NSA Program Thwarts Thousands of Terrorist Attacks, Large and (Mostly) Small
My source in the White House left a detailed report on the NSA phone datamining program buried in a trash bin outside my office.
The report was generated by General Michael Hayden at the request of Vice President Dick Cheney to bolster the case that the program had yielded critical results that, in the words of the Vice President's formal request, "have saved Americans from an enormous number of terrorist acts, large and small."
The report details numerous instances of where the NSA's tapping of phone calls of Americans has saved countless citizens from terrorist assaults.
The report is nearly one thousand pages long, with most entries providing detailed accounts of likely terrorist strikes which were either thwarted in advance of these planned actions or stopped at the point of the planned atack.
They read like an episode of "24."
Here are few of the instances which caught my eye while thumbing through the document earlier this morning:
DATE: April 12, 2004
SUBJECT: Lucy F. [FULL NAME REDACTED]
LOCATION: Naperville, Illinois
ORIGINATING PHONE #: 630-[REDACTED]
REPORT: Lucy F., in a phone call to neighbor, Jennifer G., outlined plans for her and her husband, Larry F., to bring their triplet boys, aged 5, to a local restaurant, [RESTAURANT NAME REDACTED], for dinner that evening. In the course of the call, Lucy F. informed Jennifer G. that the boys were "certain to raise hell" in the restaurant, "because that's what they do everywhere we go with them. But I'll be damned if Larry and I can't even go to dinner because no babysitter can handle these little terrorists."
When asked by Jennifer G. if she (Lucy F.) thought the resulting chaos would ruin dinner for other restaurant patrons, Lucy said, "Yeah, probably, but what are we supposed to do? Act like prisoners in our own home?"
ACTION: NSA officials listening to the conversation (after picking up the words "terrorists" through the datamining tools) dispatched local F.B.I. agents to "air" the tires of the F.'s minivan parked in their driveway, thereby disabling the vehicle and preventing the family from going to the target restaurant.
RESULT: Restaurant patrons were spared the experience of having their pleasant Friday night out ruined by three rambunctious, 5-year-old terrorists.
DATE: September 27, 2004
SUBJECT: Lisa G. [FULL NAME REDACTED]
LOCATION: Eufaula, Alabama
ORIGINATING PHONE #: 334-[REDACTED]
REPORT: Lisa G., a 17-year-old junior at Eufaula High School, plotted, along with several other unnamed co-conspirators, to "toilet paper" (TP) the homes of the high school football team's quarterback, halfback and middle linebacker in advance of the big game against league rival, Randolph Clay High School. Lisa G. stated in a "conference" phone call to three friends, "We need to nuke these guys tonight and the really great thing is that it's going to rain and this shit is almost impossible to get rid of when it's wet." Her co-conspirators emitted cold-hearted laughs at this point.
ACTION: Local authorities were alerted and set up surveillance at each of the three target locations. Four suspects were apprehended at the home of the quarterback and their toilet paper was confiscated in advance of being deployed. (Additional note: It WAS raining.)
RESULT: The families of the three targeted athletes did not have to clean up toilet paper from the trees and bushes in their front yards the following morning.
DATE: December 16, 2004
SUBJECT: Tom S. [FULL NAME REDACTED]
LOCATION: Cleveland, Ohio
ORIGINATING PHONE #: 216-[REDACTED]
REPORT: Tom S., 24, in a phone call to friend, Todd G. [FULL NAME REDACTED], announced plans to "dump" girlfriend, Betsy M. [FULL NAME REDACTED], "before Christmas so I don't have to spend money on a present for her." Todd G. asked how this would make Betsy M. feel, and Tom S. responded, "It will hit her like a huge bomb. But I'm broke and she's expecting something nice like jewelry or something." Todd G. then said Tom S.'s idea "seems like a good plan, because you can always patch things up at the New Year's Eve party." Tom S. replied, "No shit, Sherlock. I've thought of that already." [Additional note: We were unable to ascertain who "Sherlock" was or if there was a third party on the phone during this conversation. The investigation is continuing.]
ACTION: Agents from the Cleveland office of the F.B.I. notified Betsy M. that Tom S. intended to "drop a huge bomb" on her in the coming days prior to Christmas.
RESULT: Betsy M. thwarted the anticipated "bombing" by telling Tom S. that she had been secretly seeing his friend, Todd G. for more than a month (untrue, apparently, according to a follow-up F.B.I. report), thereby horribly ruining the holiday season of both Tom S. and Todd G. and leading to a fisfight between the two men at the aforementioned New Year's Eve party.
There are thousands of these instances in the report and I may share more over the course of the next several days. But suffice it to say, I may be rethinking my opposition to the NSA program based on these stunning results.
The NSA, Dick Cheney and George Bush are, indeed, saving average Americans from terrorist-like assaults every day. Sometimes we have to give up some of our freedoms in order to remain free.