More Proof of Damage

20 08 2006

Filed under: Liberalism, NSA, War on Terror

I always enjoy it when bloggers team up for a common purpose and, collectively, achieve more than thought possible.

Patterico digs deeper into the bone-headed ruling against the NSA terrorist surveillance program, and finds more damning evidence of how the NY Times’ blabbermouths have endangered national security:

According to the plaintiffs — lawyers, scholars, journalists, and others who communicate internationally with terrorists — the disclosure of the surveillance program has caused terrorists to discontinue international telephone and e-mail communications:

Plaintiffs here contend that the TSP [“Terrorist Surveillance Program”] has interfered with their ability to carry out their professional responsibilities in a variety of ways, including that the TSP has had a significant impact on their ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship, engage in advocacy and communicate with persons who are outside of the United States, including in the Middle East and Asia. Plaintiffs have submitted several declarations to that effect. For example, scholars and journalists such as plaintiffs Tara McKelvey, Larry Diamond, and Barnett Rubin indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. In addition, attorneys Nancy Hollander, William Swor, Joshua Dratel, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad indicate that they must also communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations, and must discuss confidential information over the phone and email with their international clients. All of the Plaintiffs contend that the TSP has caused clients, witnesses and sources to discontinue their communications with plaintiffs out of fear that their communications will be intercepted.

Let me put that into plain English: terrorists and their associates will no longer communicate with these plaintiffs via e-mail and telephone – in other words, ways that the government could monitor under the surveillance program – because the terrorists are aware of the surveillance program. It’s not the Terrorist Surveillance Program itself that has caused terrorists to cease these international communications. It’s the fact that the terrorists now know about it.

Michelle Malkin says, “It’s an important refutation of the blabbermouth meme that the terrorists already knew about the program and the NYTimes’ smug insistence that it did no harm in splashing the details all over its front page.”

The NSA was able to monitor and even communicate freely with these terrorists, but when the NY Times leaked the top secret intel, the communications dropped off.

So … if terrorists no longer communicate with lawyers and journalists, does it not stand to reason that they have cut off communication with fellow terrorists?

Absolutely! Which means the government is listening to nothing. The terrorists have to find other means of communicating – ways that will be harder to monitor, or unmonitorable completely.

The terrorists have adapted. And we have the New York Times to thank for it.

Unless the plaintiffs were all lying, this is obvious evidence that the NSA disclosures by the New York Times have certainly harmed America’s national security.

Also see: Ace, Stop The ACLU




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