Tuesday, December 20, 2005

typical scare tactics

From tmorange
Sent Tuesday, December 20, 2005 2:13 pm
To letters@washpost.com
Subject typical scare tactics

Dear Editors,

William Kristol and Gary Schmitt use typical right-wing scare tactics to help make their case that "Bush seems to have behaved as one would expect and want a president to behave" when he authorized the NSA four years ago to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without court-approved warrants. ("Vital Presidential Power," December 20, page A31)

What would the President do if U.S. counterterrorists were in possession of cellphones belonging to recently apprehended al Qaeda terrorists? Applying for a warrant as he is obliged to under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Kristol and Schmitt muse, "the attorney general might have to tell the president he might well not be able to get that warrant," enabling the evildoers to carry out their plans.

Statistically, the likelihood of this hypothetical scenario ever happening is minimal. As Peter Baker and Charles Babington report ("Bush
Addresses Uproar Over Spying,"
December 20, page A01), "since [FISA] was passed in 1978 after intelligence scandals, the court has rejected just five of 18,748 requests for wiretaps and search warrants."

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