Monday, May 15, 2006

Politics and the NSA

I know I'm a little behind the curve on this, but please bear with me...

Is there any question now that the NSA / phone records "revelation" by USA Today was politically motivated? Don't think so? I do.

For those with long memories, our buddy Bill "Slick Willy" Clinton and his cohorts in a Democratic-controlled Congress passed in 1994 a communications law which would allow authorized government agencies to acquirephone records (not to listen in!) upon demand. Of course, absolutely no fuss was raised by the media. In 2000, 60 Minutes revealed the NSA's Echelon program, in which the attention also quickly died.

Now, with a Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress, all sorts of fuss is being raised, and investigations are being called to "look into" this apparent violation of privacy rights. Of course, the same politicians that voted for Bill's bill are the loudest voices. Additionally, not a word is being said about the various security committees of Congress. The NSA reports to them on their activities, and they "didn't know what was going on"? That's pure, unadulterated fertilizer!!

The timing is also suspect, with the nomination of the head of the NSA to the lead ofthe CIA. If anything, this move by certain politicians (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) smacks of outright political mudslinging. This is all calculated to embarrassthe current administration, who is doing nothing but continuing and building on the intelligence operations of the previous administrations.

Besides the obvious political power plays, what disturbs me the most is the release or publication of information that would aid our enemies (primarily al Queda terrorists) in their "holy war" against the United States and its citizens. In this war, knowing what your enemy will or can do would be of a benefit, and steps can be taken to avoid or exploit the exposed weakness. How, you might ask? A couple of examples from previous postings of this blog:

1) During the first Gulf War, when fighters were taking off from their bases in Saudi Arabia, CNN dutifully reported their take-offs, and made statements that they would know where they were going in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Of course, this gave Saddam's military time to get ready, and higher losses of aircraft and crews were the result. After the conflict was over, one of the senior Iraqi generals made the statement that CNN was one of their best sources of intelligence.

2) During the hunt for Bin Laden, the media reported that our forces were closing in on Bin Laden's position. Our forces knew his position because of his use of a satellite cell phone, and were triangulating his position from that source. The day after that report aired, the phone was never used again. I wonder why?

Both the Democrats and the media are at fault in this. The shortsighted gain of trying to gain political power puts everyone and this country at risk. (bastards...)

Remember there is an election coming up. Make your vote count for the security of this country, and it does matter. After all, how do you think that Chris was not voted to stay on American Idol? Vote!!

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