Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The answer to the mystery of the NSA snooping scandal - why did they break the law when it was so ludicrously easy to get FISA warrants? - appears to be developing: they weren't just wiretapping, they were data mining. They were using Echelon to 'Able Danger' the whole country (this is Poindexter's Total Information Awareness, which is supposedly dead, in action). The problem is that FISA was enacted prior to the current capability for data mining, and didn't anticipate how ubiquitous it could be. The reason they couldn't use FISA is that they would have had to obtain a FISA warrant for every person in the country. Data mining requires that you follow each link discovered by your snooping, and wouldn't work if it had to be subjected to FISA or the Constitution. The NYT article, now being spun as resisted by the Bush Administration (as if the NYT would publish anything without Rove's say-so), appears to itself be part of the spinning, a limited hang-out to cover up the bigger scandal.