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Lets's talk about democracy
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Friday, 30 December 2005
Mind boggling inefficiency of the intelligence agencies.
Topic: Bush Administraiton

So far, today's top story is that the Justice Department is launching an investigation into who leaked the information about the NSA domestic spying program. Once again, the NYT is right in the middle of another leak case and it will be interesting to see how far the government is willing to go in obtaining James Risen and Eric Lichtblau's notes and whether either of them will do jail time for protecting their sources.

This time around the DOJ made record time in getting the investigation under way, in contrast to the Plame case in which they just couldn't bring themselves to be too interested in until the political pressure became too great. Maybe, they should also look into who leaked the story about OBL's satellite phone. W. seems to think the press reveals "sources, methods and what we use information for" that helps the "enemy" adjust their operations. Of course, I guess this just might be paranoia on W.'s part because it turns about the OBL "leak" was no leak at all. He was referring to a 1998 Washington Times story that has gone into the realm of urban legend as being the trigger that got OBL off his phone and according to the warped thinking from the White House led to 9/11.

But in actuality the 1998 missile strikes on his camps in Afghanistan probably had more to do with it. The WaPo wrote on Dec. 22 that they searched media databases and found that Times magazine "had first reported on Dec. 16 1996, that Bin Laden 'uses satellite phone to contact fellow Islamic militants in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.' Taliban officials provided the information, with one official---security Chief Mullah Abdul Mannan Niazi---telling Time, "He's in high spirits.'" The Washington Times article that Scott "My dad thinks LBJ killed JFK" McClellan says, W. was referring to, at his press conference two Monday's ago, buries the information about OBL's phone in the 21st paragraph and never mentions that the government was listening in on him, despite what W. thinks.

So, it's all much to do about nothing, but it's interesting that W. is using this bogus story to justify his unchecked spying on the American people, yet another sign of bad intelligence getting into the president's ear. This is what happens when you don't fire the people who misled you into a disastrous war with bogus Intel on WMD and anthrax spreading robot planes, they keep giving you bad advice.

Oh,oopse,did I say 'unchecked spying?'

The president said back in 2004 that, "When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so...constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the constitution." Riiiiiight! As long as the president, and only the president, gets to interpret what the constitution says about executive power, he's fine with it. When an "activist" Federal Court like the 4th circuit gets all uppity and willfully disregards "a presidential directive” in the Pedilla case it's, according to Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, "An unwarranted attack on the exercise of executive discretion, and, if given effect, would raise profound separation-of-powers concerns." The only separation of powers this president is concerned about is separating the Congress and the courts from their power to interfere in anything he feels like doing.

What's puzzling about the Pedilla case is, if Judge Michael Luttig thought Pedilla's detention was probably "a mistake" then why didn't he just release him? Keeping him locked up in a navy brig isn't exactly punishing the government for their manipulation of the court system, which is what Luttig seems to be all worked up about. When a nut job like Luttig says that the government’s credibility could be harmed by its dishonest maneuvering, you know this administration is really going off the rails. But, no matter, this all just fires up W. and Cheney to fight harder and take even more liberties with our system.

No such agency has no clue:

As we've lately found out, the NSA wasn't just tapping a few phones, but was running a massive data mining program, spying on maybe millions of e-mail messages and phone calls and all without any check from the courts or congress. Earlier stories of "mistakes" that might have been made by the NSA in accidentally listening in on a few domestic calls are out the window now that we know they were tapping into entire switching nodes. At the same time news has come out that the FBI was lurking around mosques with radiation detectors trying to see if any American Muslims were trying to build "dirty-bombs." And then there is the story of the "perpetual cookies" that were on the NSA's web site illegally; of course, they say this whole cookie thing is just a big mistake, but one wonders if these people actually have any clue of what their doing, because they seem to make a lot of them.

Nuclear power plants and chemical plants are basically open targets and first responders still can't talk to each other in a crisis four years after 9/11---and, oh, by the way, there's an American city missing---but these idiots charged with protecting us, with their multi-billion dollar budgets, are frantically poindextering the fourth amendment while leaving the door wide open for terrorists to blow up half of New Jersey. And don't forget the antiwar activists; they're a big danger too. While Osama is comfortably ploinking dolly the sheep in his cave, all the immense resources of the US government's intelligence agencies are either trying to relocate their ghost prisoners to more torture-friendly countries or, on the domestic front, they're burning the midnight oil keeping tabs on long haired freaks with bad BO. I feel safer, don't you?

The mind boggles at the audacity of this president's assault on the constitution and our system of government. W. likes to say he's the commander in chief so he can do what ever he feels like doing to protect the country, but by the time he gets done it won't be the same country. Too bad there isn't a brain dead woman having her feeding tube pulled out involved in this spying case, or congress would be parachuting into DC to investigate this monumental attack on our very democracy.


See Non Sum Dignus for slicing and dicing of David Brooks on the perogitives of the president.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:14 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005 3:33 PM EST
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