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May 16, 2006



Presumably or actually? Filter out the noise from the rest of the signal and let's keep in mind that there is a leak investigation going on (separate from NSA programs) and that would be run by the FBI. FBI isn't exactly new to the wiretap game.

a z

If there is an investigation underway, would it not follow established, legal procedure which (I assume) would include warrants before wiretaps and other means of gathering evidence?

Given the track record of this administration when it comes to political hardball and a maniacal bent for secrecy, I'm inclined to not give the benefit of the doubt here.


"If there is an investigation underway, would it not follow established, legal procedure which (I assume) would include warrants before wiretaps and other means of gathering evidence?"

After the Patriot Act the FBI can just issue National Security Letters and get data from the phone companies. No judge or warrent involved ...


In both the story and John's post, connections to NSA are pure speculation. What information is there to suggest that this is not a completely separate event?

Post 9/11 every report of suspect activity was carried out by guys with dark skin and accents. Complete nonsense, but everyone was fixated on Arabs, so that reports reflected. If the next attack is carried out by Irish reports will flood in about shifty looking red-heads who smell of Guinness.

If we're going to analyze these things let's keep our heads on our shoulders and leave the flailing to others.

Ken Hagler

Here's more:


It is indeed the FBI that's behind this, although nothing is said of exactly how this is being carried out. For all I know they're getting the NSA to do the technical work for them.


Story is about an investigation of CIA leakers and journalists; Agency that does the heavy lifting for rooting out spies and leakers is the FBI; FBI has long history of and their own capability to eavesdrop . . . wear tin-foil underwear if you want, I'll be over here shaving with my Occam's razor.


I don't know who exactly is doing the surveillance, or how, but the whole thing is starting remind me of boiling a live frog.

First, we are told that the NSA wiretapping will only cover foreign calls, then they say that only people who have spoken to terrorists will subjected to secret wiretapping, finally, we have reports that the gov't is now tracking journalists phones. And at each step people say okay, it's just a little more surveillance, "I don't speak to Al-Qaeda, I don't leak classified information, I don't sell drugs or engage in other illegal activities; I have nothing to warry aobut from wiretaps and data mining of call information." Just remember COINTELPRO, I don't think Martin Luther King was a terrorist yet his phones were tapped for years in an attempt to get dirt on him and destroy him as a leader.


Given that it's infinitely easier to get material about known targets (journalists, opposition politicians, other dissidents) then to induce unknown targets (al Quaida cells) from a mass of data, one can imagine very strong pressure to justify billion dollar expenditure by pleasing the political bosses who foot the bill.

That's why FISA and other safeguards were put into place.

The fact that FISA and all other oversight was deliberately avoided -- not to mention the NSA apparatchik responsible now getting a plum job -- leaves very reason to give the Cheney administration the benefit of any doubt.


Better information sharing between agencies was one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. If they FBI wants NSA data for this, they probably won't have a problem getting it.

Even if they don't, the whole thing says a lot about the administration's intentions. The FBI and NSA have the same "commander in chief," and in the wake of this story, anyone who thinks that NSA surveillance will only be focused on terrorists is gullible beyond belief, or willfully blind.

However, if the FBI is planning on filing criminal charges instead of just packing people off to Gitmo, I don't see how they can get around warrant requirements...oh, wait, National Security Letters cover that, nevermind.


One thing is certain: movement conservatives are sure to support this latest move towards a police state.

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