Tuesday, August 07, 2007


The president signed a new electronic surveillance bill into law yesterday. This morning the New York Times carried the story, and I think that it is safe to say that the Times treatment of this story will become the standard.

First ... why was the law needed? Let's say you have an Islamic terrorist suspect in London, perhaps a doctor, making a phone call to a like-minded Muslim inside the United States. I think that most people would agree that our intelligence agencies might have a passing interest in what is being said during that conversation. The best way to intercept and monitor that conversation would be through the communications switching facilities in the United States. But there's a small problem there. The FISA intelligence court ruled earlier this year that the government needed to seek court-approved warrants to monitor those international calls coming through American switching centers. So, the Bush Administration asked for a new surveillance law permitting just that type of monitoring, and the Democrat congress gave him just such a bill to sign.

There's a few interesting facets to the Times reporting of this story. First ... not once in the entire article do you find the words "Muslin", "Islamic", or "terrorist." Islamic terrorism is the reason this eavesdropping is needed. There are estimates of thousands of Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorist sympathizers already in this country. For some odd reason our intelligence people think that it might be a good idea if we could monitor their communications with their buddies overseas. You would think that somewhere in the Times story they might make some sort of a mention as to why this new law is so essential to the safety of the American people. But noooooo.

Secondly, maybe it's just me, but if I were writing the story I would have found a way to make it clear that the people inside the United States who would end up being monitored are not just Americans – not just citizens. I would suspect that most of the people in this country who end up on the U.S. side of a monitored conversation would not be "Americans." They would be foreign nationals living in this country.

At any rate, the left will have to shut up for a few days about the evils of "warrentless wiretapping." This has been such a big deal for the Bush-haters, now he has signed a bill presented to him by a Democrat congress! We'll just have to sit back and wait for a bit to see how long it takes for the left to forget their all-important role in this new law.