Patterico's Pontifications

8/18/2006

Yesterday’s Court Decision Proves the NSA Disclosures Harmed National Security

After the New York Times told us about the NSA’s secret surveillance program, leftists confidently told us that the disclosure could not possibly have harmed our national security.

As we learned yesterday, that’s not what the people who have been talking to the terrorists say.

For months, lefties like Glenn Greenwald have confidently maintained that the disclosures of the NSA program did not harm national security. For example, Greenwald said this:

It is not even theoretically possible that disclosure of the illegal nature of the eavesdropping could endanger national security such that the Times was warranted in helping the Administration to conceal this patent law- breaking. Everyone, presumably including terrorists, assumed the Administration has been eavesdropping on conversations of those whom it suspects of engaging in terrorism.

and this:

Just as they did with the NSA eavesdropping program — where the Times, after a year-long delay, disclosed only the existence of the program but not its operational details — the media goes out of its way to avoid disclosure of any operational details or other information would could [sic] result in national security harm.

In other words, lefties like Greenwald said, terrorists would not change their methods of international communication simply because they read about the NSA surveillance program in the New York Times.

But we learned something different in yesterday’s travesty of a court opinion on the NSA surveillance program.

According to the plaintiffs — lawyers, scholars, journalists, and others who communicate internationally with terrorists — the disclosure of the surveillance program has caused terrorists to discontinue international telephone and e-mail communications:

Plaintiffs here contend that the TSP [“Terrorist Surveillance Program”] has interfered with their ability to carry out their professional responsibilities in a variety of ways, including that the TSP has had a significant impact on their ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship, engage in advocacy and communicate with persons who are outside of the United States, including in the Middle East and Asia. Plaintiffs have submitted several declarations to that effect. For example, scholars and journalists such as plaintiffs Tara McKelvey, Larry Diamond, and Barnett Rubin indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. In addition, attorneys Nancy Hollander, William Swor, Joshua Dratel, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad indicate that they must also communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations, and must discuss confidential information over the phone and email with their international clients. All of the Plaintiffs contend that the TSP has caused clients, witnesses and sources to discontinue their communications with plaintiffs out of fear that their communications will be intercepted.

Let me put that into plain English: terrorists and their associates will no longer communicate with these plaintiffs via e-mail and telephone — in other words, ways that the government could monitor under the surveillance program — because the terrorists are aware of the surveillance program. It’s not the Terrorist Surveillance Program itself that has caused terrorists to cease these international communications. It’s the fact that the terrorists now know about it.

Greenwald and other lefties say that terrorists had always assumed their communications were being monitored, but these plaintiffs say otherwise. They say that, for a period of time, they communicated freely with these terrorists — but then along came revelations of the TSP, and their telephone and Internet communications with these suspected terrorists ceased.

Now: if terrorists will no longer communicate with lawyers, scholars, and journalists . . . do you think they may also have ceased their telephone and Internet communications with fellow terrorists?

Of course they have. Which means that the government is no longer monitoring those telephone or e-mail communications. The terrorists have had to find other ways to communicate — ways that the government may not be able to monitor as easily, or at all.

The terrorists have adapted. And we can thank our friends at the New York Times.

Unless the plaintiffs were all lying, this is solid evidence that the NSA disclosures by the New York Times have indeed harmed our national security.

77 Responses to “Yesterday’s Court Decision Proves the NSA Disclosures Harmed National Security”

  1. I am now convinced you are the smartest lawyer out there. Mainly because you are agreeing with my completely uninformed non-lawyerly legal opinions.

    I caught this off your link to Baseball Crank yesterday and posted about it, and was wondering why the administration didn’t harp on it a bit.

    Actually I begged them to break it off in the NYT’s a**, but thats never gonna happen.

    chad (582404)

  2. The purchase of throw away cellphones is another confirmation. The first big story about middle eastern men buying thousands of prepaid cellphones came days after the NY Times story It also confirms the fact that this is tracing calls, not eavesdropping. Prepaid cellphones are untraceable unless they are used for a long time and multiple calls.

    Mike K (416363)

  3. This disclosure has harmed national security big time. There’s only one way I can think of to get it back: let our courts uphold this idiotic ruling, and then have NSA publicly wring its hands, promises never, ever to do such a horrible thing again, and quietly go on doing it anyway.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  4. It would seem that our fight against terrorist abroad, again includes our leftish “friends” and their “manifesto-media”.

    The democratic party seems to be convinced that they want to take this important national security issue head on. I’m not sure what motivates them to expose such a weakness. While many in this nation may be (justifiably) impatient with the conflicts on the ground in Iraq, most understand what is at stake. The Lefts policy of “change in direction” isn’t anything more than “Let us have a go at it” and “we can do better”. Their “fold the tent” and bring the troops home now attitude is a recipe for disaster and the weakness in our armor the terrorist are looking for.

    Anna Diggs Taylor, (a Jimmy Carter appointee), and the ACLU,Greenpeace, and Christopher Hitchens gang have got their hands full on Constitutional Law and Presidential Powers in a time of war.
    Oh, and we must not forget Greenwaldo

    Bring it on!

    Rovin (b348f4)

  5. To the NSA and President Bush…

    Richard at Hyscience writes:
    So waste not a single cent on legal fees related to a more favorable ruling to access my cell phone, my home phone, my emails, my regular mail, my financial records, or anything else that you believe is necessary to exclud…

    MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (6ed3f8)

  6. Web Reconnaissance for 08/18/2006…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention….

    The Thunder Run (59ce3a)

  7. ACLU and fellow travelers have amazing chutzpah to both admit they communicate with terrorists and demand the “right” to do it confidentiality!

    (ps my trackback to this post failed … argh)

    Darleen (03346c)

  8. It would be interesting to see the list of all of the plaintiffs, as Darleen points out, a list of people and businesses that have reason to be in contact with terrorists.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  9. A right to communicate with terrorists? Sometimes life imitates parody. Like this panel I wrote as part of a photo comic last December. (Warning: Photos are SFW but text is questionable.)

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (dfa1f1)

  10. The first big story about middle eastern men buying thousands of prepaid cellphones came days after the NY Times story

    you know those guys have been released rihgt?

    actus (6234ee)

  11. actus

    you know that many people are released only to be arrested later on, “rihgt”?

    Darleen (03346c)

  12. “you know those guys have been released rihgt?

    Comment by actus —”

    So they were selling them on eBay ? Come on. Tell us.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  13. you know that many people are released only to be arrested later on, “rihgt”?

    As in, charges are dropped. Do you really think those guys were terrorists, rather than arbitrageours?

    actus (6234ee)

  14. you know that many people are released only to be arrested later on, “rihgt”?

    As in, charges are dropped….
    Comment by actus

    Um. No, as in, no charges were brought.

    JannyMae (05dcd9)

  15. Re: Judge Taylor’s decision in ACLU, et. al. v. National Security Agency, et. al.,

    Plaintiffs here contend that the TSP [”Terrorist Surveillance Program”] has interfered with their ability to carry out their professional responsibilities in a variety of ways, including that the TSP has had a significant impact on their ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship, engage in advocacy and communicate with persons who are outside of the United States, including in the Middle East and Asia. Plaintiffs have submitted several declarations to that effect. For example, scholars and journalists such as plaintiffs Tara McKelvey, Larry Diamond, and Barnett Rubin indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. In addition, attorneys Nancy Hollander, William Swor, Joshua Dratel, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad indicate that they must also communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations, and must discuss confidential information over the phone and email with their international clients. All of the Plaintiffs contend that the TSP has caused clients, witnesses and sources to discontinue their communications with plaintiffs out of fear that their communications will be intercepted.

    All of the opinions on this judicial farce seem to miss one important point. Why would a judge be so eager to reach such a conclusion so as to potentially jeopardize her career? Who is she serving? (The opinion subjects her to considerable ridicule, and deliberately ignoring precedent has been cited by some as grounds for sanctions, for example.)

    Here’s a good reason:

    The leftist “plaintiffs” have admitted they’ve been communicating with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. Yhey know they’re dirty, and they suspect or know the NSA has the goods on them and that prosecution is likely.

