Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 28, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

"DATA MINING" != "SURVEILLANCE"?....What was the big dispute about on March 10, 2004, when Alberto Gonzales paid a hospital visit to a doped-up John Ashcroft to try to persuade him to approve a controversial NSA program? Gonzales says the dispute wasn't over the NSA's "terrorist surveillance program," and today the New York Times takes a stab at explaining how he could say such a thing in the face of massive evidence to the contrary:

A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency's secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.

....The N.S.A.'s data mining has previously been reported. But the disclosure that concerns about it figured in the March 2004 debate helps to clarify the clash this week between Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senators who accused him of misleading Congress and called for a perjury investigation.

....If the dispute chiefly involved data mining, rather than eavesdropping, Mr. Gonzales' defenders may maintain that his narrowly crafted answers, while legalistic, were technically correct.

Give me a break. Are these guys serious?

Kevin Drum 6:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (42)

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Comments

Damn! Out lawyered again!

Posted by: slanted tom on July 28, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Give me a break. Are these guys serious?

As a heart attach. And just as beneficial, too.

Posted by: NoMorals on July 28, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Carefully parsing your answers to mislead without directly lying is only wrong if you are a Democrat.

Colin

Posted by: Colin on July 28, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I'd have no objections to data mining as distinct from surveillance. (Of course, if there's no surveillance, there'll be no data to mine. Let them run search algorithms and whatever else on an empty data set; won't bother me in the least.)

Posted by: jimBOB on July 28, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Anonymous Liberal easily bitch-slaps that smarmy little defense here

Posted by: jcricket on July 28, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Where are all of the Republicans who bled out their eyes when Clinton asked for grammatical clarification on intended tense of the word "is"? Surely this...

It is absolutely imperative to the integrity of the rule of law and long term survival of our republic that when all is said and done, there are high profile arrests, prosecutions, and serious jail time for anyone who knowingly participated in illegal and unconstitutional warrantless domestic spying. Period.

The message needs to be clear: if you break the law and violate the constitution, even when you are following the orders of the president, you will be prosecuted and punished. No exceptions.

Impeachment should not only be back on the table, but also front and center of the Democrats agenda. Taking it off the table has only emboldened the president. Without the fear of prosecution himself, it is much easier for him to send his subordinates out to run interference, even act as scapegoats. (With impeachment off the table, Bush doesn't have to fear the political consequences of pardoning any subordinate who is convicted). Besides, impeaching Gonzales would be a Pyrrhic victory at best. Gonzales' credibility has already been compromised to such a degree that his effectiveness has been minimized while the embarrassment to the administration for his continued presence has been maximized. The process of removing him will simply deplete the finite time and resolve the Democrats have to hold this administration accountable for anything.

It would be much better to use Gonzales as a springboard for attacks on the presidency itself. Tick-tock, Democrats.

Posted by: Augustus on July 28, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

If the dispute chiefly involved data mining, rather than eavesdropping, Mr. Gonzales' defenders may maintain that his narrowly crafted answers, while legalistic, were technically correct.

Doesn't that just compliment the response Tony Snow gave? As he pointed out already, the term "terrorist surveillance program" might mean different things to different people, and, therefore, Mueller saying they talked about the TSP doesn't contradict Gonzales saying they did not talk about the TSP.

Link

""I don't want to stand here as the judge and try to interpret for you what everybody means when they use that term, when they use 'terrorist surveillance program' because it may have different significations to different people," Snow said, adding that Gonzales defined the terminology narrowly."

Posted by: Al on July 28, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

A small observation: this is why trust is important.

As I understand it, the legitimate purpose of this sorta thing is to be able to watch a bazillion bits of information moving at the speed of light through what we still quaintly imagine to be the United States. I have no clue if it's true, but it SOUNDS right to me, that bad guys who are both outside the US may nevertheless have their communications routed through American networks, simply because we have the biggest and best in the world.

So (claim the Bush apologists) what they're looking to do with data mining is watch out for various pieces of data that would trigger closer surveillance.

