Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Improbable Cause

Mr. Adragna's objections to the KausFiles points are in, and they are particularly strange.

Specifically, Mr. Adragna writes:

“Kaus also takes a potshot at Sen. Leahy, but fails to note Leahy's support for the Counterintelligence Reform Act of 2000, which was supposed to fix the problems that arose in the Wen Ho Lee case.”

Mickey Kaus is more than able to defend the positions he stakes out – and he does a terrific job this time, too. Read the whole KausFiles reply. He also cites to an Ann Coulter column that is well worth reading.

Senator Leahy specifically stated that Counterintelligence Reform Act of 2000 wouldn't fix those problems that arose in the Wen Ho Lee case at all, while playing the same "the-problem-is-the-people-not-the-statute" game that Mr. Adragna pivots on:

“The handling of the Wen Ho Lee FISA application does not suggest a flaw in the definition of probable cause in the FISA statute. Instead, it is an example of how the probable cause standard is applied and demonstrates that effective and complete investigative work is and should be required before extremely invasive surveillance techniques will be authorized against a United States person. The experienced Justice Department prosecutors who reviewed the Lee FISA application understood the law correctly and applied it effectively. They insisted that the FBI do its job of investigating and uncovering evidence sufficient to meet the governing legal standard.”

“The Counterintelligence Reform Act of 2000 correctly avoids changing this governing probable cause standard.”

There's more. Lots more.

But from the larger perspective, surely one of the most amazing things here has to be the persistence of liberal apologists such as Mr. Adragna - who appears to live in a parallel universe in which liberal Democrats have been supporting strong intelligence services for the past three decades.

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