    Having a friendly in-the-pocket leftist federal judge declare the NSA surveillance program unconstitutional, and injunctioning it to stop immediately, is about the only way for the “plaintiffs” to avoid being ruined and going to jail.

    sss111 (501d77)

  16. Um. No, as in, no charges were brought.

    And then they were dropped. These guys were in the cell phone business. Not the sell 1000 IEDs business. Maybe their markups are unconscionable, or unfair or deceptive business practices. But I don’t think those are criminal violations.

    actus (6234ee)

  17. Actus, do you even read before you comment? JannyMae said:

    Um. No, as in, no charges were brought.

    You then said:

    And then they were dropped.

    You can’t drop charges if no charges were brought.

    Idiot.

    Paul (02f8b1)

  18. Actus, do really believe what you write?

    These guys were in the cell phone business.

    If you do, in this case you are a useful idiot.

    You do know they consider you an infidel and will seek to slay you along with the rest of us?

    Paul (02f8b1)

  19. C’mon, you guys should know by now that actus doesn’t involve himself with facts, or sequence of events.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  20. oh good lord, actus

    AGAIN you show your ignorance of how the judiciary works outside the schoolroom (or your parents’ basement if you are taking online courses)

    A huge chuck o’police reports will be “turndowns” reject at the time of submission for one reason or another… sometimes lack of corpus, sometimes punted back for further investigation.

    If no charge has been filed then no charges have been “dismissed”. A defendant has to be arraigned before filed charges can be dismissed.

    EVEN if charges are dismissed they can be refiled.

    1 year statute of limitation on misdemeanors, 3 years on felonies.

    Lack of filing charges on these “cell phone entrepenuers” is no indication of factual innocence.

    Darleen (03346c)

  21. You can’t drop charges if no charges were brought.

    Oh. then What happened here: Ohio drops terror charges against phone buyers ?

    I misread her as saying “no, charges were brought.” I added in the comma. Thats because I knew the charges were dropped.

    You do know they consider you an infidel and will seek to slay you along with the rest of us?

    Who? these guys selling cell phones at prices higher than wal-mart? What are you talking about?

    actus (6234ee)

  22. Lack of filing charges on these “cell phone entrepenuers” is no indication of factual innocence.

    But being arab? thats indication of something. No matter what the authorities say.

    actus (6234ee)

  23. Actus, you’re losing it. Darleen threw you a softball and you did not even swing. “Lack of filing charges on these “cell phone entrepenuers” is no indication of factual innocence.” It’s no indication of anything. And the presumption is innocence even if charges were filed. Only a conviction is guilt. Sorry, Darleen. I’m just worried about actus’s health for him to miss such a chance to make a smart-aleck remark.

    nk (4cd0c2)

  24. Ok, I think Actus is right. Hear me out first.

    These guys weren’t arrested because their actions were illegal (although I suspect they were). Arresting these two would be like arresting someone with a stub of a joint for drug possession.

    You could do that, but it’d be mostly a waste of time.

    What you’d want is to sweat the information of; in a drug case the supplier; and in this case the recipient. These “cell-phone” guys aren’t the target anymore (and probably weren’t to begin with).

    They weren’t distributing the cell-phones directly to people wishing to stay under the NSA wiretap radar. They were distributing to a man functioning as a clearing house. Thats the guy you want… and to get him you find out precisely who/where these cell phones were going.

    So is Actus correct that the cell-phone purchasers likely won’t be recalled and imprisoned? Yeah, I think so. Heck its even possible (but I’d question if its probable) that they were doing this simply for profit and weren’t informed or concerned about any reasons why their purchaser wanted these phones.

    Why? Because they likely rolled on the guy they were delivering cell phones to; who right now is either in jail and being asked some very pointed questions regarding his “distribution and sales” side of the business; or who has warrants allowing federal officers to tap his phone, bug his house and otherwise keep a close eye on him.

    Again, to use drugs as an analogy. If you catch a teenager making a drop, arresting the teenager isn’t the end of the story (and he isn’t who you want anyhow). That doesn’t make the teenager clean, but charges likely won’t be brought.

    Gekkobear (33e80a)

  25. Maybe their markups are unconscionable, or unfair or deceptive business practices. But I don’t think those are criminal violations.

    But did they actually sell any phones? Any evidence of that? Surely, if they’re conducting a legitimate business they’ll keep records of their income, purchases, sales, taxes paid, etc…

    If they’re honest businessmen, we should be able to know that in about 15 minutes already.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  26. Gekkobear, I don’t think anyone here pretends to have any omniscient foresight into the eventual outcome of a potential case against these guys with all the cell phones.

    People are contesting actus’ blatant disregard for the sequence of events.
    actus is not even accurately following the sequence of who said what to whom in this thread—and that is because he is too eager to type out Eddie Haskell wiseguy cracks, and push, “submit comment.”

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  27. Actus, from the MSC.com article you linked:

    Ali Houssaiky and Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, both of Dearborn, Mich., headed home from jail Tuesday after prosecutors in southeast Ohio dropped the terror charges, saying they couldn’t prove a terrorism link.

    They are innocent under the law; this does not mean they are completely innocent. The Ohio authorities couldn’t make the charges stick. Charges are dropped all the time as Darleen pointed out due to lack of evidence.

    Oh yeah, there’s more to the story:

    The men still face misdemeanor counts of falsification stemming from allegations that they initially gave deputies different names than the names that appeared on their IDs. The men also initially said they were buying phones for a relative’s construction business, then changed the story when deputies asked for contact information, Washington County Prosecutor James Schneider said.

    So they are still facing charges for giving Ohio authorities false information. Why would they do that if what they were planning wasn’t on the up-and-up?

    If they were simply planning to buy hundreds of phones and resell them, why didn’t they realize how that would be perceived?

    The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent bulletins early this year warning police departments nationwide to be alert for bulk purchases of prepaid TracFones, which could be used to finance terrorism.

    Either they are connected to terrorists, or incredibly stupid.

    Like you, Actus.

    Paul (c7e672)

  28. Whoops, I meant MSNBC.com.

    Paul (c7e672)

  29. It’s no indication of anything

    Uh, its an indication that for some reason law enforcement — which was at first quite gung ho as to these guys — isn’t pursuing that which has everyone here worried. You know, the people who know more than us. For me, its not ‘no indication of anything.’ For me its another piece of evidence I add to the pile that says that these guys may have been engaged in bad business practices, but not terrorism.

    So they are still facing charges for giving Ohio authorities false information. Why would they do that if what they were planning wasn’t on the up-and-up?

    Because its not so on the up and up to buy these tracfones, which are locked in to one provider, and use a code to unlock them. Thats why wal-mart helps the vendor by limiting purchases to three per costumer.

    Either they are connected to terrorists, or incredibly stupid.

    Like you, Actus.

    Or they’re plain old scam artists. You know those exist right? You know that arab people can do things that are wrong other than terrorism.

    actus (6234ee)

  30. That’s a very fair comment (#29), actually, actus. In my jurisdiction, the prosecutor has a felony review unit which sends assistants to the police station to evaluate the evidence and decide the initial charges. It may very well be that the prima facie evidence was not strong enough to charge the cell phone guys. (Admit it. You’re finally hitting the books, aren’t you?)

    nk (77d95e)

  31. Surely, if they’re conducting a legitimate business they’ll keep records of their income, purchases, sales, taxes paid, etc…

    If they’re honest businessmen, we should be able to know that in about 15 minutes already.

    Who says they’re conducting a legit business?

    actus (6234ee)

  32. Or they’re plain old scam artists.

    That would fall under “incredibly stupid.” To repeat:

    If they were simply planning to buy hundreds of phones and resell them, why didn’t they realize how that would be perceived?
    The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent bulletins early this year warning police departments nationwide to be alert for bulk purchases of prepaid TracFones, which could be used to finance terrorism.

    Another brilliant move: when they got caught, they gave falsified information to the Ohio authorities. To repeat again:

    The men still face misdemeanor counts of falsification stemming from allegations that they initially gave deputies different names than the names that appeared on their IDs. The men also initially said they were buying phones for a relative’s construction business, then changed the story when deputies asked for contact information, Washington County Prosecutor James Schneider said.

    Either there is a terrorist connection, or these guys are “incredibly stupid.”

    Now how about using those razor-sharp legal skills of yours, actus, and commenting on Patterico’s point that outing the NSA harmed national security?

    Paul (ccb9f2)

  33. That would fall under “incredibly stupid.” To repeat:

    Oh. Ok. I didn’t realize that was your explanation for people engaging in sketchy business.

    Now how about using those razor-sharp legal skills of yours, actus, and commenting on Patterico’s point that outing the NSA harmed national security?

    I don’t see what the legal analysis is. All thats claimed here is that some people now fear talking to these plaintiffs. Which is to be expected when we find out that our government is watching us outside of the confines of our laws.

    actus (6234ee)

  34. “Which is to be expected when we find out that our government is watching us outside of the confines of our laws.”

    Isn’t it more likely that one would be worried about the government “watching us” if one were engaged in illegal activities? I know that I don’t care if the government “watches me.” They’d probably fall asleep because I don’t buy hundreds of Tracphones.

    sharon (63d8f8)

  35. I didn’t realize that was your explanation for people engaging in sketchy business.

    The two men engage in an activity that Homeland Security and local police forces are specifically looking for, lie to the authorities when asked about it, and you call that “sketchy business.” You really are an idiot.

    All thats claimed here is that some people now fear talking to these plaintiffs. Which is to be expected when we find out that our government is watching us outside of the confines of our laws. So would you condemn Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, LBJ, JFK, Harry Truman and FDR? All of them used similar techniques involving national security consistent with the level of technology available.

    Actus, you are better off not commenting. To paraphrase Mark Twain, it is better to have people think you’re an idiot than to comment and remove all doubt.

    Paul (ccb9f2)

  36. Isn’t it more likely that one would be worried about the government “watching us” if one were engaged in illegal activities?

    I suppose so. But its also more likely that the government surveillance is limited to illegal activitiy when its done with judicial oversight. Plus, as we saw just now: Just because the government is interested in your purchase of cell phones, it doesn’t mean its illegal.

    I know that I don’t care if the government “watches me.”

    you should cc your emails to them.

    The two men engage in an activity that Homeland Security and local police forces are specifically looking for, lie to the authorities when asked about it, and you call that “sketchy business.”

    Ya. This cell phone selling business looks sketchy to me. Its violating the terms of service of the contracts to unlock these phones. Why is this behavior something that DHS is looking for?

    So would you condemn Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, LBJ, JFK, Harry Truman and FDR? All of them used similar techniques involving national security consistent with the level of technology available.

    Oh ya. I was against the echelon program, among others. I learned about it from ACLU and other groups. I was hoping congress would investigate, but it didnt

    actus (6234ee)

  37. Why is this behavior something that DHS is looking for?

    You are unbelievably dense.

    Read it again:

    The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent bulletins early this year warning police departments nationwide to be alert for bulk purchases of prepaid TracFones, which could be used to finance terrorism.

    They also can be used to trigger bombs. You know, as in explosives. As in blowing up areas where people are, like buildings and bridges.

    Do you understand now, idiot?

    Paul (396b0c)

  38. I have to go to work; I’ll have to address your stupidity later, actus.

    Paul (396b0c)

  39. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent bulletins early this year warning police departments nationwide to be alert for bulk purchases of prepaid TracFones, which could be used to finance terrorism.

    This is whats unclear. Lots of things can finance terrorism. Like credit card fraud and ID theft and drugs. But I don’t see terrorism charges whenever those guys get busted.

    They also can be used to trigger bombs. You know, as in explosives. As in blowing up areas where people are, like buildings and bridges.

    Sure. One thousand bombs. I guess thats why people buy lots of cell phones. Because they can be used to trigger bombs. So can alarm clocks by the way. be on teh lookout!

    actus (6234ee)

  40. “Or they’re plain old scam artists. You know those exist right? You know that arab people can do things that are wrong other than terrorism.

    Comment by actus ”

    Yes, they can cut off your head, rob gas stations and even teach prison inmates to rob gas stations to finance terrorism. All sorts of things. My daughter worked the gas station case. The FBI is very worried about criminals converting to Islam in prison and then going on jihad. Cell phones that are not traceable are very useful to such people. So is ammonium nitrate. So is diesel fuel. So is learning to fly 767 airplanes. Especially if you are not interested in landing them. Lots of things.

    Mike K (a55167)

  41. Yes, they can cut off your head, rob gas stations and even teach prison inmates to rob gas stations to finance terrorism.

    Don’t forget ID theft. We should put those guys in gitmo.

    actus (6234ee)

  42. But I don’t see terrorism charges whenever those guys get busted.

    I don’t either, except when they engage in a specific activity specifically looked for by the DHS, which these guys did, you idiot.

    Paul (09205a)

  43. Paul,

    It doesn’t add to your argument to repeatedly call actus an idiot. Please don’t.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  44. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent bulletins early this year warning police departments nationwide to be alert for bulk purchases of prepaid TracFones, which could be used to finance terrorism.

    This is whats unclear. Lots of things can finance terrorism. Like credit card fraud and ID theft and drugs.

    See if you can keep up, idiot:

    Another reason why terrorists use these phone is so they can’t be traced. If they can’t be traced, they can coordinate attacks, and it will be much harder to connect the dots, and stop major attacks.

    Apparently a US city has to end up as a smoking crater before you get a clue, you idiot.

    Paul (09205a)

  45. Paul,

    I think you missed my comment. Every single comment you leave, you call actus an “idiot.” We get it. You think he’s an idiot. Please cut it out now.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  46. I don’t either, except when they engage in a specific activity specifically looked for by the DHS, which these guys did, you idiot.

    I’m sympathetic to all your specific worries. What I don’t get is why DHS is all into this one way to finance terror.

    actus (6234ee)

  47. Sorry Patrick, I did miss your comment. My patience had run out with actus. I’m not going to bother with this anymore.

    Paul (09205a)

  48. “I suppose so. But its also more likely that the government surveillance is limited to illegal activitiy when its done with judicial oversight.”

    I doubt seriously that the intelligence community is going to spend much time listening to my phonecall to my aunt in England. It’s not a very good use of their resources.

    “Plus, as we saw just now: Just because the government is interested in your purchase of cell phones, it doesn’t mean its illegal.”

    But it is suspicious.

    sharon (63d8f8)

  49. I doubt seriously that the intelligence community is going to spend much time listening to my phonecall to my aunt in England. It’s not a very good use of their resources.

    I don’t know much about what resources they have. Echelon supposedly processed everything.

    But it is suspicious.

    Perhaps. But suspicious of what?

    actus (6234ee)

  50. Nice post. Good job cutting to the heart of the matter.

    Greg D (4b81fa)

  51. Explain to me why Bill Keller is not put to death for Treason?

    I mean this literally.

    Chris from Victoria, BC (9824e6)

  52. #

    Explain to me why Bill Keller is not put to death for Treason?

    I mean this literally.

    Have you read the literal definition of treason? Its quite clear it doesn’t apply.

    actus (6234ee)

  53. “Perhaps. But suspicious of what?”

    Come on, Actus. Try a little harder. I’m sure you can come up with one or two illegal activities that might apply.

    sharon (63d8f8)

  54. Come on, Actus. Try a little harder. I’m sure you can come up with one or two illegal activities that might apply.

    The point is that I can come up with lots.

    actus (6234ee)

  55. actus certainly is animated about this particular episode of the fellows with the stockpiles of cell phones.

    Something in this case must have really struck a nerve with him.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  56. Something in this case must have really struck a nerve with him.

    Your reasoning is impeccable rat. Tease this out a bit for me. Dont be afraid to hypothesize.

    actus (6234ee)

  57. There was a young black comedian (and law school dropout) who had this line: “I was walking in LA with a friend when the police stopped us, put us up against the wall and frisked us. When I asked them why, they said, ‘Being n-words on a sunny day’. They had us dead to rights. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.”

    Being Arabs with 1,000 cell phones is probably a little bit more of reasonable cause. So they were not charged with serious crimes. Great. I’m happy for them and for our system. If every arrest led to a prison sentence then we could say we have a police state. If the police could not arrest anyone without proof beyond a reasonable doubt then we could say that we have an insane state.

    nk (5a2f98)

  58. If every arrest led to a prison sentence then we could say we have a police state. If the police could not arrest anyone without proof beyond a reasonable doubt then we could say that we have an insane state.

    Whats amazing is the people who still think the dudes were terrorists.

    actus (6234ee)

  59. Your reasoning is impeccable rat. Tease this out a bit for me. Dont be afraid to hypothesize.

    Comment by actus — 8/20/2006 @ 10:36 am
    ****************

    Actually, actus, if you go back and carefully re-read my 2 sentence comment, I did not attempt any “reasoning,” as you suggest I did.

    I merely stated a simple observation that this particular case has really struck a nerve with you.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  60. Actually, actus, if you go back and carefully re-read my 2 sentence comment, I did not attempt any “reasoning,” as you suggest I did.

