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Jason Coleman

Gore bitching about this is another case of having cake and eating it too.

ECHELON anyone? How bout CARNIVORE?

Facts are facts, the conversations originated from overseas (unlike ECHELON and CARNIVORE intercepts delivered to Reno under Clinton) from identified possible terrorist cellphones. So A) they're "electronic intercepts", which satisfies most legal arguments and B) I'm damn happy the government is trying to catch these bastards.

If a terrorist has you on speed-dial, expect that you're gonna get a visit from Uncle Sam, and for good reason.

Thanks for your opinion though. I'd love to hear your opinions on ECHELON and CARNIVORE. Searched your site (with Google) and found none.


Llama School

ECHELON (from what I know of them) monitors communications in countries that aren't involved in it (i.e. I don't think they monitor communications in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Gore isn't against wiretapping or monitoring foreign communications. Gore (and others) are against illegal monitoring of US citizens, especially when it's against current law.

Jason Coleman

Sorry Llama, Echelon captures ALL communication and doesn't discriminate about "where" the communications come from. Discrimination is only applied after the fact, if at all. Gore and Clinton didn't have a problem using the power of Echelon against Randy Weaver and his cohorts, nor did Reno reject Echelon intercepts from Waco and the Branch D's.

The facts are simple, both the current issue and the Echelon and Carnivore intercepts are just that, INTERCEPTS, and it's perfectly legal to gather and analyze "electronic intercepts."

I'm sure you're a good guy, and you've given this alot of effort, but you've completely ignored the hypocrisy of Gore and the Clintons with regard to this issue. Which is really another in a seemingly endless series of NON-ISSUES, this is just the next non-issue to be run up the flagpole and thousands of moonbats will salute it, but the legal institutions of America, won't, just like Downing, just like Plame, just like all the rest.

Since you're not aware of what Echelon and Carnivore do, I'll give you a pass, go look into them for yourself, I encourage you to do so HONESTLY and you'll be anxious to get an injunction on these programs that are still running rather than try to chase the NSA injuction so Osama can call you and wish you goodnight without a trace.

So here's another question for you? Do you think we SHOULD NOT be trying to figure out the details about terrorists making phone calls into the U.S.? And if the answer to that is YES, I wonder who's side you're actually on in this whole she-bang.


Llama School

IF Echelon is used to monitor communications of US citizens w/o a warrant, then it is being used illegally. If Echelon was used to monitor Weaver, the Branch Davidians, and others American citizens if there's a warrant on them, then that's fine. From what I know, Echelon is used primarily for intercepting foriegn communications.

But I haven't seen any evidence that Echelon intercepts have been used in monitoring Weaver/Koresh (after lots of searching), or that Echelon is used in warrantless monitoring of US citizens.

And to answer your question, of course we should be trying to figure out stuff re: terrorists calling into the U.S. FISA doesn't ban this kind of activity.


Hi Llama School:
First off, let me say that between here and PW, I appreciate your level-headed analysis (even where I think it's incorrect).
However, the questions regarding the recently leaked NSA program appear to be this:
1) Does the AUMF modify FISA w/r/t the "except as authorized by statute."
2) Does FISA encroach, unconstitutionally upon the President's War Powers, and thereby invalidate itself in such a case, making (1) irrelevant.
The argument has been made to both ends.
Yet further, if I may, is the question of "American Citizen." I think we can agree that members of Al Queda without U.S. Citizenship are irrelevant to the discussion. I would hope we could also agree that these intercepts are between Known/Reasonably believed Al Queda operatives and persons (Citizen or otherwise) residing in the U.S.?
I'll proceed as though we can agree on those.
As many have argued, (1) presumes a reasonable interpretation of AUMF's modification of FISA. If that interpretation is incorrect, it's something for the courts to decide. Again, it's a question of what the law says, as interpreted by the judiciary, not what the law was supposed to say.

Further, (2) as
Powerline has argued, there are serious questions as to whether FISA can truly modify the President's War Powers. If the administration has truly presented how the program works -- and there is no actual evidence, despite the leakage of NSA clandestine programs to the contrary -- intercepting communications from known foreign agents abroad to what are, technically I guess, spies within must certainly fall under War Powers.

I can sympethize with your desire to argue whether/not this sort of interpretation helps the Union or not, but it's not relevant to the legality issues.

Per the Whistleblower topic: Gen. Hayden indicated that no formal complains have ever been filed by NSA employees. You seem to be implying two things by suggesting that the leakers could be whistleblowers: (1) that such a whistleblower, instead of blowing a whistle within the administration chose to first leak the information, and will not support that leak. And second that either the leaker is not NSA -- and thereby shouldn't know enough about the program to blow any whistles, or a distinguished American servant such as Gen. Hayden is a liar. If you have another out, please present it, because Gen. Hayden expressly indicated that No NSA employee had filed any complaints.

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