Friday, February 22, 2008

Intelligence Gathering

I would wildly guess estimate that there are probably 8 billion telephone numbers through out the world. If you read the book on terrorism I just recommended, you will understand our intelligence community only has time to follow approximately 300,000 of these numbers and they follow for a reason or they wouldn't waste their insufficient budget dollars to do so. They are in constant worry that another 9/11 or a World Trade building attack is being planned right now.

Nancy Pelosi and her crowd are playing partsian politics with the lives of people currently in the United States. They are catering to the ACLU and the pacifist crowd and playing partisian politics. The minority who believe that since we have not been attacked since 9/11, the tort attorneys can now sue the telecommunications companies for cooperating with their own government during a time of extreme stress on most of the citizenry of this country. Sure,the Pelosi crowd might give them some exemptions now but what confidence would the communications industry have that maybe five years from now they would not be sued again? So why cooperate now?

The WSJ says "Intelligence-gathering has changed since the end of the Cold War. We live in a weorld of fiber optics and packet switching. The NSA can't get what it needs by merely scanning the airwaves for telephone calls and code words. Terrorists also communicate through the internet. To eavesdrop on those communications the NSA needs the help of private companies, which voluntarily cooperated after 9/11 when the President and the Attorney General asked them to do so."

And what do they get for their patriotic troubles? They get paid nothing. They get $40 billion worth of lawsuits they have to defend, grief, trashing, but they do it. Any president should have the right to order wiretaps to save lives. Why should the telephone companies now cooperate without the protection of a court order? By the time the court order goes through the process advocated by the Pelosi crowd, the attack may have already happened. Then who will be blamed? The current adminstration, of course.

Why would the telephone companies cooperate with the govenment now? To be sued for billions and then sued by their sharholders for failure to perform financially? i think not.

Remeber their is no defense against a lawsuit. You can be sued by anybody and you need to defend yourself. Cases can run into hundred of millions of dollars of lawyer fees and court costs.

The WJS continues, "Democrats could vote directly to to restrict wiretapping by the executive branch, but they don't have the votes. So instead, they're trying to do it through the backdoor by unleashing the trial bar to punish the telephone companies that cooperated with the government. Then if there is another terrorist attack they will blame the telephone companies for not cooperating."

To be safe than sorry results in giving up certain rights. That's why the great majority of us don't do drugs. We drive with or seat belts buckled. We drive somewhat whithin speed limits especially in school zones. We don't carry loaded weapons. We don't drink while driving. We drive viewed often times by radar but does that take away our rights? What is so difficult to understand these premises?

Washington, as well as many states, play dirty political games. Any half-truth way to convince the poorly educated or half educated or bureacrats or party hacks, to believe everything the admistration in power does is harming them.

If those of you who believe putting the Democrats in total power of of government are not paying attention or are part of the group I just described.

Too bad out country is coming to what many believe to be the eventual demise of this great nation.


ben said...

My blood is boiling after reading this post. You actually think that not only should strangers be allowed to listen to your every phone call and inspect your every packet, but that private corporations who assist those wiretapping sons-of-bitches in committing felonies should be pardoned??

I never took you for a coward, until now. Some people (not me, but plenty of neoconservatives) say the "terrists" hate us for our freedom. Well, the hatred can stop now. The authoritarian mini-despots running our country (on both sides of the aisle) are doing their damnedest to remove our freedoms one by one... anything to let them consolidate their own power.

The dichotomy is not freedom vs. security, it is liberty vs. control. We are losing our liberty, Mr Widmer, and you have endorsed it. Shame on you.

Merle Widmer said...

History will tell. If there ever is another major terrorist strike in the U.S. that you are not a victim. As Jonah Goldberg says don't sweat the big stuff. I doubt any total strangers are listening to any telphone converstions in Peoria except maybe CLOSE friends of the Islamic now awaiting trial.

Better you reread what I said and most sensible and knowledgeable people are saying.

If you insult the private companies showing their loyalty to our country you must be a friend of the tort attorneys who are suing them. Or a staunch ACLU guy?

ben said...

You doubt that innocent people are being spied on doesn't matter. It only matters if that spying can be done legally. If you think there are situations in which secret/warrantless wiretapping (and similarly heinous surveillance) is necessary, then those situations should be precisely and clearly described in law. All such violations of personal liberty should be disclosed after the fact for the purpose of oversight.

The private companies I spoke of are not showing "loyalty to their country", as you put it, nor should that be desired. They should show loyalty to the PEOPLE, their customers, the citizens of the country. Given valid, legal authorization, of course AT&T should facilitate wiretapping for our government. They should NOT, however, cooperate with illegal requests.

For the record, I think tort attorneys are generally something between leeches and parasites. The ACLU has a mixed record, in my book; they are often in the right, but they do step into PC-ville too often. If you want to pin me as a supporter of a particular lobbying/legal group, I'd be proud to be identified as "a staunch EFF guy".

Brad Carter said...


I find myself agreeing with you much of the time, however this is not one of those times.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

A person shall be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrants shall be issued without probable cause. 4th Amendment (paraphrased)

A person shall not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. 5th Amendment (paraphrased)

For sure these RIGHTS make it harder to find the bad guys. However, if our intelligence agencies had not been dismantled by former and current administrations we probably would not be having this debate. And, this is precisely why we must know who is entering and leaving our open border country. I would also wager that if a Democrat President had come up with the same unconstitutional wire tapping business, you would be blogging bloody murder. I had hoped you were not such a partisian person.

Also, the examples you cited in your post (except popssibly the gun issue) are privileges - big difference.
The Constitution does not grant people any rights, with the exceptions of the right to vote and a republican form of govrenment, rather it limits the government from trampling on these rights.
WIth this post, you are essentially playing into the mindset of the Socialist/Communist agendas that I know you adamantly abhor. I have so much more to say on this subject, however I am afraid that I may offend you, if I haven't already.

AdamB said...

This isn't 'nam, there are laws. When you break the law, you get sued.

I think I've got Merle figured out: He's an old-timey authoritarian fascist--power and control are more important than the laws of men. Thank God the youth of this country are a bit more reasonable than the generation shuffling off this mortal coil.