Monday, December 26, 2005

I'd like to welcome all the readers from the NSA

If this surprises you, you haven't been paying attention.

The volume of information gathered from telephone and Internet communications by the National Security Agency without court-approved warrants was much larger than the White House has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing current and former government officials, the Times said the information was collected by tapping directly into some of the U.S. telecommunication system's main arteries. The officials said the NSA won the cooperation of telecommunications companies to obtain access to both domestic and international communications without first gaining warrants.

A former telecommunications technology manager told the Times that industry leaders have been storing information on calling patterns and giving it to the federal government to aid in tracking possible terrorists since the September 11 attacks.

Some officials described the program as a large data mining operation, the Times said, and described it as much larger than the White House has acknowledged.
And let's give a shout-out to the captains of industry who rolled over like $2 crack whores and didn't demand warrants from the regime. How many "no comments" will you hide behind before you acknowledge, even to yourself, your lack of spine?

Thanks, pussies.

But being the optimist that I am, I've spotted the silver lining in all this: The Bush administration's transgressions aren't so esoteric anymore. No longer is it simply whether Tom Noe illegally funneled funds to the Bush 2004 campaign or the alleged crimes of Jack Abramoff -- which, by the way, have damaged the GOP, not the president directly. Now we're talking about something close to the hearts of Americans: their right to privacy. Add this violation of the law to the geologic rate at which progress is being made in the Gulf Coast and the administration's embarrassing efforts to prevent torture from being specifically prohibited by statute, and a key issue in next year's Congressional elections might be a candidate's stance on impeachment.

By the way, it's a good thing Noe was indicted. With $13 million acknowledged to be missing from the $50 million rare coin investment he managed, Bush's propensity for appointing cronies to key positions and John Snow on thin ice at Treasury, the possibilities make one shudder.


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