"This is Senator Pat Roberts. In all of the furor in Washington, and the criticism about the intelligence community's capability of detecting and stopping terrorist attacks--I have a warning. This business of continued leaks, making it possible for terrorists to understand classified information about how we are preventing their attacks on America is endangering our country, and it is endangering intelligence sources, methods, and lives.Any Questions?
Now I think the great majority of American people get it. Al-Qaeda is at war with the United States. Terrorists are planning attacks even as I speak. But, through a very effective and highly classified program, we have stopped these attacks. The fact that we have had another tragedy like 9/11 is no accident. But today in the Congress and throughout Washington, leaks and misinformation, and quite frankly just plain politics are endangering this program. Bin Laden, and Zarqawi, and the terrorists must be rejoicing. We are going to get to a point where we are unilaterally disarming ourselves of the technology advantage that we have in the war against terrorism. Game, set, match: Al-Qaeda.
And mark my words: the same people who are attacking the Commander-in-Chief for legal efforts to track terrorism here will be the first people to attack the government for not doing enough if there is another attack. Now I am a strong supporter of the Fourth Amendment, and protecting our civil liberties. But you don't have any civil liberties if you are dead. Remember Khobar Towers, and Beirut, and USS COLE, and the Embassy attacks, and the two attacks on the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon, and more to come if this surveillance program is compromised.
Now about these phone records. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that phone records are useful in law enforcement and intelligence investigations. Now I'm not talking about the contents of a telephone call--what you say to someone over the telephone. I am talking about a businees record that contins the number dialed, the time of the call, and the length of the call. Not any conversations. Law enforcement officers and intelligence analysts have been using phone records to track the criminals and the threats to national security for years.
And Congress is doing its oversight! On the Senate Intelligence Committe, we have a Terrorist Surveillance Program Sub-Committee: seven Senators. We have had three hearings, more to come, numerous briefings, I have been to the NSA, I have seen how the program works; I have never seen a program more tightly run or closely scrutinized.
When people asked on September 12th whether we were doing everything in power power to prevent another attack, the answer, unfortunately, was no. Well now we are. And we need to keep doing it. And if there is another attack, as promised by Al-Qaeda, the leakers, and the uninformed, and the mis-informed critics will bear part of that responsibility."
16 May 2006
This is how a Leader handles business. A short statement fromm Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee:
Posted by afghanmoon at 12:59