The US House of Representatives has passed wiretap legislation that will make it harder for terrorists to kill people, and the New York Times can't conceal its disappointment, writing:
Under pressure from President Bush, the House gave final approval Saturday to changes in a terrorism surveillance program, despite serious objections from many Democrats about the scope of the executive branch’s new eavesdropping power.
By some accounts, since the wiretap program was placed under the jurisdiction of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts the amount of intelligence on al-Qaeda has fallen by two-thirds, because of legal obstacles being placed in the way of the security services by judges acting in the name of civil liberties and the reluctance of phone companies to cooperate for fear of being sued.
Now it appears that sanity is prevailing, and it's not surprising that the Times is upset – it did, after all, reveal the existence of the wiretap program back in 2005, just one of its many attempts to undermine the fight against terrorism.
Predictably the Democrats and the Times whine about hypothetical threats to privacy. What they never explain is why intelligence agencies that are stretched to the limits trying to prevent terrorist attacks and support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would want to waste time and resources spying on US citizens who aren't doing anything wrong.
Once again Democrats and their supporters in the media have made it clear that there's no price in terms of loss of life and destruction of property that they aren't willing to pay in order to make a political point.
Hugh Hewitt has a couple of good posts on the subject (you'll need to scroll down a little).