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August 23, 2007

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Slightly OT - and I'm not sure if anyone has made this point yet, but let's assume that McConnell is correct when he says there are fewer than 100 US persons being spied on. Given that we live in dangerous times and all that, isn't he admitting to an abrogation of duty?

Either that or he's effectively lying.

The pattern of waiting until the last minute to inform Congress of immediate action needed on laws to protect the country has been consistent throughout this Administration. Congress should just simply dig its collective heels in the next time and say, "too bad." It takes two to tango, (or maybe three or, if you are dancing with Dick, four), but they can't continue to do this without the enablers in Congress making it possible. I am especially upset with Se. Bill Nelson of FL, my Senator, for rolling over with the tone of concern in his voice that McConnell had really shown them something they couldn't ignore, which had to be "fixed" right away!

lukery,

Not to single you out, but I've seen people making this mistake all day. He didn't say only 100 US persons were being spied on. He said only a 100 US persons were being spied on through the TSP. Granted, trying to make sense out of what he said is pretty difficult, but that was pretty much the whole point of that interview, as far as I can tell. He performs a whole series of verbal "sleight of hand" tricks to make all this sound as innocous as possible. The fact remains that he admitted that the US government was breaking the law before January 2007, that the FISA court ruled that even after that they were breaking the law, and that the telcos were helping.

Thnx WO.

Actually, yep, I should have made that more explicit, I intended / presumed to state 'that fewer than 100 were being spied on with this program.'

So isn't my point still valid? Or are they spying on suspected (US persons) terrorists through programs other than TSP? And if so, what is the distinguishing feature that puts such suspected (US persons) terrorists under one program rather than TSP?
(apologies if this completely obvious to everyone else)

-- He said only a 100 US persons were being spied on through the TSP. --

He said ...

And If a foreign bad guy is calling into the United States, if there's a need to have a warrant, for the person in the United States, you just get a warrant. And so if a terrorist calls in and it's another terrorist, I think the American public would want us to do surveillance of that U.S. person in this case. So we would just get a warrant and do that. It's a manageable thing. On the U.S. persons side it's 100 or less.

I take that as a statement that 100 or less times, the snooper got a warrant on a person in the US.

The rest of the times, the snooper didn't get a warrant. TSP was, IIRC, the "warrantless" part of the program.

Just my take.

Much like Deputy Dan, we have no friends. they will run us off the cliff. must revoke license to drive

thnx cboldt

(and just to pre-empt some other responses, yes, I'm aware that there are some other US persons (beyond the <100 )who are being spied because they're on one end of the communications with foreign persons)

Yeah, cboldt is exactly right. They got 100 warrants on US subjects. You can bet your wad that those are NOT subjects of any particular significance.

-- They got 100 warrants on US subjects. You can bet your wad that those are NOT subjects of any particular significance. --

If they are, one might wonder why they are still "free" to do their thing in country.

I read a news report rephrasing McConnell's statement as "see, that (less than 100) is the sum total of people surveilled under the TSP." IOW, that the TSP only snooped on a few calls where Americans were involved. (AFP)

US intelligence eavesdrops on thousands of foreign telephone calls on lines that cross through US territory but monitors the calls of fewer than a hundred people in the United States, intelligence chief Mike McConnell has disclosed. McConnell stressed in an interview with the El Paso Times that intelligence agencies must still obtain court warrants to monitor calls in which at least one of the parties is in the United States.

I could have sworn that Specter said he was going to be read into the program during some hearing, some months ago. But apparently he wasn't because as you say, he was briefed for the first time on 7/30. In a Face the Nation interview the day before he said this:

"SEN. SPECTER: I think it's premature to consider that. Bob, we do not know if the administration has been leveling with us or not on the terrorist surveillance program. I don't know, because I haven't been read into the program. Finally, I got a call yesterday from a ranking administration official describing the program to me, and on Monday, tomorrow, I'm going to be read into the program. I want to know what the program is all about. I don't know if they've been telling us the truth or not, because I do not know what the program is. Essentially, what the attorney general has said, is that there are two programs, more than the one the president has identified. I want to find out if that's true or not."

Link

Still, I could swear I heard him say he was going to be read into it a long time ago. I'll have to do some more digging. Maybe he was told he would be briefed before, but it never happened.

cboldt - And for anybody inclined to believe that rot, I have some swampland in Iraq to sell them with a sub-prime loan held by some hedge fund centered in a bank in the Caymans....

Joanneleon - Neither Spectre, nor anybody else other than Cheney and a couple of his droids, is fullt read into the true extent of the program. It is only a matter of degree of ignorance of even the people that should know.

Oversight?

Not working well at all. Employees in "oversight" agencies are having a hell of time doing their jobs. There is big pressure to have them look the other way, not out the wrongdoers, often higher up in their agencies or in corporate contractors. Those who insist on doing their jobs ethically are labeled non team players, or whistleblowers, and are treated to horrific retribution and destruction of career and life. Seriously, it is bad. For more information about all of this see http://whistleblowersupporter.typepad.com

Good job Next Hurrah!

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