April 5, 2017

ONLY THE GUILTY HAVE ANYTHING TO FEAR:

Capitol Hill's Love-Hate Relationship with FISA (Caroline Lynch, April 5, 2017, Lawfare)

Little credit--and little attention--is given to FISA tools when they succeed in preventing a terror plot, even a plot carried out by an American. For instance, despite the recent obsession with  privacy concerns surrounding incidental collection, the use of such collection to investigate Mohamed Osman Mohamud's 2010 plot to bomb Portland's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony has gone largely unnoticed by Congress.

But when terror attacks are successfully carried out on U.S. soil, such as those in Boston, San Bernardino, and Orlando, Congress is quick to question why they weren't prevented, what intelligence was lacking, and what additional intelligence tools are needed to make sure it doesn't happen again. Congress wants the FBI and other intelligence agencies to identify and disrupt all terror plots and espionage, including those carried out by Americans, but it struggles with whether and to what extent our intelligence tools should be used against its own constituents.

In the month since President Trump's now infamous tweet accusing President Obama of personally wiretapping him, an odd phenomenon has been occurring on Capitol Hill. Democratic members, typically more vocal opponents of FISA's perceived intrusion on American's privacy, including incidental collection, have been noticeably mum about the alleged incidental collection of Trump campaign and transition staff communications. Republicans, on the other hand, are suddenly queasy about FISA's treatment of U.S. person communications, even those lawfully collected and properly masked.

Posted by at April 5, 2017 11:42 AM

  

« THE ADMISSION DEFENSE: | Main | ALWAYS BET ON THE dEEP sTATE: »