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Blabbermouth damage, again

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 20, 2006 02:45 PM

Patterico takes a closer look at that bone-headed ruling against the NSA terrorist surveillance program, and finds more damning evidence of how the blabbermouths have underminded national security:

According to the plaintiffs — lawyers, scholars, journalists, and others who communicate internationally with terrorists — the disclosure of the surveillance program has caused terrorists to discontinue international telephone and e-mail communications:

Plaintiffs here contend that the TSP [”Terrorist Surveillance Program”] has interfered with their ability to carry out their professional responsibilities in a variety of ways, including that the TSP has had a significant impact on their ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship, engage in advocacy and communicate with persons who are outside of the United States, including in the Middle East and Asia. Plaintiffs have submitted several declarations to that effect. For example, scholars and journalists such as plaintiffs Tara McKelvey, Larry Diamond, and Barnett Rubin indicate that they must conduct extensive research in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and must communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations. In addition, attorneys Nancy Hollander, William Swor, Joshua Dratel, Mohammed Abdrabboh, and Nabih Ayad indicate that they must also communicate with individuals abroad whom the United States government believes to be terrorist suspects or to be associated with terrorist organizations, and must discuss confidential information over the phone and email with their international clients. All of the Plaintiffs contend that the TSP has caused clients, witnesses and sources to discontinue their communications with plaintiffs out of fear that their communications will be intercepted.

Let me put that into plain English: terrorists and their associates will no longer communicate with these plaintiffs via e-mail and telephone — in other words, ways that the government could monitor under the surveillance program — because the terrorists are aware of the surveillance program. It’s not the Terrorist Surveillance Program itself that has caused terrorists to cease these international communications. It’s the fact that the terrorists now know about it.

Read the whole thing. It’s an important refutation of the blabbermouth meme that the terrorists already knew about the program and the NYTimes’ smug insistence that it did no harm in splashing the details all over its front page.

The newspaper of wreckage marches on…

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Categories: Blabbermouths, New York Times

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