Saturday, December 17, 2005



The revelation that GWB authorized wiretaps without warrants of communications between persons in the US and persons in other Nations exploded like a bomb on citizens, Congress, and the media this past week.

Democrats and liberal Republicans reacted like disturbed hornets while the media displayed the aplomb of sharks in bloody water... One could fill a wheelbarrow with all that has been written on the topic in just a couple of days. On the basis of those views, one might assume the government is in crisis and the Constitution in jeopardy from an administration that really does think it is just "a goddamn piece of paper." [see "Liberal Press My Ass," this blog, 12/10/05]

I'd like to add a ha'penny's worth of common sense on behalf of GWB and the people he is charged with defending...

In most cases, if I want to travel to a foreign country, I must first obtain documentation vouching for my identity in order move between Nations. When I return home, I need that document to enter. And when I return home, I may be searched on entry.

If I want to buy and sell overseas, those transactions may be taxed, and those goods entering this Nation may be searched by agents of the Federal State.

If I post or receive a letter or a package, either within the US or from the US to another country, there are restrictions on the contents: I can't mail bombs, guns, ammunition, poisons, or illegal drugs. The contents of any suspicious object may be verified.

Why should electronic communication be treated differently than any other good, or the person who did the communicating? I can't receive a bomb from London without risk of capture. Why should I be able to receive a call from a confederate in London telling me the bomb is on its way?

When it comes to domestic surveillance, I would argue for the strictest interpretation of the protections of due process. Any bureaucrat who violates those protections should be fired and prosecuted. And if it's the President, he should be impeached and tried so fast he's out of office before it hits the news. But in the case of foreign communications, I think it is just plain wrongheaded to apply the same standards.

GWB and the spooks at NSA are right this time and the civil libertarians are wrong. "We" are preparing to built a 700 mile fence along our southern border to facilitate the policing of who comes and goes. Failing to police our electronic borders as necessary is just plain stupid.

Watch on, Mr. President.

This monitoring ins't anything new, its what the NSA *does*, and has done since it's inception. In recent years, they have extended the program to cyberspace, monitoring emails and websites...
It's the reason that a lot of the black hats use encrypted communications gear and procedures. And the NSA does it's best to break the encryption.
And as we all know, there are no borders in cyberspace.
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