Counter-terrorism, Intelligence Operations and National Security
US Eavesdropping Illegal Wiretapping and Politics
by J.B. Williams
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I'll begin by stating for the record that I am not an expert on counter-terrorism, Intelligence Operations or National Security, which makes me just like 99.9% of those speaking out on these topics today, including too many purely partisan politicians eager to politicize all of it in search of recently elusive political power.
Let me also establish the fact that few in America are more concerned with the rate in which we are certainly losing our freedoms and liberties than I am. I write about it all the time
But the American people are now being told that the current administration has broken the law, undermined fundamental constitutional rights of privacy, sought to secretly eavesdrop or wiretap countless innocent ordinary Americans for some unknown evil purpose. Never mind that the US Attorney General, most legal experts and even most average Americans publicly disagree.
In an era when few Americans have any faith or trust in our federal government at all, including this writer, it isn't hard to accept such notions or entertain such possibilities at a minimum. The idea that we live under the boot of an increasingly intrusive over-reaching runaway government of, by and for itself, is all but certain I'd say.
But is it true that the NSA or federal intelligence agencies are recklessly, without cause or due process, silently tracking and investigating innocent average Americans? It might be
but where is the evidence?
So far, not a single innocent average American has come forward and identified themselves as a victim of unwarranted NSA surveillance. Despite all of the partisan press coverage of this hopeful scandal, no innocent average American has come forward and accused the NSA of wrongly wiretapping them.
In part, this is because the term "wiretap" is inappropriate to begin with. Wiretapping is an almost ancient form of surveillance, placing a physical electronic listening device on a single designated phone line for the purpose of eavesdropping on a specific individual or group communicating over that particular phone line. This does not appear, even to a novice like me, to be the issue in the NSA eavesdropping case in question.
The law in question is a 1970's wiretapping law written before the advent of the internet or email, or a number of other high-tech wireless communications methods common today. It was also written before we had a massive terrorist attack on the homeland, or became aware that our enemies live quietly right here, largely below radar in our own neighborhoods.
The NSA story like several others, CIA secret torture chambers around the globe, numerous leaks coming from within our own so-called secret agencies, the Wilson-Plame affair, Al Gore's repeated assertions that the US government is the modern evil empire and Jimmy Carter's recent rants about a McCarthy like mentality in Washington, to name a few, demonstrate to most thinking Americans that we are really looking at something far more dangerous than simple illegal eavesdropping. We are looking squarely into the business end of the war within the war on terror.
This war within the war is being waged between those currently in power and those desperately seeking political power at any expense. Between those who believe global terror organizations have cells secretly operating right here right now, and those who believe that the US government is the global terror organization. Between those who believe all available assets should be used to hunt, track, identify and capture or kill terrorists operating on our shores before they can strike again and those who believe that such pre-emptive measures are just silly scare tactics aimed at keeping the American people afraid and under foot.
Imagine if we had known who the 9/11 hijackers were before 9/11? It appears that we did, at least the ring leader Atta, at least a year before that fateful day. Imagine how that day might have turned out had this information been allowed to travel throughout all intelligence, security and police agencies before that day. Imagine how different our world might be right now, had all security assets been brought to bear upon that threat in the weeks, months or years of secret terror cell operations leading up to 9/11?
What we know today is that it could have been. We also know that it wasn't. We know that it wasn't because the legal departments within our own federal agencies were more concerned with protecting the rights of known terrorists operating on our shores, than protecting the lives of innocent Americans. We also know that many in America remain of that mindset today, including many in Washington and in those same agencies charged then and now, with the responsibility of providing security for all innocent Americans.
Our press covers (uncovers) virtually every effort to thwart the next 9/11 daily, under a false pretense of the people's right to know everything their government is up to. But they are not covering (uncovering) any of the known terror operations currently active in our own communities, as though we should not be at all concerned with what the terrorists are up to. The press is more concerned with what their political arch enemy in the White House is up to, than the activities of the very real terrorist cells operating among us.
Internet News agency World Net Daily reports today "Probe finds terrorists in U.S. 'training for war". But you are not likely to hear anything about this from CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York or LA Times or any other so-called mainstream news source today or even over the coming days and weeks. Yet this is only one of many similar stories happening in many parts of America today and none of them will be investigated much less reported by today's lamestream press.
Should we fear these terror threats? No
But we should be aware of such threats. We should identify by any means necessary and confront such threats immediately. Fear no
Respect and respond yes
However, we should fear any American who fails to demonstrate any awareness of what we are dealing with in this world at this moment. We should fear every politician who seeks to politicize such security efforts for their own political gain. We should fear any press reporter who is overtly more determined to lynch Dick Cheney for his unfortunate hunting accident, than keeping Americans abreast of the very real threats our elected officials must confront, one way or another, here and abroad.
I see nothing to fear in the cowardly acts of terrorists who mostly target innocent defenseless men, women and children, unsuspectingly going about their mundane ordinary lives. But I see every reason to fear those who are unable or uninterested in facing and confronting this reality, especially those who seek political power through such means.
I'd say there is not a single American citizen that agrees with or supports every decision of this or any other administration. But the fact that so many seem obsessed with using all available resources for politically motivated infighting during such times should be a matter of great concern to every American.
Unless your personal politics includes the literal destruction of America as we know it, you should not be more focused on destroying Bush than destroying terrorists. It is just that simple and anyone who doesn't get that is more of a threat to America's future than the terrorists themselves
JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history, and American philosophy. He is published nationwide and in many countries around the world. JB. Williams can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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