Friday, December 16, 2005

Absolutely Chilling

Expecting good news two days running (scroll down for the "Two-fer" post)from the NY Times is foolish, I guess. Still, the lengthy article in today's NY Times is well worth the read, even if that reading is complicated with what should be arched eyebrows.

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval was a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
[Emphasis added]

First of all, the fact that yet another agency has been spying on Americans here at home without congressional or judicial oversight is horrifying, especially in light of the revelation this week that the Pentagon has essentially been doing the same thing. What is it about this regime that allows it to believe it can use every intelligence gathering organization (and there appears to be an endless list of such outfits) at hand to spy on us? The NSA is supposed to be gathering that information abroad, along with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. Why the focus on us? Are we all somehow complicit in 9/11, which, by the way, changed everything.

But even more horrifying is that the newspaper that is supposed to be the leader in delivering news to this country, the newspaper that faced down another regime by publishing the Pentagon Papers thirty or so years ago, held back this story for over a year at the request of the regime and then allowed it to edit the story.

There is something dreadfully wrong with this picture.


Blogger Willy Jo said...

you cheetin batch thars no way with know commets that yer in second place. you'll burn in the hither after in firey pit fer yer actions and beelzabud shall make you his ho fer eterntity.

6:27 AM  

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