Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Cheney strongly backs eavesdropping operation

I found this article off of a posting on Shakespeare's Sister. I've included my own comments on the ShakeSis blog, but I also figured I should include a posting on this story myself. The original story is from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday strongly defended a secret domestic eavesdropping operation and said that had it been in place before the September 11 attacks the Pentagon might have been spared.

Vice President Dick Cheney. Reuter's File Photo

Cheney insisted that the highly classified program, authorized by President George W. Bush after hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, had helped prevent potential terrorist attacks and did not violate civil liberties.

He said as the memory of September 11 faded, some politicians were "yielding to the temptation to downplay the ongoing threat to our country and to back away from the business at hand."

"The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured yet it is still lethal and planning to hit us again. Either we are serious about fighting this war or we are not," Cheney told the Heritage Foundation think tank.

Now here's the real kicker in this story:

"There are no communications more important to the safety of the United States than those related to al Qaeda that have one end in the United States," Cheney said. "If we'd been able to do this before 9/11, we might have been able to pick up on two of the hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon."

"They were in the United States, communicating with al Qaeda associates overseas, but we didn't know they were here plotting until it was too late," he said.

I read that quote, and I just had to shake my head at the absurdity of it. As I have said in my comments to Shakespeare's Sister's post regarding this story, Cheney's comments about the secret NSA wiretaps would probably have not thwarted the al Qaeda bombings. What Cheney does not realize is that it wasn't the intelligence technologies that failed us before the Sept. 11 attacks. It was the failure of our government's analysis of the intelligence information we currently had that exacerbated the issue. We had the intelligence information--we just didn't know how to use it, nor did we expect al Qaeda to initiate such an attack. Because of our failings in the analysis of the extensive intelligence we had, we probably wouldn't have been able to picked this plot up, even if the NSA wiretaps were in place! Peter Lance's book A 1000 Years For Revenge, documents the colossal intelligence failures, the turf battles between the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon, and even the New York Fire Department. There were even battles within the agencies, such as the FBI field agents suspicions were ignored by their supervisors. As a result of these failings, would the illegal NSA wiretaps have thwarted the attacks? Especillay since we miserably failed to connect the dots between all the intelligence information we did have at that time? That is the real issue here. Any talk by Cheney about how these NSA wiretaps would have stopped these September 11 attacks is a sheer fantasy. It is also a part of the deception plan that the Bush White House is using to co-opt more power to the presidency. Cheney's comments are just another example of the Bush administration's lies and disinformation as a means to accumulate more dictatorial powers to the presidency.

And yet, the Bush White House continues to spout their lies and disinformation.

1 comment:

Eli said...

Wow, he's hypothetically and retroactively blaming the liberals for 9/11.