legal investigation thwarted terror plot

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Editor & Publisher writes about the timeline of the New York Times' expose of Bush's NSA scandal last December. (Thanks to John at AmericaBlog for the tip.) Bill Keller, the NYT's editor, admitted that the paper delayed publishing the Pulitzer-Prize-winning story until well after the 2004 election. Bryan Calame's article yesterday morning notes that:

Internal discussions about drafts of the article had been "dragging on for weeks" before the Nov. 2 election, Mr. Keller acknowledged. That process had included talks with the Bush administration. He said a fresh draft was the subject of internal deliberations "less than a week" before the election.

[...]

Mr. Keller declined to explain in detail his pre-election decision to hold the article, citing obligations to preserve the confidentiality of sources. He has repeatedly indicated that a major reason for the publication delays was the administration's claim that everyone involved was satisfied with the program's legality. [emphasis added]

Note also that last week's terrorist plot regarding British flights into the US was thwarted without resorting to illegal surveillance. As Glenn Greenwald writes, "Despite the bizarre effort by Bush followers to use this U.K. plot to argue for the need for the President to break the law, it actually demonstrates precisely the opposite:"

First, most of the surveillance of the terrorist plotters was conducted by British law enforcement. British law requires the issuance of warrants before telephone conversations can be intercepted, and every warrant must "name or describe either one person as the Interception Subject, or a single set of premises where the interception is to take place." Being able to eavesdrop only with warrants did not prevent British law enforcement from stopping these terrorist attacks. [...]

Even more significantly, to the extent that U.S. law enforcement agents attempted to assist in the pre-arrest surveillance of these terrorists, they were able to eavesdrop on the conversations of scores of individuals inside the U.S. by obtaining the approval of the FISA court, just as the law requires... [emphasis in original]

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on August 14, 2006 1:41 PM.

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