Andy McCarthy over at The Corner says Mike McConnell is, well, justified in his fear mongering about yesterday’s expiration of the Protect America Act:
When you go from no restrictions to no collection absent probable cause, that represents an enormous drop off in capacity. It’s that simple. Democrats who claim that people like McConnell are engaged in partisan fear-mongering are talking nonsense. And as McConnell noted this morning, every day we don’t fix this problem, the problem — the investigative leads you don’t get, the connections you don’t make, the things you don’t learn but which you should know — metastasizes. Intelligence is dynamic: you can’t stop collecting for a day, a week, a month or more and then figure you are picking up right where you left off. What you have lost tends to stay lost.
He somewhat dishonestly leaves out that little part where the Democrats offered to extend the Protect America Act for 21 days but the Republicans scuttled it, and Bush said he’d veto it anyway.
The President is misrepresenting the facts on our nation’s electronic surveillance capabilities. Last August, he insisted that Congress pass the Protect America Act; but this week, he refused to support an extension, which can only mean he knows our intelligence agencies will be able to do all the wiretapping they need to do to protect the nation. That surveillance can be undertaken under broad orders authorized under the PAA or under orders that can be obtained through the FISA court.