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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Blowing Up The NY Times, And Their Pathetic Probes

Good morning, and Happy New Year to everyone! I hope we all had a happy and safe holiday season. However, that season is over, and it is time for the nose back to the grindstone. Not only will we be commenting and analyzing the run-up to the 2006 mid-terms, but we will be covering as many stories as we can. Thomas and I have both resolved to cover things as often, as quickly as we can, and to maintain a reasonable amount of posts per day. So, for those regular readers, keep an eye on the site throughout the day. Thursdays will be our heaviest posting day as we both spend quite a bit of time on the Internet that day.

And keep an eye out for stories like the following one. Just over a week ago, the NY Times put up a "bombshell" of a story. (Not our word, but one being bandied about by the Left, mind you.) Pres. Bush authorized the NSA to begin surveilling foreign agents in the United States. These people, regardless of their citizenship, are here to hurt this nation; to strike her one more time in an effort to break our resolve in this war. Mark my words: If they succeed, it will be an attack worse than 9/11.

The president has been taking his lumps over this issue, especially after admitting that yes, we were watching these people. The Times breathlessly reported that many of these people were under surveillance without ((GASP)) a warrant. There is a reason for this, and it is the same one cited by Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush (41), and Clinton. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which oversees the FISA laws, moves too slow. Further, as was reported by Hugh Hewitt earlier this week, they were anything but helpful to the Bush Administration during this war.

U.S. President George Bush decided to skip seeking warrants for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at an unprecedented rate.

A review of Justice Department reports to Congress by Hearst newspapers shows the 26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap requests from the Bush administration than the four previous presidential administrations combined.

The 11-judge court that authorizes FISA wiretaps modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications approved over the first 22 years of the court's operation.

But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for surveillance by the Bush administration, the report said. A total of 173 of those court-ordered "substantive modifications" took place in 2003 and 2004. And, the judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years -- the first outright rejection of a wiretap request in the court's history.

The above comes from a story cited by Hugh that comes from the UPI. When the president is forced to deal with those obstructing what he feels is necessary to protect the nation, you had better take it to the bank that he is going to use more of his authority to do what must be done. And the Left howls about that claiming that his moves are "unprecedented" and "outside his Constitutional authority." No, incorrect. Try again, but thank you for playing. The president's powers at a time of war are virtually limitless.

But today, the NY Times decided to run another story about this. They know they have already lost this fight, but in a vain attempt to keep it "relevant" they posted up this story. What is truly sickening is unless you read the whole thing, you would never know that there is nothing to the story. They make no allegations against the Bush Administration about any wrongdoings or crimes. It is, to say the least, unwarranted and uneducated bluster over a non-issue. The meat and potatoes of the story is below:

A top Justice Department official objected in 2004 to aspects of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program and refused to sign on to its continued use amid concerns about its legality and oversight, according to officials with knowledge of the tense internal debate. The concerns appear to have played a part in the temporary suspension of the secret program.

The concerns prompted two of President Bush's most senior aides - Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel and now attorney general - to make an emergency visit to a Washington hospital in March 2004 to discuss the program's future and try to win the needed approval from Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was hospitalized for gallbladder surgery, the officials said.

The unusual meeting was prompted because Mr. Ashcroft's top deputy, James B. Comey, who was acting as attorney general in his absence, had indicated he was unwilling to give his approval to certifying central aspects of the program, as required under the White House procedures set up to oversee it. ...

What is known is that in early 2004, about the time of the hospital visit, the White House suspended parts of the program for several months and moved ahead with more stringent requirements on the security agency on how the program was used, in part to guard against abuses.

The concerns within the Justice Department appear to have led, at least in part, to the decision to suspend and revamp the program, officials said. The Justice Department then oversaw a secret audit of the surveillance program.

For the twits at the NY Times, this is a story, why? Ashcroft goes in for surgery, Comey does not want to give his approval on the program over his own concerns. They visit Ashcroft, and he says the same thing. The program is revamped, and goes into affect. There is still a mandatory review of the program every 45 days, and a decision on whether or not it is still needed, or effective. This all falls under the power of the executive branch during a time of war.

Further, this proves nothing for the Left. They can scream to high heaven about violations of civil liberties, but this program is not doing that. There are no civil liberties for foreign agents on US soil acting to sabotage our war efforts, or planning an attack against this nation. The Left would love it if they would have the same protections under the Constitution, but in this war, the Supreme Court has held that such people have no protections. The only people extended such protections, thus far, are US citizens caught working with the enemy here or abroad. Jose Padilla, Johnnie Walker-Lindh, and Iyman Faris all have those protections granted to them. But bin Laden will not, if he is ever caught. The Left, of course, would demand such, and Ramsey Clark might actually be available once Saddam is swinging from the nearest gallows.

The sheer fact that there was a break in the NSA program makes no difference in this story at all. If anything, the Times is proving the point that the president and the administration were doing everything to safeguard civil liberties, rather than trample them. The Times needs to quit beating this dead horse. To quote James Carville "that dog won't hunt." No it is not hunting, nor does it make any sense as to why the Times would continue working on such a non-story. With a majority of America behind the president on this program, the Times has no backing for their insane rantings. And I see no reason for them to continue down this path.

Well, actually there is one reason, and it is one that will be argued by the Left in the MSM just like it always has been argued and denied by them. This is blantant bias and petty partisanship at it's worst.

The Bunny ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I would be most interested in why the reported very liberal Clinton appointment to Supreme Court, Federal Judge James Robinson, resigned from the eleven member warrant group on January 20, four days after NYT's printed it's front page story? Anyway, he's on my list of suspects. I expect the bloggers in this very sensitive matter to do their usual outstanding job. Rawriter

11:35 PM  

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