Sharp Insight on Spying

Start with Coulter's article reprinted in JWR (linked in the title) and her praise of the NY Times for their excellent handling of a peiophile case and how she logically connects it with Bush's efforts to thwart terrorism.

Add in some revelations that Clinton did exactly the same thing from the
  • Washington Times.

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    Take those articles and then read
  • and all of a sudden I'm a lot more clear on why the NSA was asked to circumvent the judge panel.

    When the feds think they need to spy on someone they have to show reasonable cause why. Unfortunately, the same terrorist cells that acted in 9/11 were not known terrorists at the time. Outside of a few odd comments such as (paraphrase) "not concerned about learning how to land the plane but to fly it" that were dropped, nothing in their actions or backgrounds would have been just cause for a wire tap to a judge.

    The Clinton and Bush administration saw this threat. The enemy's actions and tactics mean that many people would have to be investigated based on very thin associations and travel patterns. Those same patterns would not necessarliy have made them a "reasonable" target for wire tap in the eyes of a judge.

    I am all for checks and balances. That is a fundamental part of our system that has kept it working this well for so long. I also now recognize that this time of war calls for some extra ordinary actions that would not be acceptable outside of a war footing.

    I am troubled that some otherwise innocent people (such as Muslim relatives of my regular commentor II) would have conversations recorded an analyzed. However this is a time of war and those who are innocent should have nothing to fear from an NSA bureaucrat in a bunker listening to their conversations. If you have associations and travel patterns that might make you a target, well, expect to be looked at.

    If overweight southern Baptist rednecks from Nashville were considered a war threat, I'd expect to be recorded too.