Man Without Qualities

Friday, May 24, 2002

Plot Synopsis:

Earlier, a design error in the first Death Blog had allowed the Rebels to cruise its mesial groove and propel a destructive Harvard Crimson press release deep into its bowels –destroying it as it erupted with a colossal explosion of intellectual dishonesty!

This Episode opens in Emperor Adragna’s throne room in the new, deadlier Quasi Death Blog he has ordered constructed high above MWQ, an insignificant satellite of the planet Insta which is inhabited by Musils – dwarfed creatures so backward and incapable of fact checking that they still believe the paved-over, super-urban capital of the Galaxy is the planet Trantor. The Emperor, in reality a Dem Lord in tune with the Liberal Side of the Force that pervades the Blogoshere, has drawn the rebels into combat this time with a “teaser post” which he has deliberately dropped into the hands of Bothan spies.

The rebel situation is desperate!

The Emperor, Barlow, and a horrified Luke watch the aerial battle fireworks out the window and on the viewscreens. Another Rebel ship explodes against the protective shield.

EMPEROR: As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational Quasi-Blog! (into comlink) Fire at will, Commander. Activate the super-FISA-death post!

Luke, in shock, looks out across the surface of the Death Blog to the Rebel fleet beyond.

COMMANDER’S VOICE FROM COMLINK: We are receiving the end of a Reuters’ transmission from the lunar surface, your Liberalness!

EMPEROR: Put it on audio, Commander.


According to the letter, the Minneapolis field office felt the case should have been treated more seriously by headquarters, and there was a last-minute effort to circumvent FBI headquarters and go to the CIA to get approval for the warrant…..

In early October Mueller told reporters the FBI had turned down a request made by its agents in Minneapolis for a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to review Moussaoui's computer hard drive.

"The request ... was looked at by lawyers at the FBI. And the determination was made that there was insufficient probable cause at that time," Mueller told a news conference at the time, explaining why the request had been denied.

Stunned, the Emperor lapses into a days-long coma, allowing Luke to escape the second Death Blog, which subsequently implodes of its own weight.

Update: The Washington Post has a further report of how FISA paralysed the FBI:

FBI attorneys in Washington determined there was not enough evidence to ask a judge for warrants to search Moussaoui's computer under routine criminal procedures or a special law aimed at terrorists. Officials have said there was no evidence of a crime and no solid connections between Moussaoui and any designated terrorist group. ....

In late August, CIA officials learned from "FBI agents in the field" that they hoped to obtain a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which would have allowed the government to search Moussaoui's laptop computer without notifying him, one government official said. He could not confirm that this was the contact that brought the admonishment.

"The argument is that there was already probable cause and headquarters didn't move aggressively enough," one source said. "If you had the analysis from Phoenix, that would have made the case even better."

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