Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hayden's Quest 2 Know U Better

Opponents of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden were given added ammunition against his nomination to head the CIA by a story in today's USA Today. It reported on the National Security Agency (NSA)'s erstwhile secret ongoing collection of tens of millions of American's telephone records. After being offered to be paid for their cooperation, AT&T, BellSouth, and Verizon voluntarily complied with a request by the NSA to provide a complete listing of the calling histories of their customers and to provide updates which would allow the agency to keep watch on the calling habits of U.S. citizens. Even though the NSA is correct in saying that it did not receive the customers' names, address, and other personal data, it can easily procure this information by cross-checking it with other databases. Since Hayden headed the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005, he would have overseen this domestic call-tracking program: he refused to comment on the program. As an aside, Qwest refused to comply with the NSA's request for the phone records of its customers.

4 comments:

jharkansas said...

In regard to Qwest: (wiping brow) whew! thank goodness!

In all seriousness, I don't really have a problem with this currently, however, if the government were despotic or communist and did the same thing, I would have a big problem.  It's a matter of trust, I guess.  To be frank, I assumed the government could already do this and was already doing this, so my surprise is in that regard.

jakeho said...

After posting my entry, President Bush gave a terse statement defending the NSA program: he seems concerned about the political implications of this story as reported by USA Today. With the upcoming mid-term elections and his low poll numbers, he needs to be very proactive in positively presenting his policies and programs. Americans may be comfortable with possible terrorists being wiretapped but they are going to be less tolerant if normal citizens' perceive that their privacy is impinged on when the President exercises "inherent" executive power.

asixpilot said...

I agree, I figured this was already being done e.g.tracking phone #'s.  I don't think it is a coincidence that this was leaked, when it as leaked and who it was leaked to.  I bet the certain members of the Union of Far Left Liberal Media (UFLLMedia pronounced AWfulMedia) are having hissy fits as to USA Today's "scoop".  But it isns't really a scoop.  According to the Fox News Website, this info was passed along in late 2005 by another member of UFLLMedia, the NY Times.  So why is it news now?  

jharkansas said...

Remember, A6, CIA leaks are good and just to the UFLLmedia only if they hurt the Bush administration.  Otherwise, we must appoint a special prosecutor to find out who the leaker is and have them tarred and feathered (but not tortured, mind you!)