Skip to main content

View Diary: Operation Flabbergasted: Let's Watergate Bush (UPDATE 2) (217 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting development over at DU (4.00)

    prolesunitedat DU came up with this interesting tidbit.

    Did Ashcroft ask for wiretap expansion, was rejected & they still did it?

    So, all you smart people help me out here.

    I was digging around and found this:

    The Bush administration recently received a harsh legal blow in the war against terrorism. It came from an unlikely place: a clandestine federal court responsible for reviewing government requests to spy on terrorism suspects.

    This court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court, refused to approve of certain procedures proposed by Attorney General Ashcroft. In an unprecedented move, it also publicly released its ruling this August. The dispute, however, had been going on since May, when the Court announced its dissatisfaction with the procedures and its belief that they were contrary to existing federal law.

    The procedures would have allowed criminal prosecutors routine access to information obtained through counterintelligence searches and wiretaps - without a probable cause showing that a crime had been or was about to be committed. ("Counterintelligence" is defined within the FISA as information gathered, and activities conducted, to protect against espionage; other intelligence activities; sabotage; or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities.)

    There's more there and here's a link to the actual ruling:

    If I'm putting this together correctly, did they ask for expanded surveillance powers, were DENIED by the FISA court and then went ahead and did it anyway? Or, are these two separate matters?

    If I'm right, this definitely seals the case for impeachment for me.

    So, help me analyze this more.

    •  So Ashcroft asked for it, FISA said illegal.... (none)
      and Bush turned around and gave himself executive privilege to do it anyway.
      •  Thanks for posting this (none)
        saw it at DU, but it's important and I'll link to it in my diary this PM. It's unclear whether the NSA policy is directly linked to these instances. But the essential fact is that the FISA court rebuked the Attorney General for repeatedly misleading it, to the point of turning it down flat. Clearly that is relevant background for assessing why this administration decided to flout the law.

        I am going to draw attention to "a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations" by this administration, of which the NSA scandal forms but a part.

        •  Rice lied about briefings/oversight (none)
          This morning, Condoleezza Rice defended the NSA evesdropping program by arguing that congressional leaders -- specifically "leaders of the relevant oversight intelligence committees" -- had been briefed on the activities....
          This is apparently not true. At the time the program was initiated, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL). On Friday's "Nightline," Graham made clear he had never once been briefed by the administration about the program:

          There was no reference made to the fact that we were going to...begin unwarranted, illegal -- and I think unconstitutional -- eavesdropping on American citizens.

          there was no suggestion that we were going to begin eavesdropping on United States citizens without following the full law.

          ABC: You're saying you were not briefed as the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee at the point the President signed this?

          GRAHAM: I was briefed. There was no reference made to the fact that we were going to use that as the subterfuge to begin unwarranted, illegal -- and I think unconstitutional -- eavesdropping on American citizens.

          Think Progress

          Treason's Greetings from Karl Rove and Scooter Libby: Merry Fitzmas and Happy New Smear

          by seesdifferent on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 02:45:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Damn you, ethical FISC Judges! (none)
      "You can be replaced with the likes of scAlito and Roberts and Meirs!"

      So first the Bushies  tried to game the FISA laws  to spy on Americans, but the FISC judges slapped them down. Then Bush said "so f*ck them" and used his all-powerful WOT priviledges and demi-god status to order a secret end-run around FISA to spy on whatever goddamn Americans he wanted to, for whatever goddamn reason he felt like spying on them for.

      Noteworthy timeline of Bush's order for secret NSA spying on Americans: Mid-late 2002, after Downing Street Minutes and Mushroom Cloud decisions to invade Iraq had been finalized, and pre-midterm 2002 elections.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site