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Thursday, February 09, 2006

This simply cannot be stated often enough
Posted by Jill | 12:31 PM

Not only is Bush's warrantless wiretap program a flagrant violation of the rights of Americans under the very Constitution he swore to uphold, but even a right-wing magazine said back in December that THE DAMN THING DOESN'T EVEN ACCOMPLISH WHAT IT PURPORTS TO:

Insight Magazine (published by those wonderful folks who bring you the Moonie Times:

The Bush administration's surveillance policy has failed to make a dent in the war against al Qaeda.

U.S. law enforcement sources said that more than four years of surveillance by the National Security Agency has failed to capture any high-level al Qaeda operative in the United States. They said al Qaeda insurgents have long stopped using the phones and even computers to relay messages. Instead, they employ couriers.

"They have been way ahead of us in communications security," a law enforcement source said. "At most, we have caught some riff-raff. But the heavies remain free and we believe some of them are in the United States."


The law enforcement sources said the intelligence community has identified several al Qaeda agents believed to be in the United States. But the sources said the agents have not been found because of insufficient intelligence and even poor analysis.

The assertions by the law enforcement sources dispute President Bush's claim that the government surveillance program has significantly helped in the fight against terrorism. The president said the program, which goes beyond the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, limits eavesdropping to international phone calls.

The sources provided guidelines to how the administration has employed the surveillance program. They said the National Security Agency in cooperation with the FBI was allowed to monitor the telephone calls and e-mails of any American believed to be in contact with a person abroad suspected of being linked to al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

At that point, the sources said, all of the communications of that American would be monitored, including calls made to others in the United States. The regulations under the administration's surveillance program do not require any court order.


"The problem is not the legislation but lack of intelligence and analysis," another source said. "We have a huge pile of intercepts that never get translated, analyzed and thus remain of no use to us. If it [surveillance] was effective, that's one thing. But it hasn't been effective."

Americans may (mistakenly, IMHO) be willing to give up their freedom for safety. But when they're giving up their freedom for nothing, no thinking American can still justify this sort of surveillance can be justified under ANY standard; no matter HOW much you want to believe Bush is actually doing something about terrorism.
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