December 16, 2005

NSA Eavesdropping

Posted in Politics at 12:03 pm by antonello

Unfortunate, illegal breaching of the separation of powers and invasion of privacy. Again, the primacy of the executive branch is a central motif of the Bush Administration.

Admittedly I do struggle with this line should be drawn, but I grow suspicious especially when considering the behavior of this administration.


Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible “dirty numbers” linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said.

On the other hand, a paragraph or two down, we read

Some of the questions about the agency’s new powers led the administration to temporarily suspend the operation last year and impose more restrictions, the officials said.

Does this indicate that the invasion of privacy was even more extreme? Or perhaps completely people unrelated to the investigation were tapped?

My primary concern obviously in this situation has what happened in Guantamano: innocent people caught in the web. Indeed the role of the judiciary in this case should be to make sure that there is reasonable cause for tapping the question.

Does the NSA require certain extraordinary privileges in order to subvert actions against American interests? The W administration has emphasized again and again the need to take all precautions, just in case. Too often the proof is left at executive perogative: at this point how much can we trust that?

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