Monday, December 19, 2005

Don't Worry about Your Civil Liberties

The Bush administration is saying that while they dispensed with the requirement to get warrants to spy on U.S. citizens, they still had plenty of procedures in place to prevent abuses. First Draft has the transcript of a press briefing with Michael Hayden, Principal Deputy Director for National Intelligence (hat tip Atrios):

Q And who determined that these targets were al Qaeda? Did you wiretap them?

GENERAL HAYDEN: The judgment is made by the operational work force at the National Security Agency using the information available to them at the time, and the standard that they apply -- and it's a two-person standard that must be signed off by a shift supervisor, and carefully recorded as to what created the operational imperative to cover any target, but particularly with regard to those inside the United States.

I feel so much better now. Who needs courts when you’ve got an operational work force, including a shift supervisor?