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January 03, 2006


Interesting that you feel the poll question was misleading, because it did not say, "without seeking court approval."

As Jonah at NR has pointed out, "But surely there's plenty of bias built into this question, too. No one is talking about tapping run-of-the-mill phone conversations. Suggesting otherwise in a poll comes pretty close to push-polling. Wouldn't a more fair question be: "Do you believe the NSA should be able to listen in on your phone calls and read your e-mails without oversight or a warrant if you are communicating with known al Qaeda associates in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe or the Middle East? ... My guess is that you'd get pretty close to 64% saying yes on that one, too."

I'm not so sure why you are so positive that the NSA/Admin did not have probable cause sufficient to request warrants. You write, "The FISA court's unprecedented resistance to administration wiretap requests means that the evidence backing them up is essentially nonexistent." Unprecendented resistance must be due to the lack of probable cause with no other possibilities?!! Take a hypothetical of a captured terrorist laptop with 500 US telephone numbers, including Christiane Anampaorrs .... (that reporter from CNN). The admin might consider this to be probable cause to request a warrant (your number on a terrorist laptop), the FISA court of review might not. Would you consider this probable cause?

I can only conclude that we do not have sufficient information at this point to declare that the Admin lacked probable cause - I don't see how you can fairly come to that conclusion.

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