Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

NSA Spying & Blocking the Patriot Act

It does my heart good to learn that the NSA has been monitoring, by directive of the President, international e-mail and phone traffic of individuals linked to terrorism investigations. Even though I am a local intelligence detective, I am not privy to that type of information any more than the general public. Dissemination of the information is on a right-to-know & need-to-know basis. I am, however, much more aware and knowledgeable of our vulnerabilities, and I worry that the problems are not properly addressed. And, the truth is they probably are not.

Everything done in Washington, D.C., is about politics, power and money. So it is no coincidence that the New York Times release of the information about the intelligence gathering procedures was timed to influence and maximize exposure.

On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States... without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

But now comes word James Risen's article is only one of many "explosive newsbreaking" stories that can be found -- in his upcoming book -- which he turned in 3 months ago!

There is something very rotten here! How convenient to release the information at the same time as a crucial Senate vote on the Patriot Act. The spying story was a great excuse for Patriot Act opponents to balk at the bill. Here’s the golden words of that great patriot Sen. Edward Kennedy,
"With these new developments," Kennedy said, "we must take a step back and not rush the Patriot Act."

"They are saying, 'Trust us, we are following the law.' Give me a break," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). "Across the country and across the political spectrum, no one is buying it anymore. There is no accountability. There is no oversight…. This is Big Brother run amok.

Really? Not according to the President,
Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it.

Kennedy is a real trip. Many of these legislators act like pompous asses, but they are not stupid. That leaves the only conclusion to be that they are dishonest. That’s not so hard to believe now is it?

The real disgrace is that they are willing to play political games with the safety of the nation for potential political gain. That’s not really just disgraceful, it’s traitorous.