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View Diary: DOJ Is Denied Clearances, Drops NSA Probe (249 comments)

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  •  It's like a sick joke (19+ / 0-)

    Nice work, NSA!  You thwarted justice by simply being too secret for Justice!

    "I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium." - Jon Stewart

    by Slim Tyranny on Wed May 10, 2006 at 06:31:51 PM PDT

    •  The Administration That Obstructs Together... (7+ / 0-)

      there will probably be some promotions coming for this!

      Don't the flag-waving masses care about what the flag stands for? Do they even realize that when the Prez swears to uphold the Constitution, it's supposed to mean something?

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Wed May 10, 2006 at 06:50:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you see this other sick joke (23+ / 0-)

      which I diaried last week? The parallel with this episode is striking. Sadly, the earlier sick joke has gotten far too little attention in the blogosphere.

      Briefly, after months of delaying, the Bush administration finally discovered a clever way to avoid giving Nancy Pelosi what she'd requested: a list of names of the members of Congress who (so Bush claims) have been briefed in the past about the NSA spying. The administration drew up the list, then classified it--and told Pelosi that she wasn't permitted to see the list.

      Here is the text of the letter that Pelosi sent back to Stephen Hadley, pointing out that this was absurd.

      I'd add that it's illegal to classify information for the purpose of helping people to avoid political embarrassment.

      Inconvenient News Doing my part to afflict the comfortable.

      by smintheus on Wed May 10, 2006 at 06:58:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Security Clearances (6+ / 0-)

      Here are two things the Dems and we could push for to defeat the evasionary tactic of security clearances.

      1. Form a congressional panel with sufficient clearances (many congressional members served in the military and hence may have the clearances needed) to look into the classification requirements being claimed by the administration on wiretaps, as well as to conduct its own inquiry into the matter.
      1. Demand a special counsel investigation into warrantless wiretaps, with suitable clearances being granted for the investigation, and operating in the FISA court, if necessary.

      We should remember that the members of the FISA court should have decent clearances already, given the nature of their work.

      And that Fitzgerald probably has sufficiently high clearance, since he is investigating the CIA leak case which, by definition, deals with many documents marked confidential. Hence there could be other possible counsels in DOJ who could fit the bill, but the Dems will need to isolate a few candidates that could be as effective as Fitz and demand that one of them be appointed by Gonzalez. Even Fitz may be a good option for a special counsel subject to  his time constraints.

      Please see these related diaries: one, two, three  .

      •  Need to know (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        macdust, NeuvoLiberal, greenearth, mlbx2

        These folks "hiding the particulars" would "need to know" your plan into the ground...

        The final nail in a clearance coffin is a failure to meet the "Need to know" threshold...

        Now I know this sounds crazy, cause an application for a confidential or secret clearance states that very fact; I have a need to know, so please process me, and clear me, or deny me-

        I have been "cleared" two times, and denied once.

        "Need to know" was the basis for the clearance requests; period.

        I suspect "need to know" is being turned on it's head, and that is the basis for the denials and no one will receive a clearance, period.

        (Well,,, if your a cylon, and can prove your loyalty to party over country, you might be cleared...)

        ...we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings- John F. Kennedy

        by RF on Wed May 10, 2006 at 07:22:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Russ Tice's testimony (8+ / 0-)

        Whistleblower says NSA violations bigger

        WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A former NSA employee said Tuesday there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights.

        Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he has concerns about a "special access" electronic surveillance program that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrentless wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

        Tice said he believes it violates the Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the information without breaking classification laws. He is not even allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance.

        Neither could he brief the inspector general of the NSA because that office is not cleared to hear the information, he said.

        Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said they believe a few members of the Armed Services Committee are cleared for the information, but they said believe their committee and the intelligence committees have jurisdiction to hear the allegations.

        "Congressman Kucinich wants Congressman Shays to hold a hearing (on the program)," said Doug Gordon, Kucinich's spokesman. "Obviously it would have to take place in some kind of a closed hearing. But Congress has a role to play in oversight. The (Bush) administration does not get to decide what Congress can and can not hear."