Just that far -- and I'm not against it. If they can catch bin Laden in Waziristan calling some guy in Yemen by watching for nits in bits in Chicago, go get 'em.

BUT ....

I don't think anybody with any sense trusts these guys, for lots of very specific reasons.

And I think more broadly, our political culture scoffs at trust across party lines as a mug's game.

That's deeply sad -- but more than that, it's wrong.

Posted by: theAmericanist on July 28, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, so words really don't have objective meaning?

Who'd'a thunk Tony Snow was a disciple of Derrida?

I guess that means we shouldn't be hearing too much more about relativism being all anti-morality and everything, right?


Posted by: bleh on July 28, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Shut. The. Fuck. Up. You boot-licking toady.

Go suck somewhere else.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 28, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Eavesdropping? It was nothing more than a little soundmining.

Posted by: Ross Best on July 28, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Judith Miller, Judith Miller, Judith Miller...

Posted by: elmo on July 28, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

The gang of 8 was briefed on the program. What were they told? They can't tell us, the program is SAP (Special Access Program). To even reveal the existence of an SAP means jail time. Probably immediately, pending trial, no bail.

The Democratic members of the gang of 8 all said curious things. Rockafeller said, "He's making something up to protect himself." No quotation, but he also said there was no consensus to proceed, and that they were not briefed on the legal background. He also says that he didn't know who Comey was at the time. In addition he said they only received perfunctory briefings, and the briefings were only about the program the president went public with. "They were not, in fact, telling us what was going on." He also said that they were never asked to approve any program.

So, if the "briefings" were a sham, then any "consensus" from them would be meaningless.

Pelosi joins Rockafeller, outside of quotes, in saying there was no consensus, and that they were not briefed, though she did know who Comey was. She said she agreed with him. Perhaps Comey's objections were discussed in the abstract, without naming him? And what if the briefing mischaracterized the program.

Jane Harman, ranking minority member of House Intelligence committee at the time, says "The only program we were ever briefed on was the program the President revealed." She also says "We were briefed on the operational details - period - not the legal underpinnings."

Daschle says he doesn't remember the meeting specifically, but that they were never briefed on legal underpinnings.

I think it's safe to say that all four know more than they can legally say. So, now the White House and Gonzales appear to be saying that theres another program. One that the gang of 8 wasn't briefed on. One that has all the nasty stuff in it.

I suspect the purpose of the current maneuvers is to put the AG and the White House between a rock and a hard place. Either Gonzales is plainly guilty of lying to Congress, or they fess up to another part of the program, which is much worse. That's my theory.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on July 28, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Let's say that Gonzales WAS referring to data mining, or something other than eavesdropping. Doesn't he still have a problem in terms of his claim that he went to the hospital to inform Ashcroft of congressional leaders' insistence that "the program" continue? Clearly, that has to be a lie: the Group of Eight surely did not insist on the continuance of the very elements of the program that Comey had rejected.

Posted by: Guy on July 28, 2007 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

So, let's see if I got this straight. When Clinton testifies under oath, and it boils down to what the definition of "is" is, then it is perjury. But, when it is a right-wing zealot testifying under oath, and it boils down to HOW they are spying on U.S. citizens, well then it is NOT perjury because Nixon said it wasn't.

Posted by: being_data_mined on July 28, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, there is a substantive difference between data mining and "wiretapping". Every phone call you make creates a call record in a flat file format that indicates who made the call, who received it, when it was made and certain other bits of information. Phone companies run it through a "rating and rendering" program to create your phone bill, based on your rate plan, etc. The government has gotten some of the phone companies to surrender these records and runs algorithms and queries against them to identify suspicious patterns, etc. This is very different from wiretapping, that typically involves placing a "bug" or tap on a suspicious phone circuit and listening in on the calls.

In either case, there must be probable cause and government officials must follow long-standing rules regarding safeguards to ensure 5th Amendment protection against "unreasonable search and seizure".

Bush, Gonzales and company have used the 9-11 tragedy to throw these protections out the window. THAT is what is amiss here. Regardless of how you slice the cheese, the Bushies have used 19 suicidal men with boxcutters to shit all over the Constitutional rights of 300 million Americans to be secure in their papers and effects (and phone calls). That is why they all need to be impeached.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 28, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

To even reveal the existence of an SAP means jail time.

Hmm. I'd tend to believe the names of covert agents would fall under such a special access program as well. Guess IOKIYAR applies.

Posted by: Wapiti on July 28, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Get Ashcroft to testify.

Posted by: bakho on July 28, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

It depends on what your definition of "is" is.

Posted by: Me on July 28, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Every one pussyfoots around the idea that Bush and his gang are tapping the phones of Democrats. That is how they get rid of the candidates that could beat them and how they squeak out their wins in the elections that should be won by Dems. As far as I can tell, these guys have proven to be no different than Nixon and look for every edge they can get whether it's illegal or not. It has nothing to do with national security.

Posted by: Mazurka on July 28, 2007 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

"... according to current and former officials briefed on the program."

I'd say the credibility of the story's main thesis ended right there, before it ever got rolling! Moreover, those who went on the record about the Ashcroft hospital incident, those who were actually there or directly involved -- NOT merely anonymous "officials briefed on the program" -- have testified otherwise under oath.

Even FBI Director Mueller indicated that the subject was the so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program" [TSP]. (I believe that was quite possibly, in its original form, an extremely broad-based, latter-day equivalent to COINTELPRO, not at all limited to legitimate "terrorist" suspects, but targeting potential dissidents. Hence the massive internal feuding over a program audaciously illegal!).Mueller was one of the individuals actually threatening to RESIGN over TSP, so one would certainly think he was fully aware of the subject of that confrontation.

Why continue to lend credence to those utterly undeserving of same? By that I don't mean the New York Times as a whole, though it's certainly NOT "monolithic" in its approach to depicting reality, but rather those wholly unspecified "sources" of HIGHLY dubious quality cited by those reporters. The description alone strongly suggests that the claimants merely repeated what they were told (i.e., what they were "briefed on")!

Posted by: Poilu on July 28, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Personally, I'd have no objections to data mining as distinct from surveillance. (Of course, if there's no surveillance, there'll be no data to mine. Let them run search algorithms and whatever else on an empty data set; won't bother me in the least.)"

As someone mentioned above, there's a huge difference between surveillance as the law defines it and data mining.

And as someone pointed out, they don't need to collect data through surveillance to mine it. According to news reports last year, the data supporting the data mining came from telephone companies and as I understand it, the government doesn't need a warrant to get data from the telephone company -- under the law, you have no expectation of privacy regarding data about you owned by the telephone company.

There's no reason the two programs would necessarily be related at all, though, I suppose, they could be.

Posted by: Strick on July 29, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

For all the latest news, key reports, document releases and other essential materials surrounding the NSA illegal domestic surveillance scandal, visit:
- The NSA Domestic Surveillance Scandal Documents Center

Posted by: Furious on July 29, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

And as someone pointed out, they don't need to collect data through surveillance to mine it.

Obviously not a lawyer, but to my mind, collecting data is surveillance. In this case, it may not be surveillance directed toward an individual, but it is surveillance of the system as a whole. Probably the legal types have some reasoning to support the distinction between watching individuals vs. watching the entire data flow, but to me it seems like hairsplitting.

Posted by: jimBOB on July 29, 2007 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

It is hairsplitting. Contrary to what someone argued above, the gvmt cannot have legal access to CDRs (call detail records) without a warrant.

Too many people are learning the law from watching L&O.

Posted by: Disputo on July 29, 2007 at 2:52 AM | PERMALINK

Our media often make consistent mistakes, because of copycat reporting. For months, the media have incorrectly reported that Gonzales went to Ashcroft in the hospital to try to re-authorize the surveillance program. Now, Gonzales has testified that the program involved was for Data Mining. Data mining is quite different from wire-tapping of calls involving suspected terrorists abroad -- different in practice, and different legally and Constitutionally.

