986 -- 65%
Nixon, January 1974 (Gallup Poll) -- 26%
Eisenhower, January 1958 (Gallup Poll) -- 58%

You can't even find a serious non-nutjob Dem to take that position anymore.

What position? You don't make sense. Mandarin is your primary language, isn't it?

Notice the extended the Patriot act?

What does that have to do with warrantless wiretaps and breaking the FISA law? You are Chinese, McA. I doubt you understand the U.S. Constitution. Civil liberties don't exist in your native land. China doesn't have a 4th amendment, does it? Nah, I didn't think so.


Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 6, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

The question I would like answered is "Were any of the following people investigated:

John Kerry
John Edwards
Wesley Clark
Hillary Clinton
Paul Krugman
Molly Ivans
Marcos Moulitsas Zuniga
Duncan Black
etc.

Posted by: sublime33 on February 6, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

if an when you get to the place where they pay you a so called salary and after 30 minutes have not heard a rumor ---- start one --- LEIBERMAN IS NOT A DEMOCRAT ! ! know it all

Posted by: know it all on February 6, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents have aroused suspicion shows how effective the Terrorist Survelliance Program has been. The terrorists knows Bush is doing everything to listen to them.
Posted by: Al on February 6, 2006 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

But. . . I thought it was treasonous to have revealed the spying program, because it tipped off unsuspecting terrorists that Bush was listening to them.

Please Al, tell me which it is, so I know how to think like a good little conservative bootlicker should!

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 6, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Do they really expect us to believe this program wasn't up and running before 9/11?

Do they really expect us to trust Bush to do this with proper regard for civil rights without oversight?

Posted by: MarkH on February 6, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: lesbian sex on February 6, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

really expect us to trust Bush to do this with proper regard for civil rights without oversight?

Posted by: MarkH on February 6, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

No. But who cares about you. Now if Congress wanted to pass a motion adjusting war powers, it could. If it doesn't, they consent.

Posted by: Mca on February 7, 2006 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Some guy is writing a blog/diary about his penis enlargement pills or male enhacement or penis enlargement device odyssey. He is just taking some of those pills, and documenting his progress. It's an interesting start of something... I guess lacking any actual research about penis enlargement exercises or penis enlargement patch,maybe one guy's experiences will provide some kind of objectivity like this: "I noticed a "tingly" sensation in my penis when I got my first post-pill erection last night..."penis enlargement , Pretty straightforward I guess-penis enlargement products- No vacuum pumps or anything to get real queasy about. Just a guy, trying for a mightier penis pills or pills for penis no penis enlargement methods :)

Posted by: penis enlargement on February 7, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

STICKY !!! THIS IS THE POLICE !!! WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED !!! WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT YOU ARE GOING TO THROW A BOMB AT ??? PARTY !!!

Posted by: sticky on February 8, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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