Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In case anyone was wondering...

Just a few words from Silvestre Reyes to counter the fear-mongerers on the right:

"First, NSA can use its authority under Executive Order 12333 to conduct surveillance abroad of any known or suspected terrorist. There is no requirement for a warrant. There is no requirement for probable cause. Most of NSA's collection occurs under this authority.

Second, NSA can use its authority under the Protect America Act, enacted last August, to conduct surveillance here in the U.S of any foreign target. This authority does not "expire" on Saturday, as you have stated. Under the PAA, orders authorizing surveillance may last for one year - until at least August 2008. These orders may cover every terrorist group without limitation. If a new member of the group is identified, or if a new phone number or email address is identified, the NSA may add it to the existing orders, and surveillance can begin immediately. We will not "go dark.

Third, in the remote possibility that a new terrorist organization emerges that we have never previously identified, the NSA could use existing authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor those communications. Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the FISA Court has approved nearly every application for a warrant from the Department of Justice. In an emergency, NSA or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may begin surveillance immediately, and a FISA Court order does not have to be obtained for three days. The former head of FISA operations for the Department of Justice has testified publicly that emergency authorization may be granted in a matter of minutes."

Hat Tip.

Shall we re-visit how right-wingers are trying to scare you? Sure...why not.

Andy McCarthy: "In today's article, I catalogue some of the problems with the Senate bill which would overhaul FISA — while explaining that the bill absolutely must be passed by the House or our foreign intelligence collection is going to collapse."

Michelle Malkin: "The frenzy over FISA is a stark reminder of basic party differences on the War on Terror. The Republicans put security first. The Democrats put trial lawyers, terrorists’ rights, and election campaigns first. The Republicans are acting to prevent another 9/11. The Democrats are stuck in a 9/10 world. "

Republican Leader John Boehner: "Delaying action on a long-term modernization bill puts our national security at risk"

President Bush: "The House's failure to pass the bipartisan Senate bill would jeopardize the security of our citizens. As Director McConnell has told me, without this law, our ability to prevent new attacks will be weakened. And it will become harder for us to uncover terrorist plots"

As Kevin Drum says: "Look, if it's that important, there's a simple answer: pass the bill without telecom immunity. Then come back and introduce immunity in a separate bill. If you've got the votes for it, fine. If not, too bad. "

Do we really need to answer that?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Find an Attorney