Two Faced Leahy on NSA Wiretapping
In 1994 Sen. Pat "Leaky" Leahy co-wrote a law that forced telecommunications carriers to build convenient wiretap features into their networks enabling the kind of telephone records collection now at the heart of the controversy over the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance operation.
In recent days Leahy has called the NSA's actions troubling and potentially illegal - saying they show that the Bush administration is treating Americans like terrorists.
"'The secret collection of phone call records of tens of millions of Americans?" he exclaimed after USA Today blew the lid off the program last week. "Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with al-Qaeda?"
But according to the Rutland Herald, Leahy was singing a different tune 12 years ago, when he was pushing the Senate to pass his bill, the Communication Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [CALEA].
"I suggest to senators if anybody does want to hold [CALEA] up, I hope that at this time next year, neither they nor their constituents, nor anybody they know, is a kidnap victim or victim of a terrorist, and have somebody ask why nothing can be done, and be told because a law that had probably 99 percent support in the House and the Senate did not pass."
Analyzing CALEA in 2003, the Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal explained:
"CALEA requires a telecommunications provider to make 'its equipment, facilities, or services ... capable of ... enabling the government ... [without a warrant] to intercept ... all wire and electronic communications carried by the carrier.'"newsmax
Democrats. When it's their idea it's the best idea in the world. When it comes from a Republican there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth.