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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Do You Hear What I Hear (or Wiretap It)?

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the former N.S.A. director who is now the second-ranking intelligence official in the country, was asked at a White House briefing this week whether there had been any ‘purely domestic’ intercepts under the program.
‘The authorization given to N.S.A. by the president requires that one end of these communications has to be outside the United States,’ General Hayden answered. ‘I can assure you, by the physics of the intercept, by how we actually conduct our activities, that one end of these communications are always outside the United States.’
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales also emphasized that the order only applied to international communications. ‘People are running around saying that the United States is somehow spying on American citizens calling their neighbors,’ he said. ‘Very, very important to understand that one party to the communication has to be outside the United States.’"
-New York Times, December 21, 2005

“Whew.. I know I’ll breathe easier knowing that, though the spying may have been on American citizens and done without a warrant, at least they had SOME standards. It sounds like Hayden is saying that it is impossible for the spying to be entirely within the U.S.”
-Skippy


“A surveillance program approved by President Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials say.
The officials say the National Security Agency's interception of a small number of communications between people within the United States was apparently accidental, and was caused by technical glitches at the National Security Agency in determining whether a communication was in fact ‘international.’"
-New York Times, December 21, 2005

“Hmm.. I thought that the domestic spying was impossible. Doesn’t seem to be the case. I know that this all seems a little over-the-top, but shouldn’t someone be looking into whether or not this whole thing is legal?”
-Skippy


“The President spoke to this earlier and the Attorney General, who is, after all, the highest legal authority in the country, has spoken to this.”
-Condoleeza Rice, December 19, 2005

“Actually the Attorney General is the highest law enforcement authority in the country (except for the guy who approved the spying). The highest legal authority is, of course, the Supreme Court. Remember them? Please remember that the woman who said this, the woman who did not remember who the highest legal authority is in the U.S., is one of the half dozen or so most powerful people in this administration. The last person to hold her job was this guy..”
-Skippy


“Powell, who also is a former chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, had no reservations when asked whether eavesdropping should continue.‘Of course it should continue,’ he said. ‘And nobody is suggesting that the president shouldn't do this.’"
-Associated Press, December 26, 2005

“Actually they are suggesting that.. and suggesting it quite fervently. I guess that this is yet another in our long series of ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain’ scandals. If we pretend that there is no scandal, then maybe it will just go away.”
-Skippy

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