Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was NSA director when the surveillance began and now serves as Bush's deputy director of national intelligence, said the secret- court process was intended for long-term surveillance of agents of an enemy power, not the current hunt for elusive terrorist cells.
"The whole key here is agility," he said at a White House briefing before Bush's news conference. According to Hayden, most warrantless surveillance conducted under Bush's authorization lasts just days or weeks, and requires only the approval of a shift supervisor. Hayden said getting retroactive court approval is inefficient because it "involves marshaling arguments" and "looping paperwork around."
Well sure, Mr. IRS agent, I knew there was this law on the books requiring me to file a tax return. But that is so pre-9/11. Those laws were not written to cover me. The clear intent of the recent tax cuts was to keep rich people form paying any taxes. If I stop paying taxes, I'll become a rich person much quicker, right?
And I didn't want to have to loop a bunch of paperwork around, so I just decided to ignore the law.
If you challenge me on it, you are just letting the terrorists win.