“(2006-02-07) — After a day in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faced tough questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about the legality of America’s best-known secret terrorist surveillance program, the National Security Agency (NSA) said it would alter its wiretap protocol to reduce the threat to civil rights.

Under the new procedures for intercepting a telephone call from an al Qaeda operative to a U.S. resident, the two parties engaged in conversation will hear a brief alarm bell every 30 seconds, followed by a recorded announcement that says: “In order to better protect the United States from devastating terror attacks, this call may be monitored.”

According to covert NSA spokesman Louis Slipps, “the new measures carry the assumption that some Americans may be unaware that they’re talking with terrorists, or do not realize that their casual chatter with an al Qaeda buddy may aide and abet the enemy.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, who yesterday told the Attorney General that he’s concerned about “peaceful Quakers who are being spied upon. and other law-abiding Americans and babies and nuns who are placed on terrorist watch lists“, today welcomed the new ‘liberty-enhanced’ secret wiretap program that the NSA dubbed “Operation Let Freedom Ring.”

“Thanks to these changes, the Quakers can stop quaking from fear and return to their regularly-scheduled quaking in response to divine revelation,” said Sen. Leahy. “And law-abiding Americans who just happen to have friends in al Qaeda, can rest easier tonight.”

In addition to the monitoring alert, Mr. Slipps said U.S. residents on NSA-intercepted calls will soon be offered a menu of options, including the following:

– To continue in Arabic press ‘one’ or say wâhid
– To hear a complete listing of the steps required to obtain a wiretap warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, press, or say, two
– If you’re a law-abiding American press, or say, three
– If you’re a Quaker, a baby or a nun and feel you have reached this recording in error, please hang up the phone and dial a number that’s not associated with al Qaeda.
– To speak with an NSA representative, remain on the line until we complete the trace. You may hear a brief series of clicks, followed by a knock at your door.
– To call in a CIA predator-drone attack on the party to whom you are speaking, press the ‘pound’ key — Scott Ott / ScrappleFace

How deep is the hole that some of politians have their heads in? Take a good look at the images on the major networks and cable outlets. What planet are the Democrats on with respect to this issue? We have to believe the average American citizen is watching the chaos overseas and are praying that the same insanity doesn’t find it’s way to our shores. As far as we are concerned, we would like to see the NSA have a free hand in doing whatever it has to do to protect innocent lives. The savagry we are witnessing over one artists expression of his thoughts should make make every liberal and conservative alike shit in place.