Saturday, May 20, 2006

Leaky Leahy outraged over NSA's use of his own bill

With the willingness of the MSM, Leaky Leahy thinks he can get away with this. From NewsMax:
In 1994 Sen. Pat "Leaky" Leahy co-wrote a law that forced telecommunications carriers to build convenient wiretap features into their networks enabling the kind of telephone records collection now at the heart of the controversy over the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance operation.

In recent days Leahy has called the NSA's actions troubling and potentially illegal - saying they show that the Bush administration is treating Americans like terrorists.

"'The secret collection of phone call records of tens of millions of Americans?" he exclaimed after USA Today blew the lid off the program last week. "Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al-Qaeda?"

But according to the Rutland Herald, Leahy was singing a different tune 12 years ago, when he was pushing the Senate to pass his bill, the Communication Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [CALEA].

"I suggest to senators if anybody does want to hold [CALEA] up, I hope that at this time next year, neither they nor their constituents, nor anybody they know, is a kidnap victim or victim of a terrorist, and have somebody ask why nothing can be done, and be told because a law that had probably 99 percent support in the House and the Senate did not pass."
Ah...but that was different, right, Leahy?
Contacted by the Herald earlier this week, Leahy said there was an important difference between what his law authorized and the actions taken by the Bush administration.

"That law talks of the technology of the interception and what technology can be used to intercept and it assumes very clearly that it can only be done with a warrant," the Vermont Democrat insisted.

Some legal experts say, however, said that assumption is not as clear as Leahy claims. Analyzing CALEA in 2003, the Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal explained:

"CALEA requires a telecommunications provider to make 'its equipment, facilities, or services ... capable of ... enabling the government ... [without a warrant] to intercept ... all wire and electronic communications carried by the carrier.'

"Leaky: FOR the NSA wiretapping, before he was AGAINST it!"