I Love The Smell Of Big Brother In The Morning

So… Can we just impeach this guy already?

First, Bush firmly asserted that we don’t use wiretaps without a warrant… until the story broke in December that we do.

Then he assured us that it was only on international communications… until this morning.

Yup, according to a USA today article, the NSA is “data mining” as many domestic phone calls they possibly can.

Let’s all close our eyes… er… don’t do that, you won’t be able to read if you do that. Okay, let’s just imagine we are the head of a major phone company, like AT&T.

Imagine a sharply dressed NSA representative walks into your office.

“Yes, good morning, we’d like all your records on all calls in the United States.”

You furrow your brow. “Is that legal?” you ask, and watch as the rep starts picking at his fingernails.

“O-Of course… we… well, mind your own business. Now can you hand over the records please?”

“Well, what about FISA?”

“Oh, that’s not necessary.”

“Oookay… So, um, who will be privy to this information?”

“Well, uh, you know, lots of people. Just about anyone who has to do with intelligence.”

This doesn’t sit well with you, so you start to decline, “I just don’t think we can…”

“We’ll pay you.”

“You wanna go down this hall, make your second left, and ask for Nancy. She’s in charge of records.”

Of course, you know who comes out of this looking like a hero? Qwest. Despite some serious pressure from the NSA, Qwest stuck to their guns, eventually shutting down all talks regarding the attaining of phone records by the NSA. The happy thing about this is that there is now a considerably “hole” in the NSA’s goal of trying to map ALL phone communications in the U.S.

But here’s the thing I think is kinda funny. During the talks, Qwest actually told the NSA to get a FISA warrant. Actually told them to, you know, follow the law. Of course the NSA balked at this, and I’m reminded of the rationale from the administration in which it is proclaimed that sometimes you just don’t have the time to get a FISA warrant.

So I want to know the answer to this question. Didn’t the talks with Qwest take a lot of time? Qwest still has yet to provide the NSA with records, so, wouldn’t it have saved time to go through FISA? So why not?

The only thing I can think of is that maybe it’s because they realize that what they are doing might not be exactly legal. I’m just saying.

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