Monday, December 19, 2005

The Blogosphere Roundup About the New York Times and the NSA

First off, apologies for the light blogging as of late. I'm just getting back home and settled in for Christmas break, and I've been fairly busy. But back to the news...

There is a great mutlitude of information surfacing around the blogosphere about the New York Times story about the NSA's "spying" program. Michelle Malkin has a dizzying roundup of links, but here are my favorites:

Here is Orin Kerr's summary of the situation:
Although it hinges somewhat on technical details we don't know, it seems that the program was probably constitutional but probably violated the federal law known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. My answer is extra-cautious for two reasons. First, there is some wiggle room in FISA, depending on technical details we don't know of how the surveillance was done. Second, there is at least a colorable argument — if, I think in the end, an unpersuasive one — that the surveillance was authorized by the Authorization to Use Miltary Force as construed in the Hamdi opinion.

Big Lizards posts on what really happened when the NY Times exposed the NSA's activities, noting that, "the NSA has been caught in the act of doing its job."

I especially like The Counterterrorism Blog's explanation of the position of the civil rights fanatics: "Catch them, but do not watch them!" Key graph:
The question is clear: Are we or are we not at war with the terrorists? Osama bin Laden declared that war in 1998. The bipartisan 9/11 Commission wondered why the previous administration refused to do so and the incumbent held off until October 2001. The jihadists are present within the U.S., including those who carry U.S. passports. So are other terror jihadists in Spain, Britain, Holland, or France. By pure rationale, the U.S. government has the duty to use all means (approved by war conventions) to resist the penetration and infiltration of the United States. Doing otherwise is unlawful, unconstitutional, and more importantly to the detriment of the security, and therefore the liberty of the American people.
Hat Tip to Jeff Goldstein, who also has a wonderful post on the subject. His money line: "As I noted previously, that the Dems don’t feel like we’re actually at war doesn’t mean we aren’t."

Hugh Hewitt also has a five part series on presidential power, and what this has to do with the commission of the NSA. He considers the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, applicable Supreme Court cases, and most notably, exposes the fallacies and falsehoods of arguments made by Dems like Sen. Feingold. The whole series is here, in parts: one, two, three, four, five.

Be sure to read all of these posts. When you've finished, you'll be better informed than the majority of Senate Democrats. Furthermore, an issue as important as national security deserves this kind of attention.