Saturday, December 17, 2005

America - Intelligence Scandal

The real scandal is, who is leaking all this highly classified intelligence.

Michelle has a very comprehensive post.

Michelle notes why the program was set up in the first place.

What the agency calls a "special collection program" began soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, as it looked for new tools to attack terrorism. The program accelerated in early 2002 after the Central Intelligence Agency started capturing top Qaeda operatives overseas, including Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002. The C.I.A. seized the terrorists' computers, cellphones and personal phone directories, said the officials familiar with the program. The N.S.A. surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible, the officials said.

In addition to eavesdropping on those numbers and reading e-mail messages to and from the Qaeda figures, the N.S.A. began monitoring others linked to them, creating an expanding chain. While most of the numbers and addresses were overseas, hundreds were in the United States, the officials said.

So, were they successful in stopping additional al Qaeda attacks on American citizens? Yes.

As a result of the NSA program, buried down in the 11th paragraph, we learn that the terrorist plot involving convicted al Qaeda operative Iyman Faris was uncovered--possibly saving untold lives, not to mention New York bridges and possibly Washington, D.C. trains.

Here is some info about Faris's activities not included in the Times' piece, via the Justice Department's October 2003 press release upon Faris' sentencing to 20 years in prison for providing material support to terrorists:

We are at war people.

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