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12 May 2006

Millions of innocent Americans become part of the NSA data base.

Reference: "USA Today" 11-12 May 2006

Is this a brouhaha or what? Well, it looks like both. Let's take a good look at the assumptions and ramifications.

How it is supposed to work:

  • Known al Qa'ida operatives make phone calls.
  • Said phone calls fit a pattern.
  • Said pattern can be uniquely separated from patterns generated by the public.
  • Said pattern leads to other cells and suspects.
  • Arrests and convictions occur.

How it actually works:

  • Known al Qa'ida operatives rarely or never make phone calls.
  • Any phone calls may or may not fit a pattern.
  • Said pattern or patterns include numerous innocent Americans, too numerous to count.
  • Americans are included in a data base accessible by anyone with a "need to know" defined by the masters of the system.
  • There is no accounting as to the effectiveness of this data base in securing indictments of terrorists.
  • Meanwhile al Qa'ida operatives communicate serious information by more secure means.

Some serious legal, moral and technical problems:

  • If al Qa'ida operatives are known, then the FISA court will allow wire tapping.
  • If said operatives are not known, where does it start; where does it end?
  • Either way, innocent Americans have been made vulnerable for Mr. Bush cannot possibly monitor each agency having access to the data base, much less the many individuals involved.

It all boils down to this:

If a terror operative is known, present law permits
wire tapping.

If a terror operative is not known, any data base is worthless for its intended purpose.

In either event, the data base is vulnerable to
political or other misuse.

Does the Fourth Amendment have a glaring weakness or what? One thing for sure, we are not told by the NSA. This does not mean the NSA does not do valuable research, it surely does. Our problem has to do with the fact that the FISA Judges were not asked for an opinion as to the legality of collecting a data base that has no bounds, that nets innumerable innocent, patriotic Americans, making them potentially vulnerable in ways that should be foreclosed by the Constitution as our founding fathers intended.


Just a few comments and questions about the NSA Debate:

1.) How did we arrive at the revelation that known al Qaida operatives rarely make phone calls?
Did someone from al Qaida spill the beans? And just what do they use?
Smoke Signals? And how about if they are an unknown operative?

2.)Which phone calls do not fit a pattern? And why?

3.)Just who are the innocent Americans to numerous to count?

4.)Information that is available to personnel on a "NEED TO KNOW" basis means that a person needs a certain type of government clearance to access the data. This means that the information holds some sort of security clearance and is highly restricted. Only authorized personnel with the proper clearance may view it.

5.) To report on the effectiveness of a counter terrorism program or an intelligence gathering system to unauthorized personnel would be inappropriate because they do not have a "NEED TO KNOW"!!!

6.) Just what are these more secure means of communications that the alQaida rats use?

Posted by colt45 on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 12:28:41

State pushes on in NSA probe

MONTPELIER - State regulators will not back down from investigations into whether phone companies improperly granted government access to their customers' records, despite arguments from the companies that the inquiries could violate national secrecy rules.

Complete Article: apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060919/NEWS/60918007/1004/NEWS03

Resist - Discussing the neo-conservative empire, and searching for non-violent ways to resist it.

Posted by Helmet on Saturday, September 23, 2006 at 11:15:41

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