Thursday, February 23, 2006

Confirmation of the "dragnet" nature of domestic surveillance

When the history of this administration is written in some future far off enough to appear objective, I am increasingly convinced what will stand out is its repeated willingness--nay compulsion--to spin to outright lies any negative criticism.

To wit: the nature of the domestic surveillance, as to whether it is specifically targeted towards individuals with "probable cause" (although not probable enough to go before the FISA court to ask for a warrant) or is more of a dragnet effort, scooping vast amounts of information to look for keywords and patterns. When the existence of the program was first made public at the end of 2005, several technology savvy commentators speculated that the main reason that the Bush administration had avoided applying for FISA warrants is that as it was dragnet style espionage, there was no possibility to apply for warrants. This coupled with the disappearance of the Total Information Awareness (TIA) initiative as an official program with the high probablity that it had gone "black" as its key technical elements and personel were still in place made the "dragnet" nature all the more likely.

But then in an orchestrated attempt to rally support, McClellan, Cheney, Bush, and the former NSA director Hayden all hit the media circuit, denying that the program was anything more than targeted espionage of "probable" targets. James Risen's new book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration begins to document the "dragnet" nature of the warrantless spying.

0 Thoughts:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home