The Right Coast

December 19, 2005
Oh, you mean if we hadn't had to use the cumbersome FISA process, we might have prevented 9-11?
By Tom Smith

Lawmakers of both parties recognized the problem in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks. They pointed to the case of Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who ran up against a number roadblocks in her effort to secure a FISA warrant in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative who had taken flight training in preparation for the hijackings. Investigators wanted to study the contents of Moussaoui's laptop computer, but the FBI bureaucracy involved in applying for a FISA warrant was stifling, and there were real questions about whether investigators could meet the FISA court's probable-cause standard for granting a warrant. FBI agents became so frustrated that they considered flying Moussaoui to France, where his computer could be examined. But then the attacks came, and it was too late.

That's from Brian York's latest column. It is not that the FISA court is so slow, it's that it takes so long to put together the stuff they want. So let's review this scandal. A conspiracy of Mullah-ish nutjobs kill more people than the infamous Pearl Harbor attack, and it turns out, upon review, we might well have stopped it, but for our stupid laws. The President asks, do we really have to be this stupid? His lawyers ponder and say, well, you could use your inherent constitutional authority to defend the country against foreign attack,under which we appear to be, along with Congress's, uh, declaration of war, and use that as your legal justification to see what else the diabolical terrorists have up their sleeve, such as for example, dirty bombs or nightmare viruses. What would we be monitoring, asks the Prez. Intel guy steps forward and says, calls and emails between people in the US and this list of people in places like Ratholeistan we are pretty sure are terrorists. And so Bush says make it so.

Boy, I am just appalled by that. I just want to drop everything and join the ACLU. I feel the hot breath of Big Brother on my neck. What a joke.

AND read this at Protein Wisdom, a site I should read more often.Bonus points for finding the San Diego connection!

AND the NSA program may have been permitted under FISA.