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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 Feb. 21, 2006 / 23 Shevat, 5766

1978 surveillance act hinders 2006 security

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Where is the safest place in the world for Osama bin Laden to hide while continuing to direct the terrorist plots of al-Qaida? The United States.


If you think that's an exaggeration, consider what Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, told the House Intelligence Committee in April 2000.


To illustrate the limitations imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — passed by Congress in 1978 — Hayden cited a Saudi terror leader whose name was then not widely known: "If ... Osama bin Laden is walking across the peace bridge from Niagara Falls, Ontario, to Niagara Falls, New York, as he gets to the New York side, he is an American person and my agency must respect his rights against unreasonable search and seizure."


Hayden's testimony about FISA six years ago proved to be lethally prescient. When FBI agents in Minneapolis arrested a French-born man of Moroccan descent named Zacarias Moussaoui during the summer of 2001, the Justice Department declined to issue a FISA warrant to search his computer files.


Moussaoui had come to the attention of U.S. law enforcement due to a tip from French intelligence about his connection to Islamic terrorists, and for the curious fact that he expressed an interest to a Minnesota flight school in learning only how to fly a commercial airliner, not how to take off or land.


In 1999, the NSA began monitoring a cell phone number in Yemen that served as a switchboard for al-Qaida. Among the callers who connected to this switchboard was a "Khalid" in the United States. The NSA dropped surveillance of the caller for fear of violating FISA provisions on domestic spying. Khalid turned out to be Khalid al-Mihdhar, one of the 9-11 hijackers who took over American Airlines Flight 77 and flew it into the Pentagon.


Traveling overseas — for instance, to a terrorist conclave in Malaysia in 2000 — al-Mihdhar and fellow hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi were under CIA surveillance. Back in the United States, however, FBI lawyers were reluctant to initiate a criminal investigation due to concerns about breaching the FISA wall between domestic and foreign intelligence.


Here's what the 9-11 commission had to say about FISA:


"The 'wall' between criminal and intelligence investigations apparently caused agents to be less aggressive than they might otherwise have been in pursuing Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance powers in counterterrorism investigations.


"Moreover, the FISA approval process involved multiple levels of review, which also discouraged agents from using such surveillance. Many agents also told us that the process for getting FISA packages approved at FBI headquarters and the Department of Justice was incredibly lengthy and inefficient."


The institutional aversion to FISA warrants may have lessened, the wall separating domestic and foreign intelligence may have been lowered since the fall of 2001. But a law crafted 28 years ago — before disposable cellular phones became as ubiquitous as bubble gum at convenience stores, before masked e-mails from anonymizing Web portals could even be conceived — is insufficient to the task of protecting the nation against 21st-century terrorism.


"The revolution in telecommunications technology has extended the actual impact of the FISA regime far beyond what Congress could have anticipated in 1978," Hayden told the National Press Club last month. "And I don't think anyone can make the claim that the FISA statute is optimized to deal with or prevent a 9-11."


It may very well have been politically prudent and, less possibly, constitutionally necessary for President Bush to go to Congress five years ago to amend FISA and expedite the surveillance of communications between individuals in the United States and suspected or known foreign terrorists.


If the administration had done so, however, does anyone doubt that congressional media darlings would have made it headline news? And then, as now, does anyone believe the terrorists wouldn't be listening to what our lawmakers say about what our country is doing to thwart them?

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 Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Jonathan Gurwitz

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