Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bad Apples and Poisoned Fruit 

Former intelligence analyst Larry Johnson (now blogging at No Quarter) wonders what ugly little secret[s] George Bush needed to hide from the FISA courts, and comes up with a couple of likely answers:
So what is Bush up to? I see at least two possibilities. First, they may be allowing unfettered data mining on domestic targets without probable cause. An old fashioned "fishing" trip. You cast out a net and pull it in, picking over the contents, and hoping you snared the oyster with the big pearl. This nonsense works in a Tom Clancy novel but not in the real world. Even with the most robust computer power you have no simple way to find "actionable intelligence".

Second, the source of the intel tips is tainted. If you are generating leads from persons being held in secret prisons or if the info is obtained thru torture, then it makes it difficult to make a truthful declaration before a judge. Why not lie to the FISA court? That's called perjury. I suspect this explains the real motive for the refusal of the Bush Administration to go the FISA route.

We are asked to accept on faith that this program is working wonders. Really? Then where is the proof. Where are the arrested terrorist suspects? Has even a single person in the United States been taken into custody because of this info? I believe the answer is no. At a minimum, the heads of the House and Senate intel committees should have been briefed on the successes, if there were any. The White House is silent on this issue for one simple reason--they don't have the goods. And, oh, by the way; Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose.

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