Tuesday, December 20, 2005

That pesky US constitution again!

NPR this morning asks author James Bamford (see my previous post) to weigh in on the NSA's expanded powers to spy on Americans under BushCo.

Bamford points out that not only can the FISA court grant a warrant to eavesdrop in very short order, but that under the rules of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act, the NSA can eavesdrop immediately without a warrant, as long as the seek one within 48 hours.

As Bamford observes, it is "not exactly an onerous procedure."

The FISA court has only turned down the NSA's warrant request about 10 times in 30 years and over 15,000 requests.

And even then, there is a FISA appeals court, a option the government has pursued only once since 1978.

And if they are turned down by the appeals court, they are able to appeal directly to the Supreme Court in an immediate secret session.

Bamford characterized the odds of the government not being able to get a warrant as "extremely small."

So why then, is our Attorney General, Alberto "I heart torture" Gonzalez, along with our so-in-over-his-head-it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren't-fucking-suicide-inspiring president, insisting that the FISA warrant process not adequate?

Why? Because they want to avoid the courts altogether, even the ultra-secret FISA court, and operate off the grid.

But why? Why oh why? What could the NSA be up to, that they want it secret even from the friendly FISA courts?

That is a scary fucking question, my friends. James Bamford said of the NSA that they are an "extremely dangerous agency that has to be watched very carefully."

And he would know.

So if they are really only going after terrorists, and honest-to-allah enemies of America, then there is absolutely no reason why they can't get a freakin warrant, my friends.

And if you still think otherwise, then, as I recently said to one of my more credulous readers, then I got a little detention facility in Guantanamo Bay I'd like to sell you.

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