NSA “Domestic Spy” story: additional information revealed?
Here is the complete transcript (including Q&A) of Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and former Director of the NSA General Michael Hayden, addressing the National Press Club yesterday.
(h/t Bob Owens—who believes the transcript hint that all speculation on the technical nature of the intercepts, by both critics in the press and Congress and pundits defending the program, has been way off base; I’m not so sure, but then, I haven’t done much in the way of speculation over technological capability, beyond a few mentions of automated phone chains and key word databases that trigger intelligence gathering instantly; also worth mentioning—much is being made by legal watchdogs of Hayden’s resistance to the phrase “probable cause” in the fourth amendment as it pertains to FISA requirements as they are currently understood (Hayden insisted on using “reasonable belief” to describe the baseline for action within the mandate of what constitutes a “reasonable search and seizure,” then averred to the AG for the legality of that characterization—so I don’t really see much there there. Nor do I believe that such a suggestion). I find no problem with this for two reasons: a) Hayden is not a lawyer—and the important portion of his statement is that the standard was examined by lawyers for the DoJ and NSA; and b) reasonable belief does, when examined through the prism both of “reasonable expectation of privacy” and the necessity to listen to intercepts from one overseas target to the respondent before probable cause can be established for a FISA warrant, is a peculiarity of the criminal justice paradigm (and pertains to information which may later be usable in court against US citizens; it also redounds to do process for certain searches and seizures that cannot be proven de facto unreasonable); but as has been well established here and elsewhere on a number of occasions, it is perfectly proper for the NSA to monitor foreign intel (defined as having one end of he communication outside of the country) and present the FBI on other law enforcement agencies with summaries, from which they can then work to get their FISA warrants—or, if the situation permits—circumvent that necessity by statutory or constitutional exemption.
(More, from Dave at The Waterglass)
(My previous posts on the subject are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, and they contain comprehensive sourcing).