        Tice was testifying because he was a National Security Agency intelligence officer who was stripped of his security clearance after he reported his suspicions that a former colleague at the Defense Intelligence Agency was a spy. The matter was dismissed by the DIA, but Tice pressed it later and was subsequently ordered to take a psychological examination, during which he was declared paranoid. He is now unemployed.

        Tice was one of the New York Times sources for its wiretapping story, but he told the committee the information he provided was not secret and could have been provided by an private sector electronic communications professional.

        Don't forget whistle blower protections that Gore talked about in his MLK-Day speech.

        •  Well, I hope they're not using government money (6+ / 0-)

          over at the NSA.

          Because the last time I looked, only Congress can appropriate money and determine its use.

          And I hope that COngress is not saying to the NSA: here's some money; don't tell us what it's for.

          Because that would be an unconstitutional transfer of legislative authority.

          And I don't care 'How it's done." Appropriations too secret for Congressional approval are illegal.

        •  Incredible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NeuvoLiberal

          Just when I think I'm numb to the constitutional violations perpetrated by Bushco., something always seems to come to light that succeeds in shocking me yet again.  

          So now Bushco. are using Chinese government methods against whistleblowers; declare the offender mentally ill, fire him, and dare the media to touch the story.  The next step will be to commit the whistleblowers to high security mental hospitals and force them to take anti-psychotics.

          Where the fuck is the media on this?  This is serious!  Bushco. are tearing up the constitution and nobody even knows about it!  What are we going to do?

          "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty..." ~Thomas Jefferson

          by Subterranean on Thu May 11, 2006 at 12:57:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  'Need to know' is dead. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peraspera, greenearth

        Someone is playing games.

        The policy is now a bias toward information-sharing.

        Some old dogs are up to their old tricks.

        •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth

          "Need to know" is far from dead in the national security arena, and in this administration, there is certainly no "bias toward information-sharing."

          •  Policy versus practice. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NeuvoLiberal, greenearth

            While the intelligence community should be treated with the deepest cynicism, it is the case that the official policy now favors a need-to-share posture within and among intelligence agencies and law-enforcement agencies.

            If the Justice department were really interested in investigating, it would invoke this policy.

            So this barrier is staged.

            If the justice department had gone to the same group with a counter-intelligence or "terrorist" concern, they would have gotten the answers lickety-split.

            And if they hadn't, they would have invoked the new policies, and then gotten the answers.

            This is a deliberate failure.

      •  A 10-Step plan to deal with wiretaps (8+ / 0-)

        that I compiled based on Gore's speech and with input from many community members is the following (I am sure this isn't bullet proof, but at least it covers many bases):

        A Comprehensive Plan
        for Holding the Administration Accountable on Warrantless Wiretapping

        1. Demand a special counsel investigation into warrantless wiretaps, with suitable clearances being granted for the investigation, and operating in the FISA court, if necessary
        2. Form a congressional panel to look into the classification requirements being claimed by the administration on wiretaps.
        3. Establish whistleblower protections.
        4. Demand telephone companies to cease and desist complicity with wiretaps and other forms of surveillance outside the purview of existing laws including FISA.
        5. Filibuster any bills that attempt to retroactively justify the circumvention of the law by the administration.
        6. Conduct congressional inquiries into the wiretaps (e.g. Sen. Byrd's S. 2362) as well as various other matters of administrative dysfunction (as in Rep. Conyers' HR 635). Sen. Schumer's S. 2468 is of interest as well.
        7. Dem leaders should make extensive media appearances informing the public about the excesses of the administrations and its attempts to sidestep the constitution, and soundly argue for taking appropriate actions to remedy the situation
        8. If the Whitehouse and the Rubberstamping GOP stonewall and shut out getting to the bottom of the NSA wiretaps, then censure Bush.
        9. Appoint a congressional panel to look into rescinding the 2001 AUMF (authorization to use military force) which the administration has been employing as carte blanche for endless war and from which Bush is drawing his purported "authority as Commander in Chief in time of war" to run warrantless surveillance and claim other dictatorial powers. This panel would consider the question of Congress taking back its Constitutional war power.
        10. Optionally, Draft articles of impeachment on Bush's declared dictatorial intent, claims of "unitary executive" privileges, which are instantiated by the arrogation of power on warrantless wiretaps.

        •  don't forget (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NeuvoLiberal

          Consider purchasing alternative tools.

          (eg. your next purchase of home phone set should be a wireless with VOIP capability.)

          ultiamtely, as long as we keep having few gate keeper controling the communication, they will keep spying on people.

          It's that simple.

      •  Fitz can't do anything but what he's doing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NeuvoLiberal, greenearth

        I read something that they are trying to say he has no authorization to do his mission as the special prosecutor (or whatever the title was). We'll be lucky if they leave him alone long enough to file his findings on Rove.  

        Not good...

    •  No Investigation...No Money. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      macdust, Jesterfox, greenearth

      As far as I'm concerned no further money for anything in the Executive Branch until everything has been investigated and all the Republicans have been sent to GITMO.

      If we can't investigate then we have to have a reasonable suspicion they are terrorists trying to destroy the Constitution of the United States which we are sworn to preserve, protect,and defend.

      Maybe its going to be convenient that after we take Congress back in the 2006 elections we won't have to bother with trials and or laws anymore.

      As far as post Bush precedent is concerned we don't have to really try too hard to find out all the facts anymore, just have a reasonable suspicion.

      As far as post Bush precedent is concerned they are all clearly quilty and ready to begin having their confessions tortured out of them and then held without rendition until its time for them to be murdered.

      Maybe that's the purpose that the warrantless surveillence and the Patriot Act were made to be used for.

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Wed May 10, 2006 at 07:53:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But, then the terrorists win! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        If we de-fund the executive branch, who will keep our precious babies safe?!

        You shut down the NSA, and indeed the right-wing noise machine will portray you as a terrorist sympathiser. More sensible people who don't buy that nonsense will nonetheless consider you childish and petulant.

        Cutting off funding would sound like a great idea, but alas, as totally impractical and self-defeating as the wingnuts actively trying to bankrupt the government. The executive branch does useful things that we all need. We can't simply close it down.

        Remember, Gingrich tried that trick. Didn't go over too well.

        No stunts. We need instead to be the adults, have the courage to speak the truth, promise a thorough investigation by January 2007, sweep the midterms on this platform, and then follow through on the promise.

        •  Terrorists? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          huskerly

          You mean the corporations killing the planet? If we defund the Executive Branch they won't be able to send our precious babies to Iraq, and give no bid contracts to Halliburton, and commit FEMA on us.

          The NSA is a terrorist actively engaged in war on the Constitution and Bill of Rights we are all sworn to preserve, protect, and defend.

          Does the right wing noise machine really want to defend an agency that hads lied to us and been taping every phone call in the US since 9/11.

          NSA has been keeping logs of who politicians and political parties call to raise funds.

          NSA has been keeping logs of who businesses are talking to in order to develop new technologies that the Republicans cronies might want to steal.

          NSA has been keeping logs of who investigative reporters talk to.

          NSA has been keeping logs of every dial up internet connection and connect6ing the dots with packet sniffing behavioral analysis.

          Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

          by rktect on Thu May 11, 2006 at 05:40:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is unbelievable! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, greenearth

      Guys, I'm getting scared, and it's only just begun.

      I don't think it's a joke... it's truly the age of destruction.  I think it's time for those who can to go to the store and head for the mountains.  I'm ready, but I don't have any land or a house.  

      I'm serious and hope you don't think I'm a nut case.  I am just getting the feeling that it's going to become a place that we can't even comprehend.

      Hope I'm wrong...

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