Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 16, 2006 / 18 Iyar, 5766

NSA database story is wrong-number; but important al Qaida news is missed call

By Jack Kelly

>
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Because it dominated the news all weekend, many Americans are aware of the USA Today story May 11 revealing that the National Security Agency has established a data base containing the records of telephone calls made by tens of millions of Americans.


Not so many Americans are aware that USA Today's "scoop" is recycled news. The New York Times ran a story on the NSA database last December. It was treated then with the ho hum response it so richly deserves.


What is being collected are records of who called whom, and how long the calls lasted, what the detectives on TV shows such as "Law & Order" call "luds" (local usage details).


Detectives don't need a warrant to obtain your luds from the phone company, because the luds disclose nothing about what was discussed in your telephone conversations. The luds are business records which belong to the telephone company and not to you, and you have no expectation of privacy with regard them.


The law on this is well settled. In its 1978 decision in Smith v. Maryland, the Supreme Court said: "This Court consistently has held that a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties...When (a caller) used his phone, (he) voluntarily conveyed numerical information to the telephone company and "exposed" that information to its equipment in the ordinary course of business. In so doing, the (caller) assumed the risk that the company would reveal to police the numbers dialed."


Detectives examine luds to determine if there are connections between a suspect and a crime victim, or between one suspect and another. If the luds reveal such a pattern, they can be used as part of the basis for obtaining a search warrant.


With its supercomputers and specially designed programs, NSA "mines" the data base of telephone records for indications of terrorist activity. For instance, if you've been making or receiving a lot of calls to or from Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, that traffic probably will be flagged -- especially if you've been making or receiving those calls within a few days of a terrorist incident. But if you've only been calling your Aunt Ethel in Portland, the data mining program will pass you by.

Donate to JWR


The data mining program should not be confused with another NSA program, in which the spy agency listens in on telephone conversations between al Qaida suspects abroad and people in the United States, though the one could lead to the other. If traffic analysis indicates you've been getting phone calls from al Qaida suspects abroad, it's a good bet the NSA will be listening in the next time you get a call from a suspect number overseas.


So the NSA data mining program is not a big deal, and the story is not new. So why is the media making such a brouhaha about it, and why now?


Cynics note the leak occurred on the eve of Senate hearings on the nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden -- who as head of the NSA established the data mining program -- to be director of the CIA. Could the leaker and the journalists going bananas over the recycled revelation be trying to sidetrack his nomination?


Whatever the reason, the contrast between the ink and air time given the NSA telephone number database rehash and the inattention given a startling al Qaida document captured in Iraq could not be greater.


U.S. commandos captured in April a situation report from an al Qaida commander in Baghdad to his superiors. It was translated and posted on CENTCOM's Web site May 3.


The document is blunt and pessimistic. Al Qaida's numbers in the vicinity of Baghdad are small. They lack military skill. Their discipline is poor, and they're running out of ammunition, the unknown author says. The Iraqi government is growing in strength, and much of the Sunni population is turning against al Qaida.


"The Americans and the Government were able to absorb our painful blows, sustain them, compensate their losses with new replacements, and follow strategic plans which allowed them in the past few years to take control of Baghdad," the al Qaida commander wrote. "That is why every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin's control and influence over Baghdad."


I did Nexis and Google searches. They indicated no U.S. newspaper ran a separate story about the memo, or an Iraqi roundup story highlighting the memo. I doubt this would have been the case had the memo writer said al Qaida was winning.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2006, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles