Feb 13 2008
Barack “Big Bird” Obama is not going to be as tough to beat as some fear. Right now he is the agent of “change”, but America saw how that vague concept can represent “change for the worse” with the Democrat Congress that won in 2006. Obama is part of that failed Congress and Americans are now experienced and aware to determine if the “change” will be good or bad. When it comes to terrorism the country is still unified – we want to protect ourselves and defeat the bad guys. Yet the Surrendercrats continue to march to the tune of their own hyper-partisan fringe and seem to go out of their way to put up roadblocks to our security and protections for our enemy.
Yesterday the FISA wars ended as usual – with America’s security trumping the left wing’s delusional visions of the second coming of Nixon and a conspiracy of the misuse of our national security capabilities. The FISA-NSA reforms that were put in place post 9-11 are heading to permanent law, and one of those who wish to go back to the days when leads about a potential terrorist threat in the US were thrown in the waste basket and not investigated is Big Bird Obama himself – as the WSJ notes today:
Now and then sanity prevails, even in Washington. So it did yesterday as the Senate passed a warrantless wiretap bill for overseas terrorists while killing most of the Lilliputian attempts to tie down our war fighters.
“We lost every single battle we had on this bill,” conceded Chris Dodd, which ought to tell the Connecticut Senator something about the logic of what he was proposing. His own amendment — to deny immunity from lawsuits to telecom companies that cooperated with the government after 9/11 — didn’t even get a third of the Senate. It lost 67-31, though notably among the 31 was possible Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. (Hillary Clinton was absent, while John McCain voted in favor.)
It says something about his national security world view, or his callowness, that Mr. Obama would vote to punish private companies that even the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said had “acted in good faith.” Had Senator Obama prevailed, a President Obama might well have been told “no way” when he asked private Americans to help his Administration fight terrorists. Mr. Obama also voted against the overall bill, putting him in MoveOn.org territory.
This makes Obama an ally of Osama – even if it is an alliance built on ignorance and pandering to his base. The rule changes post 9-11 were simple – no longer are leads on potential terrorists in the US detected by the NSA as they listen in on our enemies overseas simply thrown away. Now these leads go to the FBI to investigate, and these leads can be included in evidence to the FIS Court for determining probable cause for full surveillance of someone in the US possibly planning to kill thousands and thousands of Americans.
None other than the NY Times itself confirmed these were the basic elements of the change in policy:
The [FIS] court would be able to determine whether the program is â€œreasonably designedâ€ to focus on the communications of actual terrorism suspects and people in the United States who communicate with them. That determination is now left entirely in the hands of the security agency under an internal checklist.
Clearly the process has been to assess the lead, then pass it to the FBI who investigates the lead, which then takes it to the FIS Court for permission for full up surveillance. That is the change. And it has been noted that prior to 9-11 this did not happen and this allowed the 9-11 highjackers to run free and unfettered on their path to mass murder in the skies over NY, Washington DC and PA. Here are the on-the-record statements by General Hayden, now head of the CIA and then head of the NSA:
To illustrate the limitations imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act â€” passed by Congress in 1978 â€” Hayden cited a Saudi terror leader whose name was then not widely known: â€œIf â€¦ Osama bin Laden is walking across the peace bridge from Niagara Falls, Ontario, to Niagara Falls, New York, as he gets to the New York side, he is an American person and my agency must respect his rights against unreasonable search and seizure.â€
Haydenâ€™s testimony about FISA six years ago proved to be lethally prescient. When FBI agents in Minneapolis arrested a French-born man of Moroccan descent named Zacarias Moussaoui during the summer of 2001, the Justice Department declined to issue a FISA warrant to search his computer files.
In 1999, the NSA began monitoring a cell phone number in Yemen that served as a switchboard for al-Qaida. Among the callers who connected to this switchboard was a â€œKhalidâ€ in the United States. The NSA dropped surveillance of the caller for fear of violating FISA provisions on domestic spying. Khalid turned out to be Khalid al-Mihdhar, one of the 9-11 hijackers who took over American Airlines Flight 77 and flew it into the Pentagon.
Traveling overseas â€” for instance, to a terrorist conclave in Malaysia in 2000 â€” al-Mihdhar and fellow hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi were under CIA surveillance. Back in the United States, however, FBI lawyers were reluctant to initiate a criminal investigation due to concerns about breaching the FISA wall between domestic and foreign intelligence.
This upside down world, where terrorists who make it to our shores are then considered untouchable because of some bizarre fear of a new Nixon abuse of power, is what Obama voted FOR! Obama wants to give terrorists carte blanche freedom to communicate with their agents in the US once they get here. What is so wrong with the current system? Why do NSA leads have to be relegated back to some kind of impure status simply because the NSA detected them and not the FBI (who doesn’t listen in on our enemies overseas)? What is wrong with the leads being passed to the FBI to assess, which then takes those which show to be troubling to the FIS Court for full surveillance? This program has stopped attacks and saved lives, and yet “Big Bird” Obama and his Sesame Street view that ‘we can all just hold hands and get along’ is opposed to it and wants to expose us to unnecessary risk?
And this is EXACTLY what Osama wants us to do, lower our guard again so he can hit us hard and show the Muslim world he is still relevant and not on the brink of being destroyed. Even Hillary has not been this suicidally delusional about the threat to America. The enemy is not the phone company Big Bird, it is all those Jihadis working to die a glorious death by taking out thousands of Americans in one blow. And this is why Obama is a naive and unwitting ally of Osama, as are most Surrendercrats.