NSA Spying--Let's All Be as Clear as We Can Be

Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 11:54 AM

Continuing the semantic absurdities that Rove wove into a speech on Friday, Reuters reports that Rove said the following:

"Let me be as clear as I can be: President Bush believes if al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interests to know who they're calling and why."

Well, let me be as clear as I can be:

If there is reason to suspect that al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, let the NSA get a court order to eavesdrop.  If there isn't enough time to get the order before eavesdropping, take your evidence to the court within 72 hours of performing the surveillance AS THE LAW REQUIRES YOU TO DO.

Enough already!  The importance of spying on al Qaeda, the importance of protecting the country, the seriousness of the threat of terror--none of these are relevant to the discussion. We're talking about having a court review the NSA's conclusion that a specific phone call, e-mail, or the like actually does involve Al Qaeda or some other threat.  We're talking about the need to keep us safe from both external threats like al Qaeda and internal threats like an imperial presidency.