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For most of us here at Daily Kos, I think the last few days of revelations regarding multi-agency spying on American citizens comes as no surprise. In an administration that has authorized secret prisons, planted propaganda, fought restrictions on torture, and argued consistently for the right to detain whomever is deemed suspicious without recourse to trial, spying on American citizens seems both obvious and pedestrian. A kind of "duh" moment, if you will.

Indeed, the most surprising aspect is that the reports on domestic spying ever saw the light of day, given the complacency of the corporate media. The New York Times, in fact, admits to holding off for a year on revealing the NSA's use of warrantless wiretaps at the request of the administration.

No doubt we will see in coming weeks hair-splitting legal and constitutional debate over the precise wording of presidential orders, evocations of executive privilege and withholding of information in the name of national security, and mind-numbingly dull citations from dozens of obscure court cases. The administration will attempt to complicate, bluster, lie and attack its way out of answering for its spying on American citizens in the hopes that the electorate will give up on understanding the issue and will continue to sleep.

It's up to the minority party now to not let this happen. It's up to the Democrats, shut out of power, to keep the nation focused by using the only tool left to them: their voices. This is a challenge, and not one Democrats are historically successful at meeting. But this is, whether we feel up to it or not, a turning point in the national debate if we have the will, the clarity and the unity to make it so.

The truth is, the constitutional questions raised by the secret spying strike at the very heart of our form of government. This is no longer Republican versus Democrat, left versus right. In fact, for true rank-and-file conservatives, this should bring on a crisis of conscience and self-examination. Distrust of the government and its motives runs deep in American conservatism; witness the recoil from relatively benign "nanny state" interventions such as social welfare programs and anti-smoking laws. How much more repugnant is wiretapping, surveillance and massive record-keeping by the feds?

I am not naïve enough to believe elected GOP officials or the chattering chuckleheads of Sunday cable shows will acknowledge framing the issue this way. But if Democrats can break through the blizzard of bullshit that is ramping up to come our way from all sides, we can reach across the partisan divide to the average American with a focused, simple message:

This is about the very foundations of democracy: Is the government our servant or our master? And is the president, who is elected to execute our laws, allowed to suspend them?

We are heading into an election year when every House seat will be up for grabs. It's up to us to make every race about these constitutional issues. As concerned citizens, we can urge Democratic leaders to force the argument in this direction, but there is another action we can take as individuals to make this more of a reality.

I suggest that those of us who are represented by Republicans in the House contact our representatives and get them on record over the next few weeks on three specific questions:

1.    Does the president have unlimited power in a time of war, particularly an undeclared one?
2.    Do you believe the government has a right to spy on its citizens with no regulating oversight?
3.    Do you support a full and open Congressional investigation into the executive branch's authorization of spying on American citizens?

These questions, depending on how they are answered, may well prove to be a gift we can give to every Democratic challenger in the year ahead. It will force GOP reps to take a stand, if as constituents we don't let them get away with obfuscating. Insist on a clear-cut answer. Demand a yes or no. And keep ready at hand the letters or emails you receive back. It's time to force this issue. It's time for all of us to do our part. It's time to re-deliver this government into the hands of the people it was elected to represent.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 09:47 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Attack already underway (none)
    I posted this on the Open Thread, but here:

    http://www.drudgereport.com/...

    I know it's Drudge, but often he is the canary in the coal mine. Claiming that the NY Times reporter on the spying story has a book coming out and did not disclose it.  In my view, if this is the best they can do, they're screwed.  Specter said it was unacceptable, they would look into it.

    *Exclusive*

    Newspaper fails to inform readers "news break" is tied to book publication

    On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States... without the court approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

    Risen claims the White House asked the paper not to publish the article, saying that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny.

    Risen claims the TIMES delayed publication of the article for a year to conduct additional reporting.

    But now comes word James Risen's article is only one of many "explosive newsbreaking" stories that can be found -- in his upcoming book!

    The paper failed to reveal the urgent story was tied to a book release and sale.

    "STATE OF WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" is to be published by FREE PRESS in the coming weeks, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

    Carisa Hays, VP, Director of Publicity FREE PRESS, confirms the book is being published.

    The book editor of Bush critic Richard Clarke [AGAINST ALL ENEMIES] signed Risen to FREE PRESS.

    Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

    by adigal on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 09:50:53 AM PST

    •  Why did the NY Times wait until today to publish? (none)
      Senate Blocks Extension of Patriot Act !

      I wonder if the furor in D.C. over the 'breaking' Bush spying on Americans story influenced the Senators?

      By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer 1 minute ago

      The Senate on Friday rejected attempts to reauthorize several provisions of the USA Patriot Act as infringing too much on Americans' privacy, dealing a major defeat to President Bush and Republican leaders.

      In a crucial vote Friday morning as Congress raced toward adjournment, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a threatened filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.
      Continued:

      http://www.livejournal.com/...

      CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

      http://www.livejournal.com/...

      by ccnwon on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 09:57:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The furor in D.C. is incredible (none)
        Senators have reacted angrily to a report - so far not denied  - that President Bush allowed spying on Americans without court approval.

        Breaking BBC Story:
        Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 17:48 GMT  

        Bush spying claim causes US storm  

        One of Bush's top aides says he did not break the law
        Allegations that President George Bush authorised security agents to eavesdrop on people inside the US have caused a storm of protest, even from his allies.

        http://www.livejournal.com/...

        CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

        http://www.livejournal.com/...

        by ccnwon on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:01:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is spying on your own citizens unconstitutional? (none)
          If so, could we impeach Bush over it? This was a presidential order, which he signed(!), so he would have signed an order that was contrary to the constitution, and one of his primary job duties is to uphold it... didn't he swear on the Bible saying he would do so?
          •  This is a criminal matter (none)
            "Bush secret order to spy on Americans may amount to authorizing criminal activity"

            ---snip--

            "Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies at George Washington University, said the secret order may amount to the president authorizing criminal activity."

            From the Wash Post today:

            http://www.livejournal.com/...

            CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

            http://www.livejournal.com/...

            by ccnwon on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:08:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  society of friends (none)
            I am one of the South Florida people who is probably on the DOD list.  All I did was attend my meeting house for services.  Is the ACLU going to go after these people?  Isn't this like the lists that Hitler had before he started the gas chambers, or more like the lists McCarthy had before he started getting people blacklisted.  These people are really taking us back to the fifties.  the bad part.  McCarthy, segregation, lynching.
          •  EO 12333 (4.00)
            Strictly speaking, it is prohibited under Executive Order 12333 for DoD entities to conduct intelligence opeations against "US Persons"Strictly speaking, it is prohibited under Executive Order 12333 for DoD entities to conduct intelligence operations against "US Persons."  Google EO 12333 for the LONG definition of a "US Person."

            The key here is that it is an "Executive (as in President) Order" and as such it can be modified or even eliminated by the same pen that wrote it.  Every President since Carter has modified it in some way so there is nothing to stop this President from doing so.  NO ONE at NSA would have done anything close to domestic collection without a SPECIFIC 12333 waiver and ONLY the President can authorize that.  There is a LONG paper trail and it can ONLY end in the Oval Office.  This is one of those written things - you wait and do nothing until you have the paper that says "get out of jail" because that is EXACTLY where you go for violations of 12333.  Not a phone call, not an email, not a fax, you get an ORIGINAL with ink.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:44:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  No Financial Incentive for the Times (none)
        One big flaw in this theory is that The Free Press is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, which is the publishing operation of Viacom Inc. It has no ties to the New York Times (although it does publish Wall Street Journal Books). So there's nothin' in it financially for the New York Times. Ergo, no compelling reason for the Times to push the book, which isn't mentioned in the story, anyway.
        •  Incorrect (none)
          What we have here is a rather pathetic attempt to regain some credibility lost by publishing the Miller lies for so long. There may be another reason as well.

          This lack of credibilty has lost the Times signficant readership. This adds up to big dollars.

          Voila, the financial incentive.

          CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

          http://www.livejournal.com/...

          by ccnwon on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:19:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  "spying and lying" is excellent! (4.00)
      Republicans are about spying and lying. That's a great counter-strike to the "retreat and defeat" bumper sticker from the GOP's ad agencies. I like it!

      The Moe Sizlak Experience, featuring Homer Simpson.

      by lepermessiah on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:18:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As Usual it is a question (none)
    ...of who watches the watchers.  Too much power concentrated in too few hands with too little oversight is a recipe for disaster and anathema to informed Democracy.

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 09:53:11 AM PST

    •  unfortunately.. (none)
      ...we the people are charged with that task.  and too many of us are sleeping (must be the turkey)

      The GOP Love the soldiers like they love children: Seen but not heard.

      by DawnG on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:19:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Guarding the guards (none)
      Go here

      http://www.dod.mil/...

      We have a very robust program and it works.  I have personally self reported for violations I made and discovered.  Its kinda like NCAA rules - if you report it yourselfthe punishment is easier.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:48:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's see, what happened a year ago... (4.00)
    Oh, right, the elections. 13 months ago, specifcally.

    I wonder when the NYT was ready to run with the article, and I wonder when the admin asked them to delay publication?

    They better start answering some questions, or convene an ethics panel.

    •  I couldn't agree more (none)
      I'm disgusted with them for holding the article.  Ugh, ugh, ugh!

      -Alan

      -9.00, -3.69 Bush, 12/12/05: "I think we are welcomed [in Iraq]. But it was not a peaceful welcome."

      by SlackerInc on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:07:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many different damning items (none)
      were withheld from publication around election time "in order to not influence the elections?"  Goddamn it, if these media outlets can't hold themselves accountable, it's time to start pulling down these media empires brick by fucking brick.
      •  i prefer to just go to them and ask, wearily (none)
        "What else is left?"

        The piercing eyes of the young man in the dapper brown suit travelled over my desk. I tried to look calm as I shuffled papers.

        "I've no idea what you mean."

        "You've got a perfectly good idea. They spied on us, had secret prisons, and you guys knew all the time. Fine. You know what, I just want to get a jump start on next year. What else do you know that you're hiding, iceberg?"

        "Iceberg?" I was sweating now.

        "Yeah. I wanna see the other 90%"

        /there are no rules except discovery /the only tradition is invention. -rachel pollack

        by joseph rainmound on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 11:47:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  LIVE VOTE at MSNBC (4.00)
    This may have been posted on the other diary (I've been watching debate and vote on the Patriot Act), but just in case it hasn't or you missed it:

    Was President Bush right to authorize NSA eavesdropping on Americans?
    31,592 responses

    29%  YES - it was essential for national security
    65%  NO - it's unconstitutional
    4%   I'm not sure
    1%   I don't care

    •  That 29% "yes" vote (none)
      just confirms that fascism is alive and well in a large portion of the American psyche.

      Always has been.  Always will be.

      I bet most (but not all) of these people are from retrograde "red" areas in the country, the kinds of places where there is very little diversity of opinion, very little room for independent thought, very little outside influence in terms of new or different ideas, and very little overall real freedom to be an individual.

      Fuck these yahoos.  Piss on them.  If I had my way, I'd make these people the indentured servants of the rest of us that know the real meaning of such concepts as "freedom" and "liberty."

  •  please add another fundamental question (none)
    0) Is the President to be permitted to himself simply declare our nation to be at war?

    this is they key issue here: al qaeda HERE IN THE U.S. is organized similarly to, and is a lesser threat than, street gangs. in fact, the homeland security folks have used "national security" as an excuse to pursue street gangs and criminals lately. will we remain "at war" so long as any street thug is about?

    in other words, are we under martial law? have the fascists taken over?

  •  Federalist Papers (none)
    It all leads back to the Federalist Papers.  I have been meaning to re-read my copy -- I hereby pledge to do so.  This is one of the best arrows in our quiver.

    It is, as you may remember, a series of essays by Madison, Hamilton, and John Jay; its purpose was to debate the merits of the new Constitution and persuade New Yorkers to ratify it.  It's spot-on applicable to the current question: what kind of government do we have/want?, because it was written not for some Jefferson drinking madeira on his plantation, but for pragmatic New Yorkers who need to be shown why questions of exectutive privilege matter to a merchant who's busy enough worrying about the price of sheet glass in Holland...

    end of sermon

    Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

    by Pondite on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:00:20 AM PST

    •  Funny... (none)
      That you should mention the Federalist Papers, since I've long thought of them as Republican holy writ.

      How I wish I kne wwhat would wake Joe and Jane Sixpack from their stupor. It wouldn't surprise me in teh least to learn that my Republican friends aren't bothered in the least by this latest revelation. They're probably busily preparing their smirking, oh so witty ripostes to whatever "LIB talking points" I might bring up.

      •  interesting comparison (none)
        In many ways, the Federalist Papers do stand in the same relationship to the right as the New Testament.  Something like:

        Federalist Papers : Bush-Conservatives ::
        New Testament : Fundamentalists

        If they would just READ the damn thing and think about it, instead of using the physical bound pages as a cudgel or a totem, we'd all be a lot better off.

        Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

        by Pondite on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 02:37:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We certainly have to make our reps accountable... (none)
    ...but we also have to make sure the American people are aware of what is at stake and make sure they are behind us on this.

    I don't have the surveys handy, but I have read some that suggest a shockingly high percentage of people that are willing to sacrifice civil liberties for what they are told is security.

  •  We are not at war! (4.00)
    Major combat operations are over. America is not at war, and W. was a war president for an entire month. Unless you want to count peace-keeping operations as being "at war", in which case every president is a war president, all the time.

    The longer we perpetuate this kind of a myth, the longer W gets to bend us over and ... well, take advantage of all of us the way he is now.

    GWT (Global War on Terror) is not truly being at  war. It's an acronym cooked up to justify abuse of power.

    •  You can't have war without W (4.00)
      bush creates the war then claims immunity because he's a 'war-time' president...that's pure and utter bullshit, and that's what people need to say to him every time he opens his lying mouth.

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

      by darthstar on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:11:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   "bullshit, and that's what people need ... (none)
        "...  to say to him every time he opens his lying mouth."

        Twirp!

        I was listening yesterday to George Bush and I thought, "That man must eat with his anus"

        by Yellow Canary on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:55:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why aren't the wingnuts screaming... (none)
        for the internment of Islamic and Middle-Eastern Americans if we are at war?

        I am a Dapper Dan Man. I do not use Fop!

        by bobinson on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 11:03:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Grasshopper, you missed Michelle Malkin (none)
          One of wingnuttery's finest spokeswomen, Malkin released "In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in WWII and the War on Terror" last year.  You can check her website at http://michellemalkin.com/... where she has posted various columns and reviews on her point of view.

          You can be sure she is a heroine to the Right, and that internment is a breath away given another strike on U.S. soil by people of the Arabic persuasion.

  •  Sying and Lying (none)
    Excellent article and it certainly frames the
    issues which bring down the GOP in 2006 and 2008
    if we handle it properly.
  •  For us to succeed, we must show that... (4.00)
    ...the Bush administration's policies are a greater threat to our Democracy than any terrorist threat. Now, for me, that's a given. Convincing the other side of that won't be as easy. However, we must remember that;

    • The Bush administration ignored all pre-9/11 attack warnings
    • They haven't caught OBL and went into Iraq instead
    • They didn't catch the person/people who attacked us after 9/11 (The Anthrax Attacker(s)). i.e.- George Bush has not kept us safe since 9/11.
    • The Bush administration outed an undercover CIA agent working to protect us from WMD's and the Bush administration, including the president, is covering for the traitor(s).
    • The terrorists don't want to limit our freedom's, the Bush administration does; The terrorist's can't change our laws. Only cowardly incompetent politicians that fear the terrorists can achive that.
    • America is a country of laws, not men. We need to hold the Bush administration accountable for their illegal activity.
    •  Excellent! (none)

      Violence is the first resort of the unintelligent

      by brenda on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:13:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  absolutely! (none)
        No sane person will take this 'War on Terror' seriously until
        Osama is caught or killed. If the Administration wants to talk about 'bringing them to justice', how about starting with the biggest mass murderer in American history. As of now, he has gotten away Scott free.

        I am a Dapper Dan Man. I do not use Fop!

        by bobinson on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:49:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well done (none)
      "The terrorist's can't change our laws. Only cowardly incompetent politicians that fear the terrorists can acheive that"

      That needs to be plastered on billboards, slapped on bumper stickers and shouted from the rooftops.  That is the best answer to the predictable and infuriating 9/11 mantra that gets thrown in your face every time you dare question these maniacs.

    •  Don't forget ... (none)
      • George Bush and his loyalists are arming the enemy.  Their weopon of chioce, suicide bombers, used to be hard to come by.  Since the invasion of Iraq we have been making weapons for the terrorists.
      • George bush and loyalists are teaching the terrorists how to defeat our military.  Every day we continue our attempt to occupy Iraq is a day enemies of America can practice their goals of fighting us. Our military becomes less feared every day we stay in Iraq.  The "big stick" is wilting.

      Those, however, are minor points.  Here are my big three:

      1.  Are you at risk?  George Bush and his loyalists yap "9/11, 9/11, 9/11" all day long -- has anything much actually changed between 1999 and yesterday?  Has anything changed in your neighborhood?  George Bush has certainly made us much more fearful (the National Alert System has never gone to either of its lowest settings, green and blue).  Has he made us in any appreciable way safer?  It's time for Americans to step outside, breathe the air, shake the hand of their polyglot American neighbors and ask each other:  why are we terrified?  Ask ten Americans you meet today:  are you terrorified?  Why?  Who is terrifying whom here?

      We need to codify and rate the threats which actually face us in America.

      2.  Is War with Iraq an intelligent response to the threats which face us?  Iraq is a small far-away now-hostile country.  It had nothing to do with the attacks or the attackers of September 11th, 2001.   NOTHING!  What do WE gain by occupying Iraq?  

      We need a detailed accounting of what OUR goals are for this occupation, and specific, verifiable claims about how achieving our goals will make America more secure.

      3.  Is the War with Iraq the best way to spend our limited money?  The United States is a rich country, but it is, after five years under the direction of spendthrift George Bush and his loyalists, deeply in debt.  It's December, and America can't pay cash for Christmas presents.  We have been borrowing money since May, and will have to earn a lot of money next year and the next twenty years in order to pay off the debts and interest which we have incurred under the direction of George Bush and his loyalists.  We have NO cash at hand.  Is continued War with Iraq, at a burn rate of at least 4 BILLION DOLLARS each month, wise -- even affordable?  There must be better ways to secure our freedom than trying to occupy a distant, armed, dangerous, and insurgent foreign country at enormous financial cost.  Mr. Bush:  Why should I work so hard so you can collect my wages and spend them killing people in Iraq?  It doesn't make sense.

      We need to decide the BEST way to spend our limited tax money.

      Here are my bullets for George to dodge.

      • George Bush likes to torture:  he is immoral.
      • George Bush wastes our money:  he is irresponsible.
      • George Bush picks fights:  he is bad leader.
      • George Bush refuses to accept responsibility for his actions:  he is childish.
      • George Bush has our military bogged down in an unwinnable War against a stateless enemy in a far-away, hostile land:  he is a bad Commander-in-Chief.
      • George Bush has sent thousands of our children to their deaths with nothing to show for it:  he is an untrustworthy father.
      • George Bush keeps his actions and his papers secret:  he is a coward.

      I was listening yesterday to George Bush and I thought, "That man must eat with his anus"

      by Yellow Canary on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 11:58:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans and big government...feh! (none)
    I can't stand those fuckers.  Thanks, SusanG, for the post...very well written and concise...I'll be sharing your diary with others...

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

    by darthstar on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:06:56 AM PST

  •  Anyone really interested in it... (none)
    should read the findings of the Church committee, and look in to the history of the NSA, COINTELPRO, and Operation CHAOS.
  •  This should be an issue (none)
    to divide the Kool-Aid Bushistas from the ideologically driven Republicans.  It's interesting to remember just how paranoid many Republicans became during the Clinton years, envisioning assaults from black helicopters by UN troops in those "infernal" blue helmets, and their complete confidence that most of what they were saying and writing was being monitored by Clinton flunkies.  Interesting to remember, but probably not useful to persuade today's Republicans that they need to oppose this kind of behavior from their party's leaders.
  •  Spying (3.50)
    Well, I don't think that it will really register with the American public until it is exposed how the surveillance has been used against them; ie the job that they didn't get, the medical procedure that is a little too personal for public disclosure, or the outright blackmail of an individual for their interests in some sights on the internet.

    The track record of this administration leads one to believe that they probably didn't just use these guidelines to track suspected terrorists. I would expect them to have used it to collect political data on opponents in order to out manuever the Dems.

    •  Hitler was shrewd enough to avoid doing things (none)
      that seemed too threatening to the average German in the years when he was consolidating his rule.  The only ones who seemed to suffer were Communists, Socialists, other political dissidents, "asocial" types like homosexuals, alcoholics, habitual criminals, and the "work-shy," and Jews and other ethnic minorities.  The average German felt pretty unthreatened (although threatened enough not to speak out against the regime.)
  •  we're screwed then (none)
    It's up to the minority party now to not let this happen.

    Yeah right, like that will happen. Has Lieberman jumped to the admins defense yet? Bet he will.

    Violence is the first resort of the unintelligent

    by brenda on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:12:15 AM PST

    •  Lieberman voted against the (none)
      Patriot Act today, which IMO means one of two things.  Either he's as pissed as he should be over the NYT revelations or he's afraid he could never set foot in CT again.  Either is fine with me.

      "If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too..." : The Smothers Brothers.

      by wozzle on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:26:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rep. Rohrabacher Contacted (none)
    I'm a constituent of Republican Rep. Rohrabacher and I called his DC office just now to ask the questions.  The staffer stated he "hasn't had time to discuss" the issue with the Congressman as of yet.  I left the questions with the staffer and asked for a response.

    "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous"

    by JNEREBEL on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:12:17 AM PST

  •  Didn't these guys ride to power (none)
    on the votes of the 'black helicopter' crowd?

    Or is spying on US citizens only a problem when they think that Democrats are doing it?

    I carried water for the elephant; Back and forth to the well I went; My arms got sore and my back got bent; But I couldn't fill up that elephant

    by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:14:08 AM PST

  •  Isn't it amazing... (4.00)
    that here we are all writing our congress critters begging them to stand up for our civil rights and civil liberties that our Constitution allegedly guarantees?

    In a sane world we shouldn't even be having this conversation. Until a couple years ago, I never thought we'd relive the 1950s red scare, but here we are and in some ways much worse. It only goes to show how far off track we've gone.

  •  Three things that must be done by us all. (none)
    1. Cancel subscriptions to the New York Times.
    2. Boycott their advertisers.
    3. Insist that everyone who followed Bush's order MUST MUST MUST be prosecuted!!!!!!!
  •  Good points, Susan (4.00)
    Here's an article form the FT a couple of days ago that shines some light on this trend:


    Cheney leads fight for presidential power

    Mr Cheney's advocacy, however, is best understood not as a defence of torture but as a key battle in the war over presidential power. His views of executive power were forged during the US retreat from Vietnam at a time of congressional assertiveness on foreign policy. After September 11 2001 he saw a chance to implement ideas about expansive executive power that he had long embraced and swing the pendulum back towards the president.

    (...)

    His interest in the issue can be traced to his formative political years as chief of staff to President Gerald Ford from 1975. (...)
    "He saw the power of the presidency emasculated under his watch, particularly with the inability to stay the course in Vietnam," says Vin Weber, a Republican strategist who has known him for 25 years. "He's been determined to reverse this ever since from the energy taskforce to national security. I believe the current issue is less about the value of torture than about an imperative to preserve and strengthen the presidency."

    Even as a congressman, Mr Cheney's loyalties lay with the White House. (...) His instincts were reinforced by Iran-Contra. (...)  Mr Cheney's role as minority chair of the Iran-Contra committee crystallised his views. "The minority report is a sophisticated analysis of the separation of powers and Dick Cheney's staff wrote that section."

    One conclusion of the minority report, published in 1987, was that Iran-Contra could be traced to a boundless view of congressional power in the 1970s, and the "state of political guerilla warfare over foreign policy between the legislative and executive branches."

    (...) Dick Cheney, as [GWH Bush's] defence secretary, griped about reporting requirements to Congress, and in 1989 set out his own ideas in a paper to the AEI, called "Congressional Over-reaching in Foreign Policy". He denounced presidential paralysis by congressional indecision. (...)

    It is in the "war on terror" that the administration has been most vigorous and successful in reclaiming authority in foreign policy. It marked an astute recognition that congressional power tends to be greatest at times of peace and presidential power at times of war.

    (...)

    In spite of the damage to the US international image over torture claims, Mr Cheney has shown no signs of backing down. (...)

    As history has shown, congressional attacks on presidential power have typically followed executive branch scandal. Moreover, there is a danger that by embracing torture it shores up the legal powers of the presidency but erodes an equally critical aspect: its moral authority.

    So far Mr Cheney has resisted making concessions over the torture issue. Yet he could note a prescient passage from the Iran-Contra minority report. "Presidents are elected to lead and to persuade. But presidents must also have congressional support for the tools to make foreign policy effective. No president can ignore Congress and be successful over the long term."

    In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
    Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

    by Jerome a Paris on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:14:44 AM PST

  •  we must get the message out (none)
    we must get this mesage out and say it over and over again.

     We are the Democratic party and we DO NOT BELIEVE that america should torture, America should NOT spy on its own citizens, America should NOT have secret prisons, America should Not continue to cut money and take food from our hungry children while lining the pockets of the rich.  We ARE the democratic party, it was our Democratic presidents which saw this country through World War 1, World War 2, It was a Democratic president that had the gut to use the bomb on Japan, It was a Democratic party president that had the fortitude to stare down the soviet union at the brink of world war 3 in Cuba, and it will again BE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY that sees America through this terroristic and civil liberty crisis now facing america.

  •  My approach. (none)
    My approach is more simple. I think the domestic spying issue is just another example of excessive government that republicans first put on the national political stage with abortion controls and reaffirmed with Terri Schiavo. Therefore, democrats are now in a good position to attack the old republican frame of big government versus small government. Now, democrats can and ought to go on the offensive by labeling conservatives as advocates of big brother government that invades your bedroom, controls your life and death decisions and spies on your lives without judicial oversight. We can shift the argument from big versus small government to limited versus big brother government. This shift not only gives dems a solid way to highlight the specific abuses of government power like domestic spying but also gives democrats a major path to defining a key difference between democrats and republicans.

    "Conservatives hate Pooh because he reminds children to 'think, think, think.'"

    by dicta on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:17:57 AM PST

  •  If you become a terrorist nation, what have you?? (none)
    Terroist attacks in America are really irrelevant in this discussion of violation of constitutional rights, IMO!  If this country was founded as a haven for certain defined (constitutionally) rights of the individual, and if in our fears we are no longer that haven, then we have no mission as a nation anymore, no soul.

    We have murders and lawbreaking going on all the time, and we do not abandon our haven rights because of these violation of our laws.  We try harder, but accept that some humans will violate our constitutional laws.  It should be no different for "terrorist"!  They are just lawbreakers, and we should attempt to punish them and prevent their future acts within our constitutionally protected freedoms. Otherwise, we are no better than the terorists.  

    It all boils down to this.  What is worse, terrorizing everyone or accepting some lawbreaking as a price for freedom??

    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

    by truthbetold on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:18:19 AM PST

  •  Trent Lott (4.00)
    Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said he only glanced Times article. ``If I were really concerned, I would have read it,'' he said.

    Lott said some of his colleagues were overreacting to the potential for civil-liberties violations through this reported NSA program and the 2001 Patriot Act, which gives the FBI power to track terrorist suspects. The Patriot Act is up for renewal.

    ``I don't agree with the libertarians,'' Lott said. ``I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that.''

    http://www.bloomberg.com/...

    So this is how they are going to play it. We (GOP Leadership) are so scared (of Bush? of Terrorsim?) the we are willing to tear up the Constitution and live in a tyranny.

    I think they are about to find this will stir the hornet's nest called the American people. The Constitution is the one thing Liberals and Conservatives agree on.

    •  of course (none)
      Of course that is how they will play it. It is how any would-be tyrant would. Make the people choose between freedom or safety. That is how Orwells "freedom is slavery" from 1984 works. You convince the people that "freedom" equals "enslavement" to the terrorists' or any other external threat. That is why GW keeps saying that the "terrorists hate our freedom." What is left unstated is "they hate our freedom, so to be safer we must shed our freedoms" little by little.

      Boil that frog.

      Violence is the first resort of the unintelligent

      by brenda on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:38:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish (none)
      The Constitution is the one thing Liberals and Conservatives agree on.

      I wish.  Most people in the US -- if they even know what the Constitution actually says -- seem to be perfectly willing to (1) ignore it, (2) re-interpret it, or (3) argue that it should be changed, if it doesn't allow what they want to do.  Repubs seem somewhat more inclined to do those things than Dems, but they don't have a monopoly by any means.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

      by Bearpaw on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:40:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had (none)
      I had alot of my relatives who grew up and lived in the Thrid Reich. They told stories alot of stories but one thing they did admit was that for the most part it was a very very safe community. Doors never needed locking, you could leave your bikes anywhere as they would never be stolen. "Safety" of this form does come with fascism, So is this where we are going.

       My god does anyone of the retarded right ever pick up a book?

    •  The asshole Lott apparently (none)
      . . . . disagrees with Ben Franklin's statement that those who trade essential liberty for security deserve neither.

      Fuck his sorry, cracker, Mississippi ass!!!

      Dumb, fucking, ignorant yahoo!!!

  •  This is abuse occurring (3.80)
    I lived through this under Nixon, and this Bush crowd just picks up where Nixon left off. This isn't the potential for abuse - this is abuse occurring. Collecting the data is a real warning sign that they might USE the data they are collecting. The Bush Administration routinely looks up the party affiliation and political views & donations of people before deciding how to deal with them. And now we learn that they have the agencies of the government listening in on phone calls, emails, etc. and keeping databases of people attending anti-war events.

    Younger readers here should learn about what happened under Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover with COINTELPRO, "a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents."  And they were not fooling around.  The Bush crowd just picks up where the Nixon crowd left off.  IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN.

    -- Seeing The Forest -- Investigating how the Right is beating the Dems

    by davej on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:25:10 AM PST

  •  SusanG, I have posted your challenge... (none)
    ...on take19, a blog dedicated to defeating Republican Congresswoman Sue Kelly in New York's 19th district.

    I recommend you all take a look and, if there isn't one already up and running, suggest you create a similar blog in your district if you have a GOP Rep.

    Time to get moving.

    Political Cortex Original home of Front Page Posters.

    by NYBri on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:25:41 AM PST

  •  I have nothing to add to the post (none)
    other than to say this is the coolest thing I've read in a while:

    This is about the very foundations of democracy: Is the government our servant or our master? And is the president, who is elected to execute our laws, allowed to suspend them?

    I can hear the fabric of that "permanent Republican majority" ripping into shreds.  Odd, but the sound is sort of Nixonian.

    Part of me wants to cheer the downfall of these bastards; part of me is shaken to the core that these people have run away with this country so fast and so effectively.  Jesus.

    -9.25, -7.54

    Yikes. Good thing I don't have guns.

    by Marc in KS on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:25:46 AM PST

    •  suspending our laws.... (none)
      when you hear bush and his (rendon group scripted) minions go forth and reiterate (over and over and over etc) that 9/11 changed everything ...NOW you know what they really mean...

      imho IF the democrats want to hit home, with america's middle class, concerning all this spying and lying they MUST tie the patriot act to COINTELPRO

      Boomers need to be reminded of another time when another secretive gov also used national security as a 'cover' to SPY on U.S. citizens without any reason other then to protect and preserve their stranglehold on unfettered political power.

      the patriot act IS the new cointelpro

      and the same old bunch of lying and spying right wing republicans support it.

      "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

      by KnotIookin on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:41:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do not think of myself as a (none)
        particularly prescient person, but I can clearly remember when Bush started using the "war" word that we were in deep shit.  When is going to end?  How will we know when it's over?  Who are the bad guys?  How can they surrender?  And on, and on.

        Worse than Watergate, worse than Vietnam.  I mean, shit man, I already did this when I was younger.

        -9.25, -7.54

        Yikes. Good thing I don't have guns.

        by Marc in KS on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 01:11:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Scott McClellan press briefing .... (none)
    he says that Bush is "firmly committed to upholding our Constitution and protecting people's civil liberties. That is something he has always kept in mind as we have moved forward from the attacks of Sept. 11.  To do everything within our power to prevent attacks from happening.  It's very important to him.  We're meeting both those priorities.  They're two very important priorities." (I thought priorities were always important?)

    LMAO (if I wasn't crying so hard).

    And then he goes on to say all of it is classified and he's not going to talk about any of it. (But he does let us know that they have broken up numerous terorist cells, and that they are out there and they really, really, really want to kill us.  Really!

    "We have a Constitution and we have laws in place.  And we follow those."

    Lying douchebag!

    "I think the American people appreciate what we do to work within the law to prevent attacks from happening."

    You've got to be kidding me!

    Helen Thomas asks him if it is within the law to spy on Americans, and he starts talking about how, right now, they are debating the Patriot Act.

    I guess that means that as long as they pass it, that they are following the law.  Right?

    And how it is soooooo important that they extend it right now!

    Go Feingold!

    These enemies of freedom and liberty have got to be stopped!  

    And I don't mean the terrorists.  If Bush is right, and they want to harm us because they hate freedom, and they want to destroy the American way of life and the freedoms we enjoy, they have already won.

    But only because Bush let them!

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by Bcre8ve on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:26:45 AM PST

  •  fascistas (none)
    Some of us have used the term "fascism" to describe what is going on. Many here prefer not to be so impolitic.

    But to quote the eminent Harlan Watson "if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's a... er... won't get fooled again!"

    Take time out from trying to work three jobs to put food on your family for a moment and WAKE UP.

    This is fascism. Fascism light, perhaps, but it doesn't taste great. (Less filling!)

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:27:12 AM PST

  •  I'm going to write (none)
    my congresscritters-House and Senate-and ask precisely those three questions.  Thanks for the idea.

    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

    by ssundstoel on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:32:31 AM PST

  •  re: (none)
    Q: This is about the very foundations of democracy: Is the government our servant or our master? And is the president, who is elected to execute our laws, allowed to suspend them?

    A: Remember That a Government Big Enough to Give You Everything You Want is Also Big Enough to Take Away Everything You Have - Davy Crockett

  •  Wedge Issues (none)
    Since we know that fear and wedge issues works, why can't the liberal blogosphere and the Dem party use the same tactic.

    Wedge showing Bush spying, invading the privacy/sanctity of homes and harassing innocent Americans. Create the fear that you could be next. Bush and the radical right want big government that takes away your freedom! I'll fight to protect our Constitution and fundamental rights. Vote Dem.

  •  Excellent (none)
    Hope you don't mind I used your questions verbatim, with a bit of added commentary.  My rep. is Denny Rehberg of Montana, and he definitely needs to consider his position on this matter carefully, given the libertarian political spirit of his constituency.  Thanks, SusanG!
  •  is the president (none)
    who is elected to execute our laws, allowed to suspend them?

    After they're "executed" (and "executing" laws is hard work, doncha know) merely "suspending" them seems sort of . . . unimportant . . .

    It's all in the interpretation, see?  Maybe someone will ask Scalito . . .

  •  Sent your questions to Congr. Heather Wilson (R) (none)
    ...from NM CD1, via Congress.org.
    Wilson is on the House Intelligence Committee and consistently refuses to support any oversight. We'll see if she answers the questions.
  •  Checks and Balances... (none)
    ...should be a major theme during the 2006 elections.

    The Republicans have shown, through their almost unlimited corruption and hubris (as well as with stories such as this spying-on-Americans item), that it is critical to introduce a political check on the current government, just as the Founders envisioned.

    Not only is this "checks and balances" meme true, but I think it will also plays well politically. I know first-hand here in Massachusetts that there's a major reason MA keeps electing GOP Governors -- it's because MA is hugely Dem controlled, and the voters want to place a check on that power.

    Obviously, the recent news on secret orders and so forth makes it even more important (and politically effective) that we press the "checks and balances" issue in '06.

    Democrats will fight for a Renewed Deal with the American people.

    by Hoyapaul on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:44:54 AM PST

  •  First question I would like to ask is (none)
    even more simple...........

    "Do you support the executive branch's authorization of spying on American citizens?


    He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:48:28 AM PST

  •  So long Bush 2.0 (none)
    I was rather concerned that the "new" Bush was going to gain traction with the public.  However, the idea of spying on Americans will likely tamp down an renewed public opinion growth for Bush.  The scales fell from the public's eyes with Katrina and Bush has lost most of his credibility.  This episoide only reinforces the public perception about Bush and the Republican abuse of power.

    As for with holding the story, this is the SECOND episode in which key information was withheld from the public right before the 2004 election.  The first came from Fitzgerald saying that if the witness's were more forthcoming, he would hace indicted Libby in Nov 2004.  

    This is starting to become REAL scary shit, people.    This spying on Americans is real Nixionian and PROFOUNDLY unamerican.

