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Help Me Spy on Al Qaeda
NY Times ^ | December 10, 2007 | MIKE McCONNELL

Posted on 12/10/2007 3:24:38 PM PST by neverdem

THE Protect America Act, enacted in August, has lived up to its name and objective: making the country safer while protecting the civil liberties of Americans. Under this new law, we now have the speed and agility necessary to detect terrorist and other evolving national security threats. Information obtained under this law has helped us develop a greater understanding of international Qaeda networks, and the law has allowed us to obtain significant insight into terrorist planning.

Congress needs to act again. The Protect America Act expires in less than two months, on Feb. 1. We must be able to continue effectively obtaining the information gained through this law if we are to stay ahead of terrorists who are determined to attack the United States.

Before the Protect America Act was enacted, to monitor the communications of foreign intelligence targets outside the United States, in some cases we had to operate under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, a law that had not kept pace with changes in technology. In a significant number of these cases, FISA required us to obtain a court order. This requirement slowed — and sometimes prevented — our ability to collect timely foreign intelligence.

Our experts were diverted from tracking foreign threats to writing lengthy justifications to collect information from a person in a foreign country, simply to satisfy an outdated statute that did not reflect the ways our adversaries communicate. The judicial process intended to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans was applied instead to foreign intelligence targets in foreign countries. This made little sense, and the Protect America Act eliminated this problem.

Any new law should begin by being true to the principles that make the Protect America Act successful. First, the intelligence community needs a law that does not...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; counterintelligence; counterterrorism; fisa; globaljihad; gwot; intelligence; internet; internetcafe; internetcafes; jihad; jihadmedia; jihadpropaganda; jihadtv; jihadvideos; protectamericaact; wot
Mike McConnell is the director of national intelligence.
1 posted on 12/10/2007 3:24:38 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Renew the law!

2 posted on 12/10/2007 3:25:56 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: All

“THE Protect America Act, enacted in August, has lived up to its name and objective...”

I agree.

3 posted on 12/10/2007 3:35:54 PM PST by Cindy
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