Iyman Faris, please phone home!
Trust Thomas Sowell, as part of a longer article about the West's frenzied and blind dancing on the edge of a volcano, to put the New York Times manufactured "scandal" about the NSA into perspective:
That question has been sanitized in the mainstream media by asking whether the government should be engaged in "domestic wiretapping," just as the terrorists themselves have been sanitized into "militants" or "insurgents." The way the question is posed by many in the media and in politics, you would think our intelligence agencies were listening in on you talking on the phone to your aunt Mabel. Be serious! There are more than a quarter of a billion people in the United States. Intelligence agencies have neither the manpower, the time, the money, nor the interest to listen in on you and your aunt Mabel. Lawyers may differ on fine legal points about the Constitutional powers of the commander in chief during wartime versus the oversight powers of the courts. But, a Supreme Court Justice once pointed out that the Constitution of the United States is not a suicide pact. The Constitution was meant for us to live under, not be paralyzed by, in the face of death. When some honcho in the international terrorist network is captured in Afghanistan or Iraq, and the phone numbers in his computer are found by his American captors, it is only a matter of time before his capture becomes news broadcast around the world. In the hour or two before that happens, his contacts within the United States may continue to use the phones they have been using. Listening in on their conversations during that brief window of opportunity can provide valuable information on enemies within our midst who are dedicated to our destruction. Precious time can be wasted filing legalistic documents to get some judge's permission to tap the domestic terrorists' phones before CBS or CNN broadcasts the news of the captured terrorist leader overseas and the domestic terrorists stop using the phones that they had used before to talk with him.In other words, this is not indiscriminate listening in on all phone calls -- as the Clinton administration apparently did -- this is targeted listening in a minute time frame. Further, to the extent these conversations involve cell phones, everyone who uses cell phones knows that a cell phone conversation doesn't carry with it a reasonable expectations of privacy (just ask Prince Charles). So for people to be huffing and puffing about invasions of privacy is create a nonexistent right and then scream about its nonexistent destruction. (Thanks, Kevin, for the tip.) Talking to Technorati: NSA, Spying, Security, Terrorism