    Well, you came to a conclusion following your observations. Thats what I was referring to. That you conclude its struck a nerve from the observations you have made about what I posted. I’d like you to go ahead and do some more concluding. Even more so, go a bit further and hypothesize.

    actus (6234ee)

  61. The Plantiffs…

    …indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations.

    So, for example if the US govt suddenly considers the Peace Corps to be a terrorist organization, patterico believes that makes the Peace Corps a terrorist organization.

    Patterico and Michelle Malkin are idiots.

    Not Malkin (4c741e)

  62. […] This is rather interesting.  In the case of the NSA eavesdropping, the prosecution laid out the case in why the leak to the NYT was so damaging. Plaintiffs here contend that the TSP [”Terrorist Surveillance Program”] has interfered with their ability to carry out their professional responsibilities in a variety of ways, including that the TSP has had a significant impact on their ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship, engage in advocacy and communicate with persons who are outside of the United States, including in the Middle East and Asia. Plaintiffs have submitted several declarations to that effect. For example, scholars and journalists such as plaintiffs Tara McKelvey, Larry Diamond, and Barnett Rubin indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. In addition, attorneys Nancy Hollander, William Swor, Joshua Dratel, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad indicate that they must also communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations, and must discuss confidential information over the phone and email with their international clients. All of the Plaintiffs contend that the TSP has caused clients, witnesses and sources to discontinue their communications with plaintiffs out of fear that their communications will be intercepted. […]

    In the Bullpen » NSA Case Cries Foul at Eavesdropping with Suspected Terrorists (3d18df)

  63. Despite actus’s shifting of the thread, the main premise of Patterico’s article still stands – the terrorists have adapted due to the program’s exposure in the NYT and the media, etc. have admitted it.

    I also was little moved by the plaintiffs’ claim to a “right” to unfettered access to terrorists. I thought investigative reporting/research was for the brave and the bold – a good story has risks but these brave souls demand to be insulated because of who they are. Pffft.

    All this outrage on warrantless surveillance in the interest of time in tracking terrorists (and the required paperwork can take much longer than the 72 hour waiver) reminds me of the puffed-up, self-righteous EPA guy in the movie “Ghost Busters” who huffily demands that the Ghost Busters open their vault holding all the ghosts because it violates some super-duper important EPA reg. The Busters comply and all hell breaks loose. Focusing on process rather than the reality of the situation may make you feel comfortable in the universe you know but the reality has to be dealt with sooner or later.

    inmypajamas (a0dd95)

  64. the puffed-up, self-righteous EPA guy in the movie “Ghost Busters” who huffily demands that the Ghost Busters open their vault holding all the ghosts because it violates some super-duper important EPA reg. The Busters comply and all hell breaks loose.

    “My name is PECK.”

    Good Lt (b01014)

  65. Land of Hypocrisy…

    I’ve stayed away from talking about the New York Times exposing the NSA’s program in tracking / wire-tapping of overseas phone calls in the War on Terror, mainly because I wasn’t able to keep up with all the points of……

    Mad Mikey's Blog (728df3)

  66. > I also was little moved by the plaintiffs’ claim to a “right” to unfettered access to terrorists.

    You mean “alledged” terrorists or “possibly alledged” terrorists.

    And if anyone her believes the NYT gave info to the terrorists that hadn’t already been disseminated by the govt, they haven’t been following the story closely enough.

    Not Malkin (4c741e)

  67. So, for example if the US govt suddenly considers the Peace Corps to be a terrorist organization, patterico believes that makes the Peace Corps a terrorist organization.

    I don’t know about the Peace Corps, but that rat bastard Barny and his henchman Big Bird are tangos for sure.

    I strongly suspect the universe of “believes” will tend to be limited by relationships, if only because of logistical considerations. Monitoring for kicks and giggles of every fool who’s boinking his neighbor’s wife on the side isn’t cost effective, proves embarrasing when revealed, and just pisses people off.

    This has oft been alleged, but as far as I can tell, never demonstrated.

