Quote of the Day on NSA Wiretap Scandal

bales of hayJack Kenny knocks this one out of the ballbark:

[T]his is the government that paid scant attention to a report, reaching the president’s desk barely a month before the 9-11 attacks, that Al-Qaeda was planning a major attack in the United States. Now it is protecting us from terrorism by scrutinizing the calling records of some 224 million conventional and cellular phone customers. The Bush administration’s idea of how to find a needle in a haystack is to order more hay.

That’s the crux of what’s wrong with the government. We’ve been rewarding failure after failure with even more trust and loss of liberties and privacy. We just keep pouring more confidence in the federal government every time they fuck something up. Can you imagine having to pay your phone company more and more every time a telephone pole fell down during a storm?

9 Comments
  1. Sure, you can find the needle, but it won’t do you any good without the thread to connect it to something.

    Though Kenny says it’s the Bush administration’s idea, I have found that this sort of stupidity is part and parcel of government itself, regardless of whether the so-called “left” or the so-called “right” is in charge.

    You might be better off saying: The government’s idea of how to find a needle in a haystack is to order more hay.

  2. so… incompetence or planned?

    I always loved the problem-reaction-solution scenario.

    created problem (in this case feigned incompetence)
    + known reaction (fear, need of protection from bogeyman)
    = desired result (bigger budgets, more power)

    But regardless of the motive, it’s obvious this problem will not correct itself.

  3. The terrorist could always use written letters to communicate and have the leters delivered to UPS Stores. Do you think the US government has the time to open and read every US citizens mail?

  4. This appeared on DefenseTech.org last week:

    I called Valdis Krebs, who’s considered by many to be the leading authority on social network analysis — the art and science of finding the important connections in a seemingly-impenetrable mass of data. His analysis of the social network surrounding the 9/11 hijackers is a classic in the field.KREBS: The right thing to do is to look for the best haystack, not the biggest haystack. We knew exactly which haystack to look at in the year 2000 [before the 9/11 attacks]. We just didn’t do it … The worst part — the thing that’s most disappointing to me — is that this is not the right way to do this. It’s a waste of time, it’s a waste of resources. And it lets the real terrorists run free.”

  5. What was Kennedy(or was it Johnson) thinking when he authorized this? Can you bellieve that Carter and Clinton allowed it to continue?

  6. ryates:

    Carter didn’t. he established the FISA that Bush is violating left, right, and sideways.

  7. This post is a perfect example of “damned if you do,” and “damned if you don’t.”

    You’re bitching because Bush didn’t do something about a memo that was put in a daily briefing in August 2001 (ain’t hindsight grand?), AND you’re bitching because he’s trying to do something to prevent the next 9/11.

    Too bad you’re not the President, since you know so much. Unfortunately, one of the things you apparently don’t know, is that the USA Today story is looking more and more like its false – there may been no turnover of any records.

    I guess that means Bush is at fault becausem ah, er, um, well, something.

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