Tuesday, January 24, 2006

NSA spying & 500 LB. bombs...

According to former NSA director, Gen. Michael Hayden the NSA spy program is narrowly targeted:
"using the same tools and techniques employed to decide whether to drop a 500-pound bomb on a terrorist target."
If this does not raise alarm bells with my conservative brethren I must ask... what in the world ever will? This former NSA director is saying we use the same technology to figure out which citizens need spying on as we used to bomb the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia. We use the same technology to determine who should be spied upon as was used to bomb the battlements of Qalai Janghi during the bloody prison revolt in Afghanistan that killed numerous Afghan allies and wounded several Americans. I think the point is made here... I could easily link to 10 other stories of mistaken targeting, such as the Canadians accidentally bombed in Afghanistan.

The point of all this follows. The methods by which targeting of suspected terrorists with 500 lb bombs has no judicial oversight. If every bomb had to have the approval of the FISA court before it was let go, I have no doubt that the incidents of friendly fire would decrease dramatically. PLEASE do not read this as a call from the frikster to require judicial oversight of military targeting on a case by case basis, because that would obviously be insane. But when it comes on the military deciding who or who is not connected with terrorism? You're darned tootin I want judicial review. And that is what the law calls for!

I remember very well when the 1st gulf war kicked off that allied vehicles all carried a bright orange triangle that was intended to stop incidents of friendly fire. How about as a protest of this illegal conduct by the administration patriotic Americans tape red white and blue triangles to their phones and computers, in an effort to not be wrongly targeted by the NSA spy program. If this were to really take off, I can see these triangles sprouting up on public payphones, on public library computers and sundry other such places. Of course I can also see my brilliant idea dying a pitifully lonely death in obscurity as well!

The thing about judicial review is that the cops soon discover which judges will issue warrants on thin probable cause.

What makes you think the FISA court would be any different? Indeed, as a court it lacks the most basic element - open, public presentation of evidence. The FISA judge is just another person, subject to all the regular run of human failings, like falling prey to hyped intelligence and such.
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