So, several of the Senators accused Gonzales of lying because his testimony disagreed with media reports. Of course, Gonzales knows what program he was discussing. He's right; the media was wrogn. It was certainly proper for him to be accurate in his Senate testimony.

The Senators owe Gonzales an apology. The media owe all of us an apology.

Posted by: ex-liberal on July 29, 2007 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

So, several of the Senators accused Gonzales of lying because his testimony disagreed with media reports.

No, you lying POS. Several Senators accused Gonzo of lying because his testimony disagreed with the testimony of everyone else in the room.

Good lord, how do you even live with yourself?

Posted by: Disputo on July 29, 2007 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

They claim they were data mining to facilitate finding targets to surveil. Naturally, they were outsourcing the surveillances to the various furniture installer contractors in Cheney's office! I mean it is becoming abundantly clear that folks like Duke Cunningham and his briber pals were going to be the folks deciding who to mine and whom to probe.

Posted by: parrot on July 29, 2007 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

I have been researching much of the night, and this comment from TPMcafe just about says it all:

On July 26, 2007 - 10:28am BevD said:
"If they can blatantly steal an election, not once, but twice, invade and occupy a country for no reason whatsoever and then lie about it, expose a covert CIA agent, torture people, lie with impunity to congress, render one citizen from a country to another country by using the planes of the worst black market gun merchant in the world, deny the right of habeus corpus to American citizens, eavesdrop on their conversations, refuse to submit to subpoenas from congress, set aside lawful jury decisions by commuting sentences of their friends, shoot someone in the face and refuse a police interview until it was convenient for them, tamper with government records by purging phone and visitor logs, refuse to submit to congress and the public the names of those people they employ who receive a government pay check from the taxpayers and do all of this while the press investigates haircuts and wardrobes of politicians, well, impeachment will be just another blood sport for them"

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 29, 2007 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

And this, from emptywheel at the nexthurrah:

"...And it wouldn't be an NYT article if it didn't include self-serving justifications. Why is it, do you suppose, that the NYT has waited until today to tell us they were conned into spiking their story in October 2004, just weeks before the presidential elections, because the Administration claimed there had been no disagreement on the program???

The first known assertion by administration officials that there had been no serious disagreement within the government about the legality of the N.S.A. program came in talks with New York Times editors in 2004. In an effort to persuade the editors not to disclose the eavesdropping program, senior officials repeatedly cited the lack of dissent as evidence of the program’s lawfulness.

[snip]

Mr. Gonzales’s 2006 testimony went unchallenged publicly until May of this year, when James B. Comey, the former deputy attorney general, described the March 2004 confrontation to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I mean, you'd think an entity dedicated to the art of journalism might, when they heard Gonzales' claim in February 2006 that there had been no serious dispute ... you might think they would have revealed that they had been sold that bill of goods two years earlier, only to learn those were fraudulent goods. But I guess NYT thought they'd get around to telling us this in their own sweet time, huh?" 7/28/07


Posted by: consider wisely always on July 29, 2007 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

@ Bleh: But that's the whole GOP MO, they raise a stink about "family values" or "cultural relativism" while simultaneously ordering hookers and bastardizing language and history. No group of people has single handedly done more for French philosophy than the modern GOP. Nor done more to ruin the institution of the family. But somehow they've managed to pin this all on the left. They have no shame.

Posted by: DC1974 on July 29, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

The esteemed Josh Marshall wondered:

"This must be much more serious and apparently something all but the most ravenous Bush authoritarians would never accept. It is supposedly no longer even happening and hasn't been for a few years. So disclosing it could not jeopardize a program. The only reason that suggests itself is that the political and legal consequences of disclosure are too grave to allow.

Late Update: The Post has a follow story on the data mining issue. It covers most of the same ground but hints a little more directly about possible interception of emails and phone calls. The article suggests that examination of "metadata" was the issue here. But, again, it doesn't fit. The intensity of the covering up doesn't match the alleged secret"

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 29, 2007 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

the sky is realy pink, and I dare you to prove otherwise, and even if you can, I have the power to pardon all criminal activity done on my behalf.

the ultimate extension of absolute power is absolute corruption.

they have shown time and time again that truth and facts are as they define them, so do not question their actions, or you are supporting the terrorists and are a traitor.

Orwell had it right.

Posted by: erict on July 29, 2007 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

"Now, Gonzales has testified that the program involved was for Data Mining."

Actually, he's said no such thing. This is just ill-informed speculation you're parroting.

"Data mining is quite different from wire-tapping of calls involving suspected terrorists abroad"

The wiretapping involved calls to and from U.S. citizens on U.S. territory, as you well know. Interesting that you wish to hide that particular piece of data.

"different in practice, and different legally and Constitutionally."

Not even remotely, but thanks for playing. We have some lovely consolation prizes for you, including an all-expenses paid vacation to Guantanamo.

"So, several of the Senators accused Gonzales of lying because his testimony disagreed with media reports."

No, they accused him of lying because a) his testimony disagreed with the testimony of others present at the events under discussion and b) his testimony contradicted their own personal knowledge, in the case of the members of the "Gang of 8."

"Of course, Gonzales knows what program he was discussing."

Does he? His testimony wanders all over the place. He couldn't even keep his own story straight, which is why he's now widely seen as a liar.

"He's right; the media was wrogn."

Nope, not even close.

"It was certainly proper for him to be accurate in his Senate testimony."

I agree, now maybe you'd like to convince Gonzalez of that, since every single time he's testified, he's either been shown to be a liar or has had to "modify" his prior testimony because it was proved he was a liar.

"The Senators owe Gonzales an apology. The media owe all of us an apology."

Nope. Gonzalez owes us an apology, and his resignation. And Bush owes us an apology for ever having selected him, and for keeping him on in the face of blatant violations of the law.

Posted by: PaulB on July 29, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

This is absolutely Orwellian.
From a computer savvy commenter on why data mining would "raise a furious debate:"

"Quoting the NYT: "It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate."

"...Consider the number of such databases and transaction processing systems that would have to be accessed for this program...
"...Each of those, or each category of those (however the categories were defined, for example by industry or by communications medium or whatever), would require specific actions be taken:
Orders would have to be issued, contacts made with relevant individuals, technical resources mobilized, and legal objections overcome in each case. Recall for example that NSA lawyers mightily objected to this stuff but ultimately were bulldozed by the Regime. Recall for example how telephone and data carriers were required, in some cases over their objections, to provide space in their facilities, and cooperation of their employees, for the installation of intercept systems..."

"...Each of those would also require means of protecting it from public scrutiny. Recall for example that librarians are forbidden from disclosing that they have had to comply with lending records searches (whether or not library records were included in the present programs remains to be seen, but it would be a good subject for investigation). .. "

"In other words this is more than just telling someone to flip a switch and print some reports. If the program itself was illegal, then all of the enabling activities were illegal, and all of those who participated are either guilty of crimes or are victims of crimes (in the sense of being unwitting or unwilling accomplices)... "

"Now compare data mining to wiretapping:

Wiretapping requires the translation of voice communications into actionable intelligence, and the latter starts with the written word. Thus, speech to text. Consider that NSA has typically been about ten years ahead of the civilian sector in relevant areas of technology: thus, reasonable to assert that it has fairly well-developed speech-to-text applications... ."

"..... database mining would raise a furious debate because the technique is so powerful that even the "telescreen" of Orwell's 1984, through which the Thought Police monitored every citizen for the slightest hint of thoughtcrime, pales into insignificance by comparison. Data mining on the scale that appears to have occurred, would create the true "panoptic society" (look it up), where every move is seen, every intention is forecast, and the power of the Regime to silence dissent and thwart opposition is limited only by its own internal priorities.

And if you don't think so, then consider how many prominent political figures, who have one day made statements harshly critical of the Regime, have within a few days issued emotional retractions often including tears."

