Friday, May 12, 2006

No Such Agency

Today is 12 May 2006.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! The National Security Agency (often known in-house as No Such Agency) is datamining America’s phone records.

Anyone with knowledge of NSA’s capabilities and past exploits could have told you this. (Background on NSA: James Bamford's Body of Secrets (2001) and his earlier The Puzzle Palace (ca. 1980)

The technique is simple, if you have, as NSA does, the world’s largest stash of supercomputing power. Begin with a suspect phone number, find all numbers which received or made calls to that number, examine all phone numbers associated with the second number, and repeat ad nauseum. The practice is known as “spiderwebbing” or “chaining.”

This sort of thing has been going on, with increasing sophistication, since NSA’s predecessor agency was founded in 1949. One must be unbelievably naïve to imagine these techniques have been exercised only on communications with at least one foot abroad. The history of CIA, etc. shows that agencies originally tasked with working abroad find excuses, sooner rather than later, to target American citizens in their domestic lives.

Blatantly unconstitutional, of course, but Congress has always approved it by tolerating it. Even if all the bluster now occurring produces new laws to rein in NSA, Bush’s claim that his authority as commander-in-chief entitles him to override the Constitution and specific statues would render those laws moot, unless Bush were impeached and removed. In which case, Cheney would start the whole process over.

In these days of modern times, it is best to assume that any form of communication is being “shared” (the delicious term invented by Ira Levin in his marvelous dystopian novel, This Perfect Day).


Intelligence Report: According to, two more aircraft carriers are steaming toward the Persian Gulf to join the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Upon arrival in June, they could provide a platform for bombing Iran. Such an attack would probably include B-2s flying out of Missouri, and B-52s flying from bases in the UK and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.


Blogger RtR said...

An offering along the same theme as this post from Mother Jones and cartoonist Mark Fiore.

The Decider

7:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home