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Spying started well before 9/11

Bloomberg News reported, on the Friday before a four day weekend, that Bush administration NSA spying plans began well before 9/11.

"The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court."

John in DC writes: "if true, it negates Bush's entire argument that the spying was needed to fight the war on terror..."

More than that, it negates the administration's legal defense that it was the Authorization to Use Military Force that authorized the program.

It obliterates it and seems to point to the expansion of presidential power as the true reason for the program.

It makes liars out of a number of people as well, according to Matt O, via Dave Neiwert:
  • "Cheney said if the administration had the power 'before 9/11, we might have been able to pick up on two of the hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon.'"
  • Then-NSA chief (and now CIA chief) Michael Hayden ("Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the 9/11 al Qaeda operatives in the United States, and we would have identified them as such," said Hayden

Just in case anybody thinks that FISA, the system given the runaround with Bush's NSA program, was unnecessarily harsh, consider this: Since its inception in 1978, according to The One Percent Doctrine, only 5 of 19,000 applications were denied.

Five of 19,000.

The Punchline: NSA spying doesn't really work. (Americablog, Great Society, Orcinus)

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