  •  here are some highlights (none)
    from a diary I posted about our Crisis Constitution, which kicks in when the president declares a National Emergency (9/11), which has not yet been rescinded.  The Patriot Act, if passed, would effectually put us in a permanent state of emergency.  And the trouble is, people keep replying to me:  "Crisis Constitution?  What's that?  I've never heard of it..."  Under a Crisis Constitution, the Supreme Court has upheld what would normally be called unconstitutional acts by governments, which renders much of our well-intentioned research and talk about the constitutionality of many governmental actions (including torture) irrelevant under a National Emergency.

    Following are excerpts from an article by Robert Higgs written shortly after 9/11, explain the principle whereby "...In national emergencies the Crisis Constitution overrides the Normal Constitution."  In other words, all our arguments about this or that being constitutional or not are irrelevant as long as our elected leaders, Supreme Court and we, the public, agree to remain in a state of National Emergency.

    Time and chance have been unkind to the hopes of the Founding Fathers. They established the Constitution to "secure the Blessings of Liberty" to themselves and their posterity, intending their framework of freedom and government to endure through storm as well as sunshine. But the dead could not forever bind the living, and the unfolding of our history during the 20th century has brought into being a second Constitution. Besides the Normal Constitution, protective of individual rights, we now have a Crisis Constitution, hostile to individual rights and friendly to the unchecked power of government officials. In national emergencies the Crisis Constitution overrides the Normal Constitution...

    ...The great danger is that in an age of permanent emergency--the age we live in, the age we are likely to go on living in--the Crisis Constitution will simply swallow up the Normal Constitution, depriving us at all times of the very rights the original Constitution was created to protect at all times. The outlook can only dishearten those who believe that the fundamental purpose of the Constitution is to protect individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property. Though earlier events, especially during the Civil War, foreshadowed the Crisis Constitution, World War I witnessed its unmistakable emergence...

    ...If the Framers intended the powers of government officials or the rights of private citizens to be any different in national emergencies, they neglected to express that intention in the Sacred Text. But the Constitution is more than the document itself. As Charles A. Beard observed, it is "what living men and women think it is, recognize as such, carry into action, and obey." And clearly, the Crisis Constitution is, and long has been, as much a part of the American constitutional system as the Normal Constitution. ..

    ...In sum, the Crisis Constitution, like the Normal Constitution, rests on a broad ideological base. In the 20th century the American people have come to expect, tolerate, and in many instances demand that the Normal Constitution be displaced during national emergencies.

    To make matters worse, however, the Normal Constitution to which we revert after a national emergency has ended is never the same as it was before the crisis. To some degree, aspects of the Crisis Constitution, as expressed in judicial interpretation and even more so in the body of belief that supports the constitutional system, are incorporated into the Normal Constitution. Such legacies marked the aftermaths of both world wars and the Great Depression...

    ...Emergency powers as such continue to undergird the government's denial of numerous rights, especially in relation to international travel, commercial, and financial transactions. In upholding government actions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Court quoted with approval a lower-court decision noting that the act's language "is sweeping and unqualified. It provides broadly that the President may void or nullify the `exercising [by any person of] any right, power or privilege with respect to... any property in which any foreign country has any interest.'" Thus, even in the early 1980s, as normal a time as one can expect in our era, the Crisis Constitution overrides and displaces the Normal Constitution.

    Should a genuine national emergency arise, there can be no doubt about how the government would react. (Recall its actions in dealing with the partly spurious, partly self-inflicted "energy crisis" in the 1970s.) The private rights of Americans--such as remain--are balanced on a very thin constitutional edge.

    ...Ultimately the Normal Constitution can be preserved against the inroads of the Crisis Constitution only if the politically influential elites who make policies and mold the opinions of the majority are willing to resist the passions of national emergency. If such understanding, and a concomitant commitment to individual rights, were widespread, we would have little to fear. As Abraham Lincoln said, "With public sentiment nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." If the dominant ideology gives strong support to the Normal Constitution, it will survive, no matter what else happens.

    But if the dominant ideology does not give strong support to the Normal Constitution, it will eventually be overwhelmed by the Crisis Constitution. Step by step, a ratcheting loss of rights will attend each episode of national emergency. And we may as well admit that such emergencies are inevitable.

    Unfortunately, citizens in the United States today, with only a few notable exceptions, have neither an appreciation of this ratchet process nor a strong commitment to individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Therefore, the most likely prospect is for further expansion of the Crisis Constitution and a corresponding loss of the liberty our Founding Fathers sought to secure for us.


    "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

    by stonemason on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:57:03 AM PST

  •  Congratulations everybody! (none)
    We have all made it on to the NSA's watchlist. And guess what? They know what the 'G' stands for in 'SusanG'. The NSA has more funding than the FBI or the CIA (it did in the 80's, probably still does). With money to burn, us 70,000 Kossacks, are a project for a summer intern or two.

    I am a Dapper Dan Man. I do not use Fop!

    by bobinson on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 10:57:27 AM PST

    •  Some of us (none)
      have been on the list for some time now.
      •  to be fair to the NSA (none)
        they didn't want to do this. I'm pretty sure I heard on NPR that the NSA resisted. Don't recall the details though and I am sure they were no match for pressure from Cheney.

        There are actually people in the security orgs like NSA and CIA that are principled and have the nations best interests at heart. I am equally sure that this admin has done all it can to corrupt or remove anyone in their way.

        Violence is the first resort of the unintelligent

        by brenda on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:10:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the true nature of conservatism (4.00)
    "Distrust of the government and its motives runs deep in American conservatism; witness the recoil from relatively benign "nanny state" interventions such as social welfare programs and anti-smoking laws. How much more repugnant is wiretapping, surveillance and massive record-keeping by the feds?"

    Susan, you are making a fundamental mistake here about the nature of conservatism. The only state interventions that conservatism opposes are ones that reduce the desperation of the poor and middle class, thereby attenuating the power of the powerful. It is liberals and libertarians who would be distrurbed by government spying on its citizens. Please don't give conservatism credit that it doesn't deserve.

  •  THE LIES OF THE ETHICALLY - CHALLENGED! (none)

    THE LIES OF THE ETHICALLY-CHALLENGED!

    How many times have we heard President Screw-up say, "They {Congress} looked at the same information that we did?"

    A government report was requested by Senator Diane Feinstein.

    http://feinstein.senate.gov/...

    From: Alfred Cumming Specialist in Intelligence and National Security
    Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division
    Subject: Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information

    The body of this report is very long and shows the limitations of information Congress gets, and contains much more information, but here are a few points:
    Congressional Access to Intelligence Information Not Routinely Provided in Four Areas
    The executive branch generally does not routinely share with Congress four general types of intelligence information:
    *    the identities of intelligence sources;
    *    the "methods" employed by the Intelligence Community in collecting and analyzing intelligence;
    *    "raw" intelligence, which can be unevaluated or "lightly" evaluated intelligence, (18) which in the case of human intelligence (19) sometimes is provided by a single source, but which also could consist of intelligence derived from multiple sources when signals (20) and imagery (21) collection methods are employed; and,
    *    Certain written intelligence products tailored to the specific needs of the President and other high-level executive branch policymakers. Included in the last category is the President's Daily Brief (PDB), a written intelligence product which is briefed daily to the President, and which consists of six to eight relatively short articles or briefs covering a broad array of topics. (22) The PDB emphasizes current intelligence (23) and is viewed as highly sensitive, in part, because it can contain intelligence source and operational information. Its dissemination is thus limited to the President and a small number of presidentially-designated senior administration policymakers. (24)

    ISN'T THIS SPECIAL??!!

    Bush can do anything he wants EVEN if he speaks out of BOTH sides of his mouth! The White House declared yesterday it was "Presidential prerogative" to declare the poster-boy for corruption, Tom Delay innocent! With much hubris, George refuses to comment on "TreasonGate" to cover his "Presidential prerogative arse" The results of Bush's term in office has shown his judgment to be "impaired" on many fronts.

    "MORAL VALUES" OR "MORAL HYPOCRISY???"

    The administration asked the New York Times NOT to publish this article! Any excuse will do, calling wrong, right is a hallmark of the Bush Administration! As always, when the Bush Administration is caught with its pants down, they use an excuse, this time it is the "Homeland Security excuse" despite the fact it tramples on the rights of all Americans. This excuse, along with, "Executive Privilege" and "Security" has been employed time and time again as a out and out "COVER-UP"{Cheney Energy Commission, Oil Company Protections, to name just two}

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    "Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials."

    The bottom line is, the Bush Administration gave themselves permission to eavesdrop on our calls, monitor our e-mails, spy on legitimate political action groups and take names,checkout car license plates, {blocking anyone from the opposition from attending their closed Bush appearances, and put protesters on a terrorists list. They can do all this "domestic spying" without warrants, to catch the few "bad guys"{maybe} by abusing the rights of thousands of Americans!

    We have seen the truth of a Betram Gross quote, as we watch the parade of the ethically-challenged, Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby, McClellan, Rumsfeld, Rice, Delay, Frist, Cunningham, Powell, and Safavian to name a few! Gross told us, "The more lies are told, the more important it becomes for the liars to justify themselves by deep moral commitments to high-sounding objectives to MASK the pursuit of money and power!"

  •  Damn (none)
    fine piece Susan. "No doubt we will see in coming weeks hair-splitting legal and constitutional debate over the precise wording of presidential orders, evocations of executive privilege and withholding of information in the name of national security, and mind-numbingly dull citations from dozens of obscure court cases."

