Saturday, September 08, 2007

German Terror Plot: Take 2

In the recently thwarted terrorist plot in Germany, how did German police discover that the German terrorists were to carry out their attack by September 15?

Uh-oh. They were eavesdropping on a phone call that originated in Pakistan and ended up in Germany.

This is the exact equivalent of the NSA program that is ritually, but inaccurately, described in the press as "domestic spying." Most Democrats denounce the program as unconstitutional.

Further, it was the NSA program that brought the German terrorists to light:
The arrests were the culmination of an investigation that began a year ago, when U.S. officials alerted German authorities to e-mails intercepted from Pakistan.
If the Democrats get their way, the NSA will not be able to use this tactic unless it has enough knowledge, enough days in advance, to get an order from a FISA judge. You can be sure, however, that the liberals will never mention this incident when they denounce the program as an invasion of constitutional rights.

1 comment:

Ben said...

"If the Democrats get their way, the NSA will not be able to use this tactic unless it has enough knowledge, enough days in advance, to get an order from a FISA judge."

You're misinformed. The court keeps watch round the clock to approve warrants in a hurry. They've only disapproved five of the some 18,000 requests made of them during their history and I haven't heard even its staunchest opponents whining about the time table. See here: http://www.aclu.org/patriot_foia/2003/court_rules.pdf

The issue here isn't the NSA's effectiveness, it's about denying the executive dictatorial powers. Remember that our founders deliberately ensured executive warrants would be subject to judicial review. Take that away, and the executive branch can essentially hold anyone at any time for any reason. Not smart.

"But we're fighting a war," you say (one in which an organization attacked us and we returned the favor by ignoring the organization and attacking two unrelated countries). Fine, then let the president collect intelligence without a warrant, but don't try to pass that off as evidence at trial.