13 April 2008

New Surveillance Program To Begin

It's now time for the next Democratic pseudo-scandal to start.  A new surveillance program using satellites is ready to "go warm" according to the Director of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff.

Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement once privacy and civil rights concerns are resolved, he said. The department has previously said the program will not intercept communications.

Of course, that won't stop Democrats from lying about the administration infringing on civil liberties and breaking the law.

But Congress delayed launch of the new office last October. Critics cited its potential to expand the role of military assets in domestic law enforcement, to turn new or as-yet-undeveloped technologies against Americans without adequate public debate, and to divert the existing civilian and scientific focus of some satellite work to security uses.

Democrats say Chertoff has not spelled out what federal laws govern the NAO, whose funding and size are classified. Congress barred Homeland Security from funding the office until its investigators could review the office's operating procedures and safeguards. The department submitted answers on Thursday, but some lawmakers promptly said the response was inadequate.

"I have had a firsthand experience with the trust-me theory of law from this administration," said Harman, citing the 2005 disclosure of the National Security Agency's domestic spying program, which included warrantless eavesdropping on calls and e-mails between people in the United States and overseas. "I won't make the same mistake. . . . I want to see the legal underpinnings for the whole program."

You can expect all the details in the inevitable hearings and briefings to come.  Anything not disclosed by the Democrats directly will surely be leaked by them to the NYT. 

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