    I so wish I had written that!

    Read UTI, your free thought forum

    by DarkSyde on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 11:07:21 AM PST

  •  Conservatives uniformly dishonest or clueless (none)
    One characteristic that is common to ALL conservatives is dishonesty --whether it be the active conniving and patent deceitfulness of
    someone like Frist or Cheney, or whether it be
    a simply inclination to self-delusion and incapacity to assess facts and occurrences as objectively as possible...such as people who believe nonsense no matter how hard it flies in the face of reality . .  .

    A good example of the latter type of dishonest conservative is the Republican mayor in Washington state who recently was recalled because of his bizarre personal history and behavior.  This man is a conservative Republican who trolls for teenaged boy sex on the internet.  He believes the nonsense that he was not the problem.  The problem, according to him, was the media --which reported the TRUTH.
    While Mayor West might think that the media did him in . . . a non-sensical belief that conservatives are famous for. . . the fact is that the TRUTH did him in.  The TRUTH is his greatest enemy, and he is so corrupted and blinded that he cannot see that.  When a voice speaks the truth, he attacks the voice, not the truth that is spoken.  And, apparently for him, that's an effective response.  The truthfulness of the voice is irrelevant.  Truth is whatever you want it to be in your own head  --a very conservative way of looking at the world.

    The deceitfulness of the Republicans like Cheney is about as thick as it could possibly be.

    •  not true (none)
      Neocons yes, current republicans yes, all conservatives no.

      Here in Minnesota all of the former IR, Independant Rupublicans, are personna non grata in what is called the GOP now. Some have even run for office as dems, or as Independants.

      There has been a tremendous shift to the right in this country. Fueled primarily by the single issue of abortion and the pratice of weeding any and all GOPers out who didn't tow the line. What was once a genuine political party has been destroyed and replaced with an insane mob and it's handlers.

      Violence is the first resort of the unintelligent

      by brenda on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:17:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  part of the rebranding (none)
    This is further evidence for the public at large, who is just now coming to terms with this truism about the US political parties:

    Democrats are for keeping government off the backs of citizens.

    Republicans are for keeping government off the backs only of corporations.

  •  They must think we are the terrorists! (none)
    This really fits in with an article on the recurring theme of the no-fly lists out today.

    Names like Zapolsky, Kennedy, Young, Lewis and Graham don't belong to 'suspected terrorists,' they belong to Americans.

    This was always about restricting OUR freedoms, real terrorism is just a pretext.

    Its sad that we have to question this.

  •  Bastards and cowards AGAIN (none)

    Don't expect the Dems to be the savior here.  With the exception of two or three (Feingold, Reid, Kennedy) there will be no others likely to be on the side of the angels here.  Rockerfeller, that friggin' weakling COWARD was in on the spying deal at the beginning.  The NYTimes reports that CheneyBush brought in some Dems AND rethugs to brief them on the spying.  Now, being a clear coward (as usual) Rockerfeller is doing the guilty "no comment" schtick.  That ALWAYS means he's in on it up to his shithead eyes.  What a waste of skin Rockerfeller has turned out to be.

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

    by praedor on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 11:47:36 AM PST

  •  Ending the State of Emergency (none)
    "It's up to the Democrats" may sound uncannily like "it's up to Mr. Magoo," but maybe we can help.  

    It seems to me we need to guide the larger debate in this direction:  We cannot live in a state of emergency.  Terrorism happens sometimes, and it's terrible, and you try to prepare for it and keep your eye on the ball and use good intelligence, but sometimes these attacks take place.  Lives are lost and property is destroyed.  This happens in Europe and they still manage to maintain a civil society.  We can too.  We'll accept no state of emergency, no emergency constitution and no permanent police state.

    Lest we forget, this administration took its eye off the ball before 9/11, unlike the previous administration, which had no interest in this level of domestic repression.  What's more, Bush's people lied and blustered and distorted their way into an illegal and unncessary war based on B.S. intelligence. They gave us color-coded alerts that meant nothing and invoked the Sept. 11 attacks only to silence their critics.  They need our fear and hate our freedom.  They are worse than foreign terrorists — they are domestic traitors.

    New frame: America's freedom cannot be destroyed from without.  Terrorists may blow up some buildings and kill some of our people, but they cannot destroy our cherished institutions. Those can only be eroded from within.  Therefore the real threat is NOT terrorism.  It's unchecked government power.  And the real emergency is to remove and prosecute those who would exploit our fears to enslave us. We can live under the shadow of terrorism, but we can't live in a prison of our own making.
  •  this stuff is impeachable (none)

    Domestic spying shows a certain, uh, unwillingness to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." And the cheerful news is, creating a drumbeat for impeachment sure distracts the bastids.

    But here's something I didn't know, courtesy the indispensible Br'er Froomkin at WaPo: polls show more people want to impeach Bush now than wanted to impeach Clinton even while Clinton was about to be impeached!

    In a poll question commissioned by an anti-Bush coalition but asked by Rasmussen Reports, 32 percent of Americans say they want Bush impeached and removed from office, compared to 35 percent for Cheney.

    "The impeachment of President Bush is favored by a plurality (49%) of Democrats. However, it is opposed by 84% of Republicans and 55% of those not affiliated with either major political party."

    Democrats.com reports that "prior to the impeachment of President Clinton in August and September 1998, there were 10 major polls conducted. Support for impeaching Clinton and removing him from office averaged only 26%."

    Of course, there go the Democrats again, paying attention to what the majority of the people want. Looks like all we have to do is drive up the Democrats for impeachment by 2% and unaffiliateds by 6% and we'll have a majority for impeachment that even the Democrats won't be able to ignore!

  •  Thanks Susan. (none)
    Just sent your questions to Congressman Vern Ehlers, Michigan's 3rd District.

    I'll be happy to share his response should I get one.

    Good to see you on the FP...

    "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" - Diderot

    by Cliff Talus on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 11:55:26 AM PST

  •  Your questions need to be revised: (none)

    To wit:

    1. Does the president have unlimited power in a time of war, particularly an undeclared one?
    2. Do you believe the government has a right to spy on its citizens with no regulating oversight?
    3. If elected will you participate in a full and open Congressional investigation into the executive branch's use of the Intelligence Community to spy on American citizens Do you support a full and open Congressional investigation into the executive branch's authorization of spying on American citizens?

    Simple questions to answer for simple candidates.

    c.

    2154
  •  why only the House? (none)
    Hi. Can somebody explain why the diary urges us to contact our House reps, and leaves out Senate? It's not a rhetorical question -- I'm wondering if there's a practical reason.

    Thanks.

  •  CNN poll (none)
    For those so inclined to cast a vote on the following:

    Should the government have been given the authority to spy on Americans without warrants after the 9/11attacks?

    Go to: www.cnn.com and scroll down to "QuickVote" in right-hand column.

    It's currently running 69% "no" to 31% "yes."

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 12:19:33 PM PST

  •  Seize the day - hold "extra" hearings (none)
    OK, so on one hand we have revelations of government activities that are scandalous and scary (not to mention illegal, etc.)   On the other hand, our body of government that would investigate this is controlled by folks who are more likely to whitewash  at best and at worst take up oxygen by holding hearings about X-mass being destroyed.

    But it seems there's a perfect oppertunity here - because the House has decided to stay closed for business in January.  So wouldn't it be great (and get lots of media coverage) if the house democrats held "extra special" hearings on their own in washington on these spying revelations - like conyers did on the vote scandals in ohio.  (Can they do that with the house not in session - who knows, who cares.  rent a room somewhere and call it a hearing - like conyers did...)

    1. This will be the only house stuff going on so will get coverage on that alone

    2. The Visual will be Democrats working to defend Americans and American values while the repubs are trying to defend their criminal leadership

    3. Because it will be the only thing going on, maybe people will actually accomplish a lot in terms of revealing all of the excesses and problems and set the stage for corrective action (read that as broadly as you like)

    If the other side is going to abandon the field, we should make it ours.  If this scandal isn't the right one to play up at the "while-they're-hiding" hearings, then there are plenty of others to choose from - e.g. Katrina, Iraq
  •  crazy (none)
    To me, the whole argument that the President has some sort of unlimited power during wartime is so contrary to the entire notion and structure of the US Constitution as to be laughable.

    The whole basic premise of the US Constitution is a system of Checks and Balances.  This was a document written by a generation that had just staged a revolution against government by an all-powerful king.  While the business interests of the day were demanding a central government, the Founding Fathers knew very well the dangers of a strong central government.  And they did their best to make certain that when they did create the central government that they also put into place a system of checks and balances to make sure that the one thing that didn't happen was that one individual obtained unchecked powers.

    In fact, the original government of the United States was really intended to be one with a weak executive branch.  They way this government was founded, and basically the way it worked for say the first 150 years was that the President really had very little power.  The role of the President and the Executive Branch is to execute policies established by Congress.

    When you look at the notion of war, you see several strong points in the Constitution.  First is that the power to declare war is completely reserved for the Congress of the United States.  Our current Representatives and Senators should be ashamed for letting this power drift over to the executive.  But there is no doubt from reading the Constitution that the founders expected the Representatives elected by the people to be the final word on this.

    Second, the power of the purse remains in control of the Congres.  Specifically, all bills involving money must originate in the House of Representatives.  There's nothing in here that says that this power changes and shifts during wartime.  From this, its clear that the thinking of the founders is that Congress maintains its critical powers and responsibilities during wartime.

    Last is the clause that the Bush-fascists seem to want to cite.  That is that the President is Commander in Chief during wartime.  I'd bet George Washington had a say in this, as he'd experienced the frustrations of trying to command an army under the control of the committees of Congress.  So the President is listed as the Commander in Chief.  That means he's the commander of the armed forces during wartime.

    But nothing in that sections says that the Consititution, treaties and laws of the United States are something the Commander in Chief can dismiss by fiat during wartime.  In fact, to me the entire structure of the Constitution says the opposite.  The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, but that he is still expected to act within the legal framework of the United States while performing these duties.  The Constitution certainly says nothing about Congress giving up its budgetary powers to the President during wartime.  In fact I can't think of any clause anywhere in the Constitution that says that any powers delegated to any branch suddenly derive to the President during wartime.

    And to me it is completely absurd to somehow say that the President during wartime suddenly acquires the powers to imprison people without charges, torture people, spy and manipulate American citizens, interfere with a free press and the many other powers that this President has suddenly claimed for himself during this "wartime".

    And that's not even getting into the very basic fact that only Congress has the power to declare war, and that Congress certainly has never done so.  If a "war President" does have special powers, the last "war President" this country had was Harry Truman.


    "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

    by COBear on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 01:04:01 PM PST

    •  Sen Feinstein...... (none)
      Just spent about 25 minutes explaining the difference between "A Congressional Declaration of War", and the "Congressional Authorization of Force In Iraq", and the War Powers that the Executive enjoys.
       I was very impressed with the way she broke it all down in her renunciation of just what the hell der fuhrer has been getting away with.
       This is huge.
  •  Past Meets Present (none)
    I was a volunteer for the Army in 1965.  Served 10 months in S. Korea, ten miles south of the DMZ in a mechanized Infanfry unit. Volunteered for Vietnam.  Went to Vietnam in summer, 1966. Was seriously wounded (shot from 15 feet by a VC with an AK-47), had malaria, and have had forty years of PTSD.  Now 70% permanently disabled. (Nov 1966).

    I "came out" against the Vietnam War in the summer of 1967; sent a letter to my hometown newspaper; returned to duty to be told that I "shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you ..." and was discharged from the hospital and sent "back to duty" as quickly as the Chief Surgeon could get me out of there.  He regretted that he could not send me "back to an Infantry unit ... you obviously have more time on your hands than you need ..." but knew my right arm had been nearly shot off and I was useless for infantry work since I couldn't even slide the bolt back on an M-16.

    I later joined the anti-war demonstrations in my home state, and, when I went to a "Big Ten" large state university, was in Students For A Democratic Society.  I KNOW that someone sent that letter to the FBI and have strongly believed that since I've posted regularly to al-Jazeera, Dar al Hayat, some websites in Iraq, and the UK, that I've been spied upon.  Nothing would surprise me.

    When the ACLU files a class action law suit, you can sure as fuck bet my name will be on it.  The Bush Administration has shown it's real underbelly.  We have a Vice President who lurks behind closed doors like a werewolf, seeking to impose his notions of torture on our system of government.
    This, in light of the fact that September 11, 2001, was, for certain, a terrible event: but NOT on the scope of WW II OR the Cold War (WW III according to James "Dipwad" Woolsey).

    The fact is that al-Qaeda is a Red Herring.  The fact is that  the Intelligence Agencies, which were SEVERELY BUT NECESSARILY muzzled in the early seventies by the Church and Pike Commissions (Senate and House) deserved every fucking thing they got.  They have been waiting for this kind of excuse to go BACK into the closet and rummage.  I will be surprised if my name ISN'T on the list.

    I also want to warn folks that sometime back, after posting to al-Jazeera a few times, I got what was reputed to be a posting from "the insurgency in Iraq."  I smelled a rat, and a FBI or NSA disinformation campaign/sting.  I never responded, and sent out a large scale posting to perhaps 200 people, who were on various "liberal email lists" to respond to that post WITH EXTREME CAUTION.  I felt it was a "sting" and a provocative effort to ensnare liberal and anti-war dissenters.

    As a Quaker, whose been involved with the Anti-War Movement against The War ON Iraq, I may have been surveilled locally, as well.  We have had numerous anti-war rallies, demonstrations, reading of names, and some threats against ourselves for reading those names.  This is exactly what happens when the Republicans come to power.  It is NO accident that they abuse power.  They are fascinated with Power and they simply get a crack/meth high rush from it.  Never have I seen such egregious behavior!

    If any of you have Republican Congressional Representatives or Senators, I would strongly urge you to immediately begin isolating them on this.  How did they vote on the Torture changes? How are they going to vote on the Patriot Act? How DARE those fuckers proceed on the Patriot Act when this is exactly what many of us have claimed WOULD FUCKING HAPPEN!  And it HAS.  And I suspect more will come out soon!

    I know that I intend on pinning my local shitforbrains NM Republican House Rep down ... and if he voted to allow torture, his ass is grass and I am the lawnmower.  Screw this! I'm a disabled vet, 70%, combat infantry vet, combat infantry volunteer, on point the day I got shot. Malaria and severe PTSD for many years.  I did what Bush and Cheney didn't do ... I went ... same as John Kerry, Bob Smith (former VT senator), John McCain, Chuck Hegel, and, John Murtha and that fuck, Duncan Hunter.

    This is cause for discussions of impeachment.  This is, however, NOT the end.  I can expect some massive new revelations, and coupled with NBC's revelations recently about CFIA collecting intelligence on "trouble makers" around military bases, I would guess New Mexico will have it's share (the anti-War Movement out here is VERY well connected with various nodes). We have a host of very high value military and nuclear facilities here, so I can imagine there are FBI, CIA, NSA, DOE, DOD and god knows who the fuck else out here, screwing around.

    We HAVE had Army types attend some of our rallies ... and, like what happened during the Vietnam War, showed up to take pictures of who WE WERE, whether at anti-war demonstrations or even Black Panther Party Rallies.  

    Hell NO, the Government does not have this right!
    Hell YES, I'd better see my congressional rep get off his sorry fucking ass and join in calls for a top to bottom investigation.  More will be revealed. Take it for certain!
    This is just the tip of the damned ice-berg.

    This is the greatest gift we, who have opposed the War On Iraq could receive. Bush's polling #s are abysmal.  He is on the ropes. And, given he's a Dry Drunk alcoholic and drug addict, my guess is he'll crack soon, if he hasn't already, drinking or using chemicals.  If Rove, Rumsfeld, and Cheney go, Bush will be so stupid he won't even know where his zipper is.  These revelations should, in and of themselves, serve as cause for massive demonstrations all over the country.  We should call for Bush's impeachment.

    It was bound to happen.  As the Bumper Sticker says:
    "Somewhere in Texas, a village is without it's idiot."
    Not only a missing idiot.  A missing sense of morality and adherence to the Constitution.

    And for God's sake, let's try putting into perspective the ENORMOUS difference between the Cold War, where almost every human being on the planet could have been killed by Global Thermonuclear War, and al-Qaeda, and the "War On Terror."  These guys (Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld, Feith, Cambone, etc.) have ALL wanted WW IV.
    They've gotten it ... and you can all see where we've gone.

    These are DANGEROUS, MORALLY DEFICIENT people.

    They need to ALL come down.  Time for impeachment, and a list of who was doing what to whom, when, and for how long.  And our names should ALL be published who have been wronged.

  •  Republicans love the "nanny" state. (none)
    Republicans like an intrusive government.  Why else would they be outraged by a Supreme Court decision that held that the right to private, noncommercial, consensual sex falls within the privacy right?  Or restrict habeas corpus?  Or pass the PATRIOT Act?

    Their opposition to the "nanny" state begins and ends with the interests of their wealthy constituents.  Anti-smoking laws aren't bad because they infringe on our right to light up wherever the hell we please - they're bad because their big tobacco backers can't sell as many cigarettes as they used to.  Anti-poverty programs aren't bad because they create a "culture of poverty" - they're bad because they transfer money from their rich supporters to poor people.

    The Democrats are the ones who actually oppose intrusive government - the ones who recognize the right to privacy, the right to due process, and other checks on government power.  Republicans just oppose any law that would stand between the wealthy and their wealth.

  •  38% Still Supporting Bush are Spineless (none)
    Why are we no longer 'The Land of The Free?' Because 38% of the citizenry hasn't the spine to live in 'The Home of The Brave.'

    Instead they just quiver whenever BushCo. yells 'BOO,' sacrificing to their quivering god whatever hard-won civil liberty is being demanded.

    Damned cowards.

    "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy"-- James Madison

    by Bad Cog on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 01:51:36 PM PST

  •  Call For Congressional Invesitgations (none)
    Dear Fellow dkos Readers,

    I am completely fed up with the Bush adminstrations ongoing subversion of our constitutionL system of checks and balances.  

    He bypassed the Legislative branch with selective, cherry picked, and misleading intelligence reports and his 2003 State of the Union Speach.

    And now we learn he has bypassed the Judiciary and Legislative Branches with secret authorization of NSA spying on US citizens.

    We need to demand that Congress, The Courts, and The Special Prosecutor - whom is action as de facto  Attorney General in these matters investigate these abuses and restore integrity, the rule of law, and constinutional government back to the US.

    I am drafting an open letter to our Congressment, and Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald and ask for your help and support.

    I will make any changes neccessary to get as large a block of dkos cosigners I can to bring attention to these  outrages and keep this scandal alive in the MSM, and MSB worlds.

