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Lets's talk about democracy
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Monday, 2 January 2006
Ave Potus Caligula Caesar. Morituri Te Salutant!
Topic: Bush Administraiton

W. continues to defend his one man rule saying yesterday that this whole breaking-the-laws-against-domestic spying thing was no big deal. "This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America, and I repeat limited."

To him it might be limited, but tapping into switchers that contain millions of messages from American's e-mails and phones and then mining the data for God knows what and passing that info around to the FBI, DIA, CIA and Department of Homeland Security for their own designs---including the pentagon compiling files on anti-war protesters---seems a little more than simply finding out, "If somebody from al Qaeda is calling you, we'd like to know why."

Maybe, W. doesn't even understand what they're up to because he also assured everyone that, "The NSA program is one that listens to a few numbers called from the outside of the United States of known al Qaeda or affiliated people." The Post says, "The White House later clarified that the program monitors both incoming and outgoing calls." And they might have added thousands of calls, not just a few.

Worse than Nixon?

This is reminiscent of the NSA spying on Americans in the 70's under program Shamrock and operation Minaret. According to the Church commission report of the Senate SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS
in 1976:

"NSA has intercepted and disseminated international communications of American citizens whose privacy ought to be protected under our Constitution. For example, from August 1945 to May 1975, NSA obtained copies of many international telegrams sent to, from, or through the United States from three telegraph companies. In addition, from the early 1960s until 1973, NSA targeted the international communications of certain American citizens by placing their names on a "watch list." Intercepted messages were disseminated to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), and the Department of Defense. In neither program were warrants obtained."

[Sound familiar? These revelations led to the 1978 law that W. is now breaking.]

Apparently, as legal and above-board as this new updated program of domestic spying is, the NYT reported Sunday, "That James B. Comey, then deputy attorney general, refused to sign on to the recertification of the program in March 2004.

That prompted two of Mr. Bush's most senior aides - Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel and now the attorney general - to make an emergency hospital visit to John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, to try to persuade him to give his authorization, as required by White House procedures for the program." They probably had him doped up pretty good before he went ahead and signed it, too.

President to appoint horse to Senate?

Beyond the question of what the government is doing with all this information and which agencies are making lists to see who's being naughty and nice, what happens to all these watch lists if a less than benevolent regime ever takes power? I mean, what if Hillary gets into the White House and starts using all this information to go after all the right wingers? Food for thought all you Free Republic types out there!

You know, the Romans thought they were sitting pretty when the young son of Germanicus took over from the tyrannical Tiberius and made a big show of burning all the secret files Sajanus had kept on the personal lives of everybody, but what they didn't know was that he had copies and they soon learned that "little boot" was a little crazy. And that young man grew up to be Caligula...And that's the rest of the story. Good night folks!

Cheney: no fear of flying!

W. & Co. are really into knowing everything about what and who you're talking to, but Dick Cheney is busy making sure no one knows anything about what he's doing. I hear he's had google earth blur the image over his residence and he isn't telling anyone where he travels, who pays for it, or what it's costing us.

According to Lobby Watch (Via This Fucking War, thanks madtom):

"Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff have been unilaterally exempting themselves from long-standing travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the executive branch, including the Office of the President, the Center for Public Integrity has discovered.

Cheney's office also appears to have stuck taxpayers with untold millions in travel costs rather than accepting trip sponsors' funds that the rules would require to be disclosed. Some would credit the vice president's office for not accepting outside cash to cover his travel costs. That may be true, but critics point out that the Office of the Vice President's lack of disclosure also creates an opaque situation, with little or no transparency or accountability and at a substantial cost to taxpayers."

Boy, even W. has to follow these rules, but not Darth. Makes you wonder who is really in control over there at 1600.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 3:20 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 2 January 2006 3:29 PM EST
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