"In order to find an enemy who is hidden in a cave,
collect everybody's telephone records."
Lao Tzu - The Art of War
USA Today is reporting that the NSA has been collecting all our phone records in order to fight terrorism.
Now, before we all go off on a big fuss about this, let's look at it rationally. First off, this program is not "spying on everybody". It's only spying on the people with phones. There's lots of people in America who don't even have phones, so let's not have go flying off the handle with a lot of irresponsible rhetoric about Bush "Spying on Everyone." He's not. He's only spying on the people with phones.
There are some perfectly reasonable explanations as to why the government might need our phone records to fight the war on terrorism. We are a Nation at War. Because our enemy remains hidden in a cave in Waziristan, it is imperative that the government have a complete record of every phone call made within its own borders: that's just common sense. Waziristan is a strange and lawless place along the Pakistan/Afghan border. It's entirely controlled by warlords, (for whom, apparently, our military is no match...) and they play by their own rules. In order to get things done there, you have to be willing to play ball: "You tell us where Bin Laden is, we'll give you all our phone records."
It could also be that the Pentagon is planning on printing up all our records, stacking them on pallets and then dropping them over Waziristan in hopes of either hitting Bin Laden directly, or possibly containing him by blocking the entrance to his cave.
Anyone else have any ideas?