    My letter and case is stilll too long and needs better organization, however, after staying up all night and getting 60 helpful comments we are moving in the right direction.

    I am going to subordinate all the complexities of the specific charges and crimindal code that has been violated into footnotes so more peopl e can be comfortable with the most important part which we now believe should be a simple declaration that we in the dkos community and others think this is wrong, sad, and needs to be fixed ASAP.

    So if your were put off by the earlier pages and pages of arguments please come over and at least vote and suggest how we can get a simple one page letter supporting our current Democratic and Receublican leaders who are outraged by this.

    I am going to send our results so far in a few hours to Representative Maurice Hinchey and ask his coordinator there whom has been very helpful to have his office help put our letter in a form we all can then forward to Harry Reid, Fitzgerald, other website and all the powers that be.

    But please help spread the word.  Because I dropped of the Recent Diaries list early this morning.  Thanks

    1. Request For Investigation of Bush's  Subversion of Legislative and Judicial Branches  (Poll) (Update

    With regard to asking Congress and Prosecutor Fitzgerald To Investigate White House Subversion of Congressional and Judicial Oversight With Intelligencen Abuses, I believe;

    The evidence isn't there. I'll be happy with the Libby and Rove indictments.    1 vote - 6 %  
    It's a good idea but think it is too much of a stretch, Let's wait and see what happens.    1 vote - 6 %  
    You should write this letter to your congressman.    0 votes - 0 %  
    You should write this letter to your congressmen and send it too Fitzgerald, But do not believe it willl make a difference?    2 votes - 12 %  
    We should write this letter to our congressemn. I'll put my name on it or send it myself.    0 votes - 0 %  
    We should send this to our congresmen and Fitzgerald. I'll add my name or send it myself.    3 votes - 18 %  
    This is great! I'll add my name or send it myself to both Fitz and all of our Congressmen and believe this will make a difference.    9 votes - 56 %  
    Other    0 votes - 0 %  

    Working To Create Integrity, Prosperity, Freedom, Health and Goodness For All Peoples of the World (One White House Impeachment and Indictmenet At a Time)

    by HoundDog on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 02:59:32 PM PST

    •  Specter has promised hearings (4.00)
      "There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said there would be hearings early next year and that they would have "a very, very high priority."

      Link

      •  Fantastic SusanG, but we need more than one (none)
        hearings.  

        There are so many transgression SussanG.

        We need to get the Phase 2 Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing going, the House Committe on Government Reform that Waxman has demand and that Chairmen Davis has supporess 4 times.

        And the Hinchey demand to investigation false statement in the 2003 State of the Union Address that may by itself be grounds for Impeachemnt.

        Etc. etc. etc.

        Don't you agree.  I respect Spectors support for a womans right to choose, but he is still a Republican.  They Modus Operandi has been to stonewall, delay, downgrade, mislead, etc.  

        I do not trust putting all our eggs in one basket.

        If one thinks about the sheer magnitude and vastness of the Bush - GOP criminal conspiracy we may need a whole lot more than just even a dozen hearing going on throughout the House and Senate to get to the bottom of this.

        We will probably need more Special Prosecutors if Fitzgerald is not willing to broaden his investigation.

        May we had your name to our letter to Hinchey SusanG?  What will it take?

        Cheers

        HoundDog

        PS Congratulations on becoming a frontpager.  You deserve it.

        But I am still jealous. Sorry.  I am mediating on transcending my base and petty emotions.

        But getting your "autograph" on our letter would sure help.

        What do you say?  Rememeber the "little people who've been supporting you all along!  LOL

        Working To Create Integrity, Prosperity, Freedom, Health and Goodness For All Peoples of the World (One White House Impeachment and Indictmenet At a Time)

        by HoundDog on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 05:48:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Impeachment (none)
    I've just written to John Lewis (GA-5) and asked to him start impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. It won't happen, but our Reps. need to know that people are taking the revelations of this week seriously.

    At this point I don't think a "caretaker" government can be much worse thann what we have now. Think about that for a moment, we've sunk so low that I'm actually calling for a "caretaker" government.

    We should also demand that our Reps. demand that the House go back in session early in January instead of Jan. 31 in order to deal with these issues. If the House stays out until Jan. 31 we should be sure to use the extended recess during the 06 Congressional races. Doing so won't be just about corruption but about defending our democracy.  

  •  Please join us in requesting Rep Hinchey (none)
    repeact demand for Articles of Inquiry that lead to the next step of Articles of Impeachement.

    These most recent revelations show just the tip of the iceberg for what are Impeachable offenses for an ongoing  criminal conspiracy to undermine and bypass the Constitutionally required system of checks and balances.  Evidence now shows the Bush WHIG and NSA (comember Stephen Hadley) was actively bypassing both the Legislative and Judicial branches of goverernment.

    Please at least come over and vote your support.  Or even better add a comment or indicate that we can add your name to this first of many letters, that will soon go out to Harry Reid, Prosecutor Fitzgerald, Newspaper Editors etc.  

    Cheers HoundDog

    Letter To:

    Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)

    care of:

    Jeff Lieberson

    Communications Director

    Office of Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY22)

    202-225-6335 (office)

    202-226-0774 (fax)

    jeff.lieberson@mail.house.gov

    Dear Representative Hinchey,

    Thank you for your many recent efforts to bring integrity back to the White House, such as your demands for Articles of Inquiry of the Bush last week on the 2003 SOTU in the HCIR, and your September 2005 letter to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, urging him to expand his investigation to include misleading intelligence to the relevant oversight committees in political efforts to disempower and subvert the congressional oversight fucntions.

    We believe the evidence now shows these Bush administration transgressions mentioned in your letter were just the tip of the iceburg, of on ongoing multi-years campaign that continues today by the White House Iraq Group, and led by V,P Dick Cheney.

    Additionally, todays revelations that the Bush Administration secretly authorized domestic intelligence operations against US citizens shows that the adminstration has broadened its attack on the US Constitutional system of Checks and Balances to include bypassing the Judicial Branch as well.

    We call on you and other House and Senate leaders to investigate these transgressions in all relevent House and Senate committees.
     

    Please let us know how we might help.

    Thanks and please let us know how we can be  more helpful in your efforts to restore the rule of law, integrity, and the Constitutional system of checks and balances to the White House and Washington.

    Sincerely,


    HoundDog,

    Lolligolli

     

    PS And many other DailyKos cosignees that have indicated they will add their names to our final draft letter to you.

    PPS

    Below is an excessively, long and detailed, first draft of a much longer proposed indictment. and request for an expansion of your original expansion of Prosecutor's Fitzgerald's investigation.  

    I include it here only FYI, or perhaps to offer it to your staff in putting it into more effective forms.  Please use it in anyway that seems useful.

    We also wish to edit this material for a letter to Harry Reid and other Democratic Minority Committee leaders.  Any suggestions you or Jeff may have or information about other efforts  or friendly contacts in Reid's office would be greatly appreciated.


    Lolli and I were working on updating your September Letter to Patrick Fitzgerald to second his call for Patrick Fitzgerald to broaden his investigation into the Bush Administration's deceptive 2003 SOTU speech.  

    But also to broaden the investigation further, to include the bigger picture of the multiyear deliberate campaign led by V,P. Dick Cheney and the White House Iraq Group to subvert, undermine, and bypass the Congressioal Oversight functions.

    Today, we broadened it even more to include the President's secret authorization of espionage on domestic citizens,now also bypassing the executive branch.

    But suggestions from fellow dkos readers to Lolli and I is to refocus our letters to Harry Reid, and other Senate and House leaders like yourself.

    It's sort of sad that readers at a site as sophisticated and politcally savvy and active as dkos do not realize that you and your colleage, Waxman, Lee, Rangel, and your other are way ahead of us in this regard.

    I barely got a fraction of my ussual response trying to drum up support for your 9th demand for Articles of Inquiry of Bush's 2003 SOTU Subpoena with your other 22 democratic committee members and cross over support from Rep Jim Leach (R)

    So please do not be offended that I appear to be asking you here to support Congressional investigation with what is essentially a copy of your much more advanced, agressive, and well written letter to Fitzgerald to broaden his investigation.

    But, this is a symbollic step, I hope will allow more folks here to catch up with and even perhaps start a dialog with you and other couragious House and Senate leaders, whom have been quitely leading this charge for so long.- Thanks HoundDog and Lolli
     

    Pleaese come over to vote on this letter, over suggestions, comments, or to add your name to the letter.  Thanks.

    Request For Investigation of Bush's  Subversion of Legislative and Judicial Branches  (Poll) (Update
     

    Working To Create Integrity, Prosperity, Freedom, Health and Goodness For All Peoples of the World (One White House Impeachment and Indictmenet At a Time)

    by HoundDog on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 05:08:54 PM PST

  •  Comments by our Redstate friends (none)
    Spying's okay, so long as you keep the courts out of it

    It's not kneejerk; it's well-articulated and it's talking points. They are actually proud of this revelation.

    Several openly invited more surveillance, feeling it would validate that they have nothing to hide, implying that only people with something to hide need fear the watchful gase of an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-loving State.

    Okay, that might be over the top, but the actual statements are frightful enough.

    Heroes Serve - Republicans GET Served.

    by cskendrick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 03:53:56 AM PST

  •  sure, it's both (none)
    they think of Jesus as a one-dimensional character: the wrathful, vengeance-seeking, punisher-God of the OT

    Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

    by Pondite on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:17:44 AM PST

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