Surveillance

Elliott Abrams on spying on allies

Featured image At NR’s Corner, Elliott Abrams gives his take on the report that the Obama administration spied on the Israeli government. Abrams served for many years as a U.S. foreign policy official and is, of course, a leading pro-Israel advocate. Thus, his is a voice I wanted to hear on this potential scandal. Abrams believes there should be a strong presumption against spying on allies. He also believes that we should »

Report that NSA spying on Israel reached Congress raises abuse of power questions

Featured image Last night, I wrote about a Wall Street Journal report that the NSA spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his government, and that the spying included intercepting communications with members of Congress. I included in the post the Journal’s brief discussion of the rules that apply to U.S. surveillance that reaches such members. According to the Journal: A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence »

FBI Should Come Clean on Surveillance Aircraft

Featured image Here in the Twin Cities, it started when a man described as an aviation buff noticed a small airplane acting oddly. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on May 29: Aviation buff John Zimmerman was at a weekly gathering of neighbors Friday night when he noticed something peculiar: a small plane circling a route overhead that didn’t make sense to him. It was dark, so a sightseeing flight didn’t make sense, »

Obama has “full faith” in DCIA who doesn’t know what CIA is up to

Featured image CIA Director John Brennan is under fire from the Senate Intelligence Committee after the CIA admitted that it searched the computer files and read the e-mails of Senate investigators who were probing the agency’s use of harsh interrogation measures on terrorist in the aftermath of 9/11. The fire is well-deserved. Earlier this year, Brennan responded to charges of the misconduct described above by denying them. Now, he admits that the »

Is Obama’s NSA plan a non-starter?

Featured image President Obama’s idea of ending the government’s role in gathering the phone records of Americans is probably unworkable according to various U.S. officials contacted by the Washington Post. Obama’s idea is to transfer control of the NSA’s massive database of phone records to telephone companies or some kind of independent board. But the phone companies do not want this responsibility and, according to the Post, no one has come up »

Obama’s national security cop-out

Featured image A reader with first-hand knowledge about national security and intelligence issues, as well as the Obama administration’s policies relating thereto, has written to me about my two recent posts on NSA surveillance. The essence of my posts is that the Obama administration hand-picked a left-leaning panel to report on surveillance policy because it wanted a highly critical report to use as the basis for cutting back substantially on electronic surveillance. »

Rigged report on NSA paves way for Obama to take a powder

Featured image Yesterday, I suggested that the report on NSA surveillance by the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies delivered just what President Obama hoped and expected it would — a document that would pull the rug out from under his own surveillance policies. You don’t appoint a strongly left-leaning panel unless you want such a document. The president’s conduct at his press conference today tends to confirm my assessment. »