Gen. Michael Hayden, nominated by President Bush to become the director of the CIA, headed the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005. In that post, Hayden would have overseen the agency’s domestic phone record collection program.
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans â€” most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.
NOTE WELL: .
So, what is the point of another security leak on another “SECRET” government program to combat terrorism?
Answer: Somebody in the CIA or NSA does not want Michael Hayden to be confirmed as Director of the CIA.
The White House Reaction:
The White House defended its overall eavesdropping program and said no domestic surveillance is conducted without court approval.
”The intelligence activities undertaken by the United States government are lawful, necessary and required to protect Americans from terrorist attacks,” said Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary, who added that appropriate members of Congress have been briefed on intelligence activities.
But, the Lefties in the United States Senate smell blood in the water…..
ASSociated Press:Paper Reports NSA Collecting Phone Records
Leahy sounded incredulous about the latest report and railed against what he called a lack of congressional oversight. He argued that the media was doing the job of Congress.
“Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al Qaida?” Leahy asked. “These are tens of millions of Americans who are not suspected of anything … Where does it stop?”
The Democrat, who at one point held up a copy of the newspaper, added: “Somebody ought to tell the truth and answer questions. They haven’t. The press has done our work for us and we should be ashamed. Shame on us for being so far behind and being so willing to rubber stamp anything this administration does. We ought to fold our tents.”
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said bringing the telephone companies before the Judiciary Committee is an important step.
“We need more. We need to take this seriously, more seriously than some other matters that might come before the committee because our privacy as American citizens is at stake,” Durbin said.
But, Democrat Senate leaders have been briefed and the NSA programs are within the law. The Democrat Senators have had ample time to either sponsor legislation outlining a modification to the law or file a lawsuit enjoining the President.
But, what have they done?
Because these secret NSA programs are necessary to defend America from terrorism.
Do they violate Americans’ civil rights and the rights protected under the United States Constitution?
And what happens next?
Michael Hayden will have a rough time at his confirmation hearings and Senate Democrats hoping to score political points in the November 2006 elections will bloviate on the Sunday talk shows.
Will the NSA stop these secret programs that protect every day Americans from terrorism?
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The National Security Agency (NSA) logo is shown on a computer screen inside the Threat Operations Center at the NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland, January 25, 2006.
From the Blogosphere:
Michelle Malkin: NEWSFLASH: NSA DOING ITS JOB!
Stop the ACLU: New NSA Leaks From USA Today
Outside the Beltway: NSA Has Massive Database of Americansâ€™ Phone Calls
The Volokh Conspiracy: The Other NSA Surveillance Program?
Power Line: NSA Accused of Protecting U.S. From TerroristsÂ
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