John Yoo (who is a bit controversial) defends what the NSA has admitted to doing with phone calls; the piece is loaded with conditionals, as you'll note. It also leaves room for the possibility for far worse skulduggery than has been imagined.
[The GWB and Obama] programs, however, seek to use communications coming into the
United States from a known terrorist abroad to identify an al-Qaeda
network within the country.
The program does not represent a
violation of the Constitution because the Fourth Amendment does not
protect dialed phone numbers, in contrast to the content of the
communications, because individuals lose privacy over those numbers when
they are given to the phone company. The Constitution protects the
content of the communications, whether it be a phone call, e-mail, or
old-fashioned letter. And Congress approved a change to the FISA statute
to allow such collection, and a court of federal judges approved it.
Yoo acknowledges that there may be a problem with Obozo's email intercepts.
The revelation of broad e-mail surveillance is more troubling, but it is
because we don’t know the program’s scope. If the program only
intercepts the content of e-mails for foreigners abroad, as is being
reported, there is no constitutional violation.
(Highlights are mine.)
Yoo doesn't address the search-function monitoring at all, nor does he mention that England can (and does) spy on any US citizen and turn over its findings to the NSA--or Eric Holder. No Constitutional problem there!!
The guy can add 2+2 pretty well, however:
...unfortunately, the program will be questioned because of the Obama
administration’s serious mistakes on its IRS investigations into
conservative groups and Justice Department surveillance of journalists
to stop leaks. The Obama administration’s destruction of the American
people’s trust in their government’s ability to run its core tax and
law-enforcement functions will harm our government’s ability to carry
out its duty to protect the nation....
We know that this President has little use for America, other than as a source of funding for his lifestyle and for his favorite Middle Eastern pals, not to mention thinly-disguised communist-front "community organizer" groups. He certainly doesn't give a rip about border security.
If the revelation "will harm our government's ability...to protect the nation" is he really unhappy that the NSA work has been revealed?
Think about that for a while.
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