Explains Foreknowledge of Osama's Plans

Explains Foreknowledge of Osama's Plans
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Totenkopf Time
Friday, December 30, 2005 12:48 pm

Explains Foreknowledge of Osama\'s Plans

The multibillion dollar budget spent by Intell agencies unsuccessfully seeking Osama\'s hideaway for the past several years could have been preserved for other pressing needs had Intell consulted Mainline Media...they always know what Osama is going to do next...even before Osama knows what he is going to do! And they seem to know where to find him for the occassional interviews. NSA is a media outlet!

: By Tony Snow

: Dec 30, 2005

: WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The White House Social Office needs to note right
: now, before anybody has a chance to forget, that it really must send
: flowers, chocolates and wall-sized Christmas cards (um, holiday
: cards) next year to James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York
: Times.

: The intrepid duo saved the Bush presidency recently by breaking news
: that the National Security Agency has been conducting surveillance of
: al-Qaida operatives abroad and their minions in the United States.
: The reporters noted that the agency monitored phone calls, e-mails
: and other electronic communications by means of sophisticated
: eavesdropping devices and even more sophisticated computers that can
: pick out known terrorists\' vocal patterns while monitoring words and
: phrases that may refer to terrorist acts and targets.

: This is hardly new. \"Signals intelligence\" has been the rage
: among intelligence communities for some time. CBS reported in 2000 on
: the Echelon program, a joint effort involving the United States and
: its four chief English-speaking allies to monitor every electronic
: communication on Earth. Presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush
: 43 each authorized the use of such surveillance (without bench
: warrants) in cases involving national security.

: The Times pushed the story furiously, and its editorial page inveighed
: gravely against the president. A handful of Democrats cited the
: reportage in demanding the president\'s ouster, while purveyors of
: Beltway Conventional Wisdom declared \"impeachment\" the word
: of 2006.

: Yet as opponents grimaced and gathered, curious and unexpected things
: happened. The president\'s poll ratings rose, as did public support
: for the supposedly controversial operation.

: This confluence of events works not only to the president\'s advantage,
: it fits his political style. When pushed, George W. Bush doesn\'t like
: to play smash-mouth. He prefers the poker stratagem of calling
: people\'s bluffs.

: He did it in proposing his tax cuts. He did it in seeking authorization
: for the war. And now, he can perform his biggest bluff-call yet.

: To understand why, consider a few observations: -- A president ought to
: do whatever is necessary and proper to defend American citizens from
: terrorists.

: -- A president has constitutional authority to approve warrantless
: searches of known and credible terror suspects, especially when he
: puts in place procedures that allow all three branches of government
: to oversee the operation.

: -- Intelligence failures permitted al-Qaida to pull off not only the
: Sept. 11 attacks, but also a series of assaults before and after,
: including the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; the
: attack on the USS Cole; the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia;
: slaughters in the Madrid and London subways; and hotel massacres in
: Jordan and Bali.

: -- Signals intelligence and data mining have almost unparalleled
: potential for exposing terror networks and complicating the work of
: would-be mass murderers.

: Given these statements of the obvious, the president ought to open his
: State of the Union Address by asking Congress to give him official
: authority to approve warrantless searches of known and identified
: terrorists, or of people in regular contact with those terrorists
: whom authorities reasonably suspect of plotting to commit acts of
: murder, terror or sabotage. These activities ought to be subject to
: monthly review by the attorney general. The administration also ought
: to be required each month to brief the top four congressional
: leaders, both intelligence committees and the head of the Foreign
: Intelligence Surveillance Court.

: The proposal would codify the status quo -- but shorten the reporting
: periods to 30 days from 45 -- and place the impeachment crowd in a
: sticky situation. The public would support both proposals
: overwhelmingly, leaving the president\'s most hysterical critics
: isolated utterly.

: Note who has not spoken against the NSA program since the Times story
: broke. The list includes Harry Reid and Dick Durbin in the Senate;
: Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer in the House; and members of both
: intelligence committees. In other words, Democrats in the know either
: have supported the surveillance program or just kept their mouths
: shut.

: A straightforward vote would shut up the rest, highlighting vividly the
: gulf that separates a president responsible for national security
: from critics responsible to nobody. Civil libertarians are right to
: fret about abuses of government power, which is why successive
: administrations have brought Congress, the courts and the Justice
: Department into the review process. But the Great Bluff-Caller is
: right about an even more fundamental point: If we try to fight the
: war on terror with eyes shut and ears packed with wax, innocent
: people will die.