What do you think could have occurred to make them cry?"
G2geek on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at dkos

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 29, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Data mining is such a cute term. The definition can be stretched to include the automated recording and/or analysis of virtually any signal - even telephone calls. For example, what if NSA was using powerful voice recognition software to monitor every domestic phone call made in the United States? Is this "wiretapping" or "data mining"? Arguably, if it is being done through an automated process, it is data mining.

As Greenwald ably reports today, Michael Hayden swore up and down that this wasn't going on in 2006. But Hayden was speaking in the present tense when he denied the existence of a "dragnet" of keyword-based data mining. He said nothing about 2004. Hayden described such ideas as "magical" and alleged "practical considerations" made a sweeping program of keyword-based surveillance difficult to implement. Of course, just because a program is impractical doesn't mean the government won't try it. Just look at the so called "missile defense shield." Has it ever really worked? No. Does the Pentagon keep spending billions on it? Of course. That's why DARPA exists.

Posted by: owenz on July 29, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think they're the same. Data mining looks at the past, while surveillance looks at the present.

Posted by: sherifffruitfly on July 29, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Data mining and electronic surveillance are related.

Data mining (searching for interesting patterns in large amounts of data) generally reveals targets against whom one can practice electronic surveillance.

Electronic surveillance delivers specific pieces of information which one can use in the search patterns for a data mining operation.

They can be (and often are) used in tandem with each other.

Of course, once programs of this size and scope are instituted, no one draws the distinction between when data mining stops being used and surveillance begins, and vice-versa. Because in the electronic world in which we live, everything is data (be it your history of credit card purchases, or the words you're speaking into your telephone), so a program that operates on pattern analysis of data works on any of it.

SheriffFruitFly: Data mining can certainly look at 'the present' when given enough computers. Real-time data mining is practiced on the financial markets by many of the top-tier trading firms.

ConsiderWiselyAlways: your point (copied over from dkos) is the scary one about the administration's data mining practices. There is no way for any such program to have had access to the large collection of different companies data against which to run their data mining programs, unless those companies were coerced (illegally?) to give up this information.

Posted by: Merrill Schatz on July 29, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Merrill--yes, indeed. The commenter said even more but it would fill the screen. It was a mind blowing description of how pervasive the spying likely is, how very extensive, and orwellian.

Posted by: consider wisely always on July 29, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Here is Bush's press conference in May 2006 during which he specifically disavowed that the administration was data mining on a grand scale:
...We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans. Our efforts are focused on links to al Qaeda and their known affiliates....
In fact, the articles leaked to the Times and the Post clearly states that the data mining was comprehensive and illegal.

...The Washington Post reported in February 2006 that the NSA targets were identified through data mining efforts and that thousands of Americans had been monitored. USA Today later reported that the government had the help of telecommunications companies in collecting millions of phone records.
The practice of sifting through mountains of privately collected data on phone calls and Internet communications raises legal issues. Although the contents of calls and e-mails are protected, courts have ruled that "metadata" -- basic records of calls and e-mails kept by phone companies -- are not.....One source familiar with the NSA program said yesterday that there were widespread concerns inside the intelligence community in 2003 and 2004 over how much Internet and telephone data mining could occur, as well as about the NSA's direct intercepts of communications without court approval....

All calls are digitized as are all emails. The telcos stored the calls and emails or routed them to to the NSA for storage, and then they were data mined for whatever code words the algorithm was tuned to seek. I think it's clear that Bush lied and it is interesting that he is willing to be exposed as a liar in order to try to save Gonzales' butt.

Posted by: Mike on July 29, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Merrill:

Yes, I know. I do it for a large-ish bank.

Posted by: sherifffruitfly on July 30, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

As I understand it, during the Gonzales testimony, one questioner pointed out a memo which gave 440+ White House staff, including the Vice President's office, access to all sorts of DOJ paperwork.

I bet the 440+ includes Monica Gooding and Kyle Sampson, plus other staff working for Rove.

As I understand it, both Gooding and Sampson did "oppo research" before they worked for the White House.

For the upcoming Rove questioning - if it actually happens - what I want asked is can he prove that none of this data mining was done on any Democratic candidates for office.

Posted by: bartkid on July 30, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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