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“Whoever the leaker was knew about the established law related to Presidential powers. If it didn’t come from the NSA, it came from a handful of people who would have known about the program, understood what it did and did not do, and still leaked it to create political controversy, because there is no legal controversy,” says a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer. “People here were briefed on this program for years and there was no crisis of conscience, because there was no crisis to be created. We are fighting the bad guys. And this program is helping us. It’s that simple.”
On Sunday, the New York Times went with a story that reported that the Department of Justice had been pursuing an ongoing audit of the NSA data mining project, and “[t]hat review is not known to have found any instances of abuses.”
That fact was buried in the story, which instead focused on the internal Bush Administration debate over the NSA operation. Given the turf warfare such a program could engender — Department of Justice, NSA, NSC, CIA, DOD, Homeland Security — it shouldn’t have been a surprise that there were ongoing debates and infighting.
“The New York Times is making this out to be the mother of all fights, but this kind of stuff always creates debates and turf fights,” says a current Department of Homeland Security staffer. “Everyone wants their opinion on the record, they want their guy at the table, and this was one of those situations. Unfortunately you have people with axes to grind leaking and making it appear that this particular situation was somehow different.”p> DOWN TO BUSINESS br> Look for shakeups on Sen. John McCain ‘s staff in the coming weeks as he begins to strategize about deploying an organization leading into his decision to run for President in 2008. Based on less than stellar results from fundraising forays in New York and elsewhere in the past six months, McCain is looking to strengthen his outreach to conservatives, and to shore up his financial standing compared to Republican challengers. /p>
Right now, the only stated candidates focused on making plans for a run are Sen. George Allen and Gov. Mitt Romney. Others are exploring the possibility, including former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Sen. Sam Brownback, and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?