    Purple Avenger (811c33)

  68. Excellent post, “inmypajamas.”

    I especially tip my hat to you for your summarizing sentence;
    ********
    “Focusing on process rather than the reality of the situation may make you feel comfortable in the universe you know but the reality has to be dealt with sooner or later.”
    ********

    “Process,” especially within the universe of things we already know about the terrorists—does tend to be the focus by the Lefties, rather than the larger picture—which is the acknowledgement that the terrorists DO intend to murder people, and that it is preferable to stop these people BEFORE they kill.

    Fact is, the terrorists’ methods evolve according to their identification of our defensive strategies—much like in a sports game—and it is therefore wise of us not to provide them with any advantage in that department, so that way we can still maintain the element of ‘surprise’ with a safety blitz, or a sinkerball for a third strike.

    Great point about “Ghostbusters,” as it pertains to the point about fighting ‘what you know’ vs. ‘what you don’t know.’

    And Secretary Rumsfeld said it best a few years ago when he said, “There are things we know we know, there are things that we know we don’t know, and then there are things which we don’t yet know that we don’t know.”

    It’s that latter category—the things which we don’t yet know that we don’t know—where the balance of our success may tip.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  69. All this outrage on warrantless surveillance in the interest of time in tracking terrorists (and the required paperwork can take much longer than the 72 hour waiver) reminds me of the puffed-up, self-righteous EPA guy in the movie “Ghost Busters” who huffily demands that the Ghost Busters open their vault holding all the ghosts because it violates some super-duper important EPA reg.

    I mean here was hollywood giving wonderful reaganite anti-environmentalist propaganda, and yet they’re still leftists. Appeasing the right wing won’t work.

    actus (6234ee)

  70. More Proof of Damage…

    I always enjoy it when bloggers team up for a common purpose and, collectively, achieve more than thought possible.

    Patterico digs deeper into the……

    Church and State (59ce3a)

  71. Bush is the worlds biggest terrorist and nearly everyone in the world knows that except the delusional..

    charlie (e583c4)

  72. Sorting through the noise on the Taylor terrorist surveillance ruling…

    As the dust settles, there is near unanimity. “Judge” Anna Diggs Taylor’s ruling in the ACLU’s latest attempt to cripple America’s anti-terrorism operations is an absolute judicial abortion, which I suppose would make her very proud to hear…

    Stop The ACLU (aa6604)


  73. quote:
    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters hours after terrorists crashed hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that U.S. intelligence had intercepted a telephone call from a suspect reporting to his handler that the targets in New York City and near Washington had been hit.

    Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.):

    quote:
    Federal investigators concluded that Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) divulged classified intercepted messages to the media when he was on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, according to sources familiar with the probe..The disclosure involved two messages that were intercepted by the National Security Agency on the eve of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but were not translated until Sept. 12. The Arabic-language messages said “The match is about to begin” and “Tomorrow is zero hour.” The Washington Post, citing senior U.S. intelligence officials, reported the same messages in its June 20, 2002, editions.

    John (c6c00a)

  74. If the Administration had simply followed the FISA law in the first place, rather than making up their own rules as they went along, there would have been no non-compliant surveillance program to rule against, and nothing for the terrorists to read about in the NYT. The ruling doesn’t say stop surveillance of terrorists. It says stop WARRANTLESS surveillance of terrorists. Just follow the law; is that so hard?

    Marko (1ca83c)

  75. If the Administration had simply followed the FISA law in the first place, rather than making up their own rules as they went along, there would have been no non-compliant surveillance program to rule against, and nothing for the terrorists to read about in the NYT. The ruling doesn’t say stop surveillance of terrorists. It says stop WARRANTLESS surveillance of terrorists. Just follow the law; is that so hard?

    1. If they “didn’t follow the FISA law” why then have they obtained more FISA warrants than the two previous administrations combined?

    2. You clearly don’t know what the law actually says.

    3. Um, how did FISA workout re: the 9/11 attacks?

    , there would have been no non-compliant surveillance program to rule against, and nothing for the terrorists to read about in the NYT.

    And if leakers within the government didn’t break the law, there would be nothing to read about in the New York Times.

    The Ace (8154cd)

  76. And if anyone her believes the NYT gave info to the terrorists that hadn’t already been disseminated by the govt, they haven’t been following the story closely enough.

    Um, so why was there then a “chilling effect” on the plantiff’s communications?

    Oh, you’re lying, that’s how.

    The Ace (8154cd)


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