October 12, 2007

A "lucky" coincidence..

The chart that accompanies this Wired article, NSA's Lucky Break: How the U.S. Became Switchboard to the World, is astonishing. Most of the planet's international phone traffic passes through the US...

A lucky coincidence of economics is responsible for routing much of the world's internet and telephone traffic through switching points in the United States, where, under legislation introduced this week, the U.S. National Security Agency will be free to continue tapping it.....

...Press leaks [how I hate those animals!] in recent months have revealed that the NSA began tapping the U.S. communications hubs for purely international traffic shortly after 9/11, at the same time that it began monitoring communications between U.S. citizens and foreigners as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

After the Democrats took over Congress in 2007, the administration put the NSA surveillance programs under the supervision of a secretive spying court, which ruled shortly thereafter that wiretapping U.S.-based facilities without a warrant was illegal, even for the purpose of harvesting foreign communications.

In August, Congress granted the NSA "emergency" temporary powers to continue the surveillance, which are set to expire in February. The RESTORE Act (the Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen Reviewed and Effective Act of 2007) is the Democrat's effort to extend that power indefinitely, while including some safeguards against abuse. It would legalize both the foreign-to-foreign intercepts, and the domestic-to-foreign surveillance associated with the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

The bill enjoys wide support in the House, but on Wednesday President Bush vowed to veto any surveillance legislation that doesn't extend retroactive legal immunity to telephone companies who cooperated in the NSA's domestic surveillance before it was legalized -- a provision absent from the RESTORE Act. AT&T, which is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly wiretapping the internet on behalf of the NSA, is reportedly among the companies lobbying hard for immunity....

OF course they should have immunity! What lunacy, to even hesitate on that. And the scum behind the "class action" (the class I presume being bloodsucking lawyers and hate-America leftists) should be sent off for a nice Caribbean holiday. How crazy is this, that companies can be sued for helping our nation fight global terrorism? Sick.

And, just as a historical note, we have always tapped international communications in war time. When we entered the World Wars, presidents Wilson and Roosevelt immediately ordered surveillance of cable traffic entering or leaving the US. And there was no crap about warrants, either, and since the Democrats had not yet become traitors, no one thought anything of it. Lincoln tapped telegraph lines repeatedly, also without warrants.

And guess what, none of these measures resulted in America turning into a police state! In fact we have become far more tender about such things than ever before. The whole trend of our history has been in exactly the opposite direction. This nation has REPEATEDLY taken rough ruthless measures against suspected enemies in wartime, and REPEATEDLY bounced back afterwards towards greater respect for civil liberties..

Why do we get heavy-handed in war time? Because it's a WAR, stupid, and the thing you do with wars is, you WIN them. And, if you are America, leave the world a better place afterwards, and a more peaceful place. Anybody worried about aggression by Germany, Japan, Italy, South Korea? Was anybody worried that the South would start another Civil War? No, because we beat our enemies up so hard that even to think about it would have been considered a sign of insanity. After the War of 1812 (which considering the huge disparity of forces can be considered a signal victory) were we in any real danger of British attacks? Not at all. The region north of Mexico had been repeatedly torn by international war, but we put a definitive stop to that. By winning. The gruesome slaughter of the Battle of New Orleans brought peace and prosperity to a large portion of the globe.

Posted by John Weidner at October 12, 2007 8:49 AM
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