Ace reports an extraordinary story that I’d like to hear the disciples of judicial process and civil liberties for terrorists in the Democratic Party respond to:
Last May, Iraqi terrorists kidnapped three American soldiers.
American intelligence officials searched for cyber-signals about the kidnapping… and actually found them. They found the kidnappers talking to each other on-line.
However, they had to stop listening because the signals were passing through an American-based server and under the law that meant there could be no eavesdropping without a warrant.
So they stopped listening in on foreign terrorists holding kidnapped American soldiers.
For ten hours, officials worked to get “emergency authorization” to resume eavesdropping.
His post, and the evidence in support, is worth reading in full. In an earlier post entitled Wishful Thinking and Terrorism and another here, I’ve discussed some of the issues surrounding this issue. In short, my view is that combating terrorists located overseas during a time of war, when combined with emerging communications technologies, demands flexibility and less judicial process than the fight against peacetime, domestic criminality. It would be nice if the Democratic Party would grow up and quit acting like this war to protect America from terrorism (and also the exigencies of protecting our troops fighting it overseas) can be carried on effectively without some flexibility in the executive branch and its agencies. Process is not free. We accept this domestically because we, American citizens, might be caught in the law enforcement net. But for terrorists communicating overseas with one another or their agents in America, there are few valuable interests at stake. If any American is talking to Khalid Sheik Mohammad, I want someone in the CIA listening as a matter of course.