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Four Color Politics

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Hayden It

"’This isn't a drift net out there where we're soaking up everyone's communications,’ said Hayden, who is now principal deputy to U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte.
‘This is hot pursuit of communications entering or leaving America involving someone we believe is associated with al-Qaida,’ he said in remarks delivered at the National Press Club.”
-MSNBC, January 23, 2005

“But if this is a limited program, not a drift net, then why couldn’t we have gone to all the trouble of getting the warrants? I mean, the government is allowed to spy on citizens. They just need to get a warrant from the FISA court for that. Heck, they could even do it a few days after they started spying. Why wouldn’t they go through the courts?”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.
‘The trigger is quicker and a bit softer,’ said General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency.
The standard laid out by General Hayden - a ‘reasonable basis to believe’ - is lower than ‘probably cause,’ the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.
Mr. Hayden said that warrantless searches were conducted when one of a ‘handful’ of senior officers at the security agency determined that there was a ‘reasonable belief’ that one party to a call between someone in America and someone overseas had a link to Al Qaeda.”
-New York Times, January 23, 2006

“You know, I’d feel a bit safer if the General realized that the standard for the special court (FISA) was ‘probable cause’ rather than ‘probably cause’ because then he might recall why the standard was set at ‘probable cause’. Here’s a hint: It has to do with one of those 200+ year old legal documents that we’re always going on about..”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
-United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment

“Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States.”
-General Michael Hayden, former NSA head, January 23, 2005

“Hmm.. Two things. One: How? What exactly could we have done differently that would have detected them? I mean above and beyond what a FISA warrant would have allowed had they actually tried to get one? Two: Is he honestly saying that we could have protected ourselves by ignoring the Constitution? Didn’t he have to give some kind of oath sometime (being a military man and such) to uphold the freaking Constitution? Shouldn’t that matter somewhere? Good Lord, the arrogance of these people.”


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