Someone leaked a classified three-page order from the special court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian newspaper, who is a committed anti-antiterror partisan....I suspect it was someone who wanted to distract us from the IRS scandal (and other scandals) so that the scandal of the moment would be one that's about Bush. I supported Bush's war on terror and resisted the "committed anti-antiterror partisan[s]." It became very important to fight terrorism after 9/11, and one reason I decided to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 was that I thought it would be helpful for Democrats to be put in a position where they would need to endorse things Bush chose to do to protect us from terrorist attacks. This is what we are seeing now. It's also important not to violate constitutional rights, but questions of rights and national security need to be analyzed. Don't assume Glenn Greenwald has it right. He's an advocate for one side of a difficult argument.
Back to the WSJ:
The outrage this time seems to stem from the fact that the government is widely collecting call records, not merely those associated with a particular suspect or group. But this fear misunderstands how the program works. From what we know, the NSA runs algorithms over the call log database, searching for suspicious patterns over time.Here's where the other Obama scandals come in. How do we know the government is dutifully concentrating on national security — fighting terrorists and not political enemies? That kind of mistrust matters, but it's not specific to the NSA program. It undermines everything government does. What would you like government to stop doing now that you can't trust it with anything?
If the NSA's version of a computer science department operates like the rest of FISA, the government is cautious to ensure that its searches are narrowly tailored and specific protocols are reviewed by FISA judges.If... That's an important if, but that's not the focus of the criticism by people like Greenwald.
The real danger from this leak is the potential political overreaction....