Sunday, December 18, 2005

May the Games Begin!

This just in (well yesterday) according to Mac Ranger, a retired military intelligence guy, whose blog Macsmind has become a must-read of mine on the arcania of issues such as Able Danger and the Plame Game:
The search is officially on for the leaker(s) in the New York Times so-called “blockbuster”. “Word” is that the FBI is (although don’t look for this to be on the Nightly News) actively involved in locating the leaker(s), as well as the CIA Prison leak.
Since the Democrats and their media subalterns have forced this gladitorial showdown, Let the Games begin!

Also, over in the Corner, Mark Levin points out the fatal non-seriousness of the Democrats in this NSA surveillance business.
What is the point of briefing congressional leaders and relevant committees about executive-branch operations if they refuse any responsibility for the information they receive, and if they believe the information discloses constitutional, legal, and civil-liberties violations on which they refuse to act? As I watched Meet the Press this morning, I was appalled at the lack of seriousness of the coverage. Within five minutes of the program's start, Tim Russert invoked Richard Nixon. Sen. Carl Levin was asked if the president might have broken the law. He answered that if he didn't follow FISA he did. Levin earlier complained that he didn't know what laws the president may be using to justify the NSA program. Keep in mind; at this point we don't know what violations are even being asserted in any of this discussion. (This is the same Levin who has led efforts to conceal the Barrett Report, which allegedly includes stunning findings about the misuse of the IRS by the Clinton administration. I noticed Russert didn't bring this up.)

Russert continually referred to domestic spying on U.S. citizens. Neither he nor we know what's involved here. Some of those monitored may be citizens, they may not be. Some may also be receiving communications from al Qaeda operatives abroad, in which case warrants aren't required and their citizenship is irrelevant. Some may be covered by the warrant requirements of FISA, some of the operations may not be. My guess, and that's all it is, is that the NSA ran into difficulties tracking individuals who were able to elude surveillance (and the FISA warrant requirement, if applicable) by moving from place to place and switching between and among various communication technologies. The secret FISA court, and many of its procedures, isn’t exactly secret to anyone, including the enemy. If so, or if I'm close, the claims that the president authorized domestic eavesdropping on U.S. citizens is the most hysterical and, frankly, reckless face to put on this. Moreover, the likelihood that top lawyers at the Justice Department (including career attorneys) and other agencies would have conspired to break the law, and kept it secret for years, for the purpose of intercepting communications among law-abiding U.S. citizens is truly far-fetched.
Michael Ledeen responds to Mark Levin:

People with children and spouses fighting terrorists around the world have no trouble understanding what is going on here; it's a systematic attempt to destroy the Bush presidency, regardless of the cost to the nation or to the cause of liberty on the planet. It's disgusting.

Me, I'm for investigating the NY Times. Let's see how tough they are on Judy Miller once the likes of Risen are hauled in front of a grand jury...

Which is more or less what I said below.


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