"… the flexibility and creativity of John Ashcroft at a disco contest."

Friday, January 13, 2006
What makes this bout of St. Vitus's maniacal dancing seem so opportunistic is that after 9/11, we heard constantly about the need to be more flexible and creative. The 9/11 commission's chief complaint was that authorities suffered from a lack of imagination when it came to terrorism.

Before 9/11, the system for listening to conversations between terrorists abroad and their accomplices on our soil had all the flexibility and creativity of John Ashcroft at a disco contest. Even with warrants issued by the special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, the National Security Agency usually had to erase the "American" side of the conversation between suspected terrorists before handing them over to the FBI. — Jonah Goldberg on NSA


Buddy Larsen said...

Seneca, under the FISA program, not only was the Ami side deleted, but also the *phone number*.

Beyond the immediate significance, the far problem was that, any referral of the info to the FBI which might result in a court case, the info was dead, could not be used in a court or hearing of any sort.

So, given the plethora of precedent to use FISA on a 'reasonable' basis while using the constitutional duty to protect the people, otherwise, why in the world would any president tie himself to the weak power?