Here's One Worth Writing Your Elected Reps About

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Adam's Apple, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    As Terrorists Plot, Democrats Focusing Elsewhere
    By Jonathan Gurwitz, San Antonio Express-News

    According to a public report issued to Congress by the Justice Department, the court approved 2,176 warrants in 2006 for surveillance operations. The court denied only one warrant application. The numbers suggest that our law enforcement and intelligence professionals are doing a pretty good job tailoring their efforts to address real or potentially real threats to U.S. national security, not innocent citizens or paranoid critics of George W. Bush.

    All that changed in January. In the aftermath of a New York Times story that revealed elements of a broader terrorist surveillance program, the Bush administration — under pressure from Congress — agreed to bring previously exempt parts of the program into the FISA process.

    The number of warrant requests presented to the FISA court has presumably skyrocketed. And at least one of the 11 judges on the court has construed a new authority to approve warrants for entirely foreign communications that happen to pass through fiber optic cables and giant communications switching hubs in the United States.

    In other words, due to changes in technology, U.S. pre-eminence in international telecommunications and the whims of judges on a secret court who are unaccountable to the people, foreign surveillance operations that have for decades protected Americans and been beyond the purview of FISA are now subject to warrants. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, some of the judges are demanding to approve the warrants in advance of the wiretaps, not retroactively — which is frequently essential in the fast-moving, digital-cellular world.

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