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Finding Terror

I think I finally figured out this whole business with the NSA program. It's not about "monitoring" terrorism suspects at all. It's about finding them! The Bush administration has no idea who or where the terrorists are, hence the need to hoover up vast amounts of information in a vain attempt to try to find out. They even admit as much in their defense of the program, saying it is being used to detect possible terrorist activity. So basically they're clueless.

Remember back in January, the NY Times reported that after 9/11, the NSA flooded the FBI with terrorism leads (most going nowhere). Now we learn the NSA has been keeping records of our phone calls (where many of those leads start I assume). Josh hinted at the possibility of this database being used to cull potential suspects yesterday.

This would also go a long way to explain why the Bush administration hasn't sought warrants. You need to know who your target is in order for a warrant to be issued. A blanket warrant probably wouldn't have cut it with the courts. And they figured that since they didn't get a warrant to get that far, why bother getting one. It is a lot of "cumbersome paperwork" after all. So they just kept on surveilling, hoping it paned out.

Too bad all this "link analysis" doesn't really work and wastes resources that could be put to better use. You know, like on actual security measures. But then again, actual security under this administration is about as rare as those warrants.

...the NSA flooded the FBI with terrorism leads (most going nowhere).

That's a good point. Guess the NSA hadn't perfected those filtering systems. ;-)

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