Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Butt-hurt Federale is butt-hurt

Everybody say "awwwwwww":
... you should be troubled by these two letters, written by Chief Judge Walton of the FISA court.  They say,  in essence that the government’s 99% success rate before the FISA court fails to take into account the frequent and intense negotiations between the court and the government, negotiations that result in modification or withdrawal of roughly a quarter of all FISA applications. The most recent letter promises that in the future the court will keep track of all the modifications or withdrawals of FISA orders that the court negotiates and will report the court’s track record to Congress and the public.

In my view, nothing better illustrates the error behind the popular bien-pensant meme that the FISA court is just a rubber stamp. The reverse is true, and for obvious reasons.
Stewart Baker (onetime #2 or #3 man at the Department of Homeland Security) thinks that it's an outrage that people are calling the FISA court oversight of the spy-a-palooza a "rubber stamp" because 99% of the requests are approved.  He says that the real number is that only 75% of the requests get rubber stamped.

I feel so much better.  Here, NSA-man, have some more metadata.

Interestingly, comments to that post are closed.  You wonder why - after all, NSA is monitoring all of the comments, right?  And the chocolate ration has been increased yet again, Citizen!  And you don't have anything to worry about unless you have something to hide, nyet?  I mean rightRIGHT???

"In God we trust; all others we monitor."  That was a lot funnier 20 years ago ...


Dorsai said...

I see that Baker, the coward, has turned off comments. Typical for him. He's never cared for robust debate of his opinions.

Scott_S said...

I'm a fan of removing the FISA court and dumping the duties to an "on call" roster made up of all federal judges. This should eliminate any coziness between the court and the NSA/CIA/Homeland etc