It Was Legal?
looked at the Newsweek article
about the Shrubbery scrambling to get the Justice Department to sign off on his data mining in March of 2004.
Laura wonders if the leaks to the New York Times
came from the Justice Department, rather than the intelligence community. I think her guess is good, as it is almost unknown for anything to be leaked by the people at NSA. NSA is a military staff function and the people who work there don't hang around with the media or go to Washington parties. The people in the Justice Department have a lot of contact with the media, and this article points to Justice Department sources.
This also points to another problem with the White House talking points: this was apparently the first time the Justice Department had heard of the program. It started after 9/11/01, but no one talked to the Justice Department until March 2004. How can they claim that it was legal if they didn't ask? This was done without a Justice Department opinion to back it up, and when asked, the Justice Department didn't go along. This would be the point at which all of the Federal prosecutors got religion and prayed that this never came out, because it would flush all of their cases based on wiretaps down the toilet.
If they knew what they were doing was legal, what was the rush to cover their tracks in an election year? How could a Democratic administration find fault with a "legal" national security program?
I realize that a lot of people are frightened spitless by terrorists, but I live in a hurricane prone area. What are terrorists going to do to me that Mama Nature can't? The Shrubbery isn't going to get anything useful from this Poindexter punt and he is violating my right to be left alone.
[Edited for clarity]