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The series of revelations about domestic spying that have emerged in the past few months are always defended in the name of fighting "terrorism". I aim to show that this argument is complete and utter bullshit. There can really be very little doubt that these programs have been enacted, enabled and deployed to stifle constitutionally protected domestic dissent. The proverbial handwriting on the wall has become more and more legible over the past few years.

It is now clear as day, staring us in the face and almost taunting us to do something about it.

Let's start with a very interesting analysis on the front page of today's Washington Post.

Pushing the Limits Of Wartime Powers
By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 18, 2005; Page A01

In his four-year campaign against al Qaeda, President Bush has turned the U.S. national security apparatus inward to secretly collect information on American citizens on a scale unmatched since the intelligence reforms of the 1970s.

More on the flip...

Continuing...

The president's emphatic defense yesterday of warrantless eavesdropping on U.S. citizens and residents marked the third time in as many months that the White House has been obliged to defend a departure from previous restraints on domestic surveillance. In each case, the Bush administration concealed the program's dimensions or existence from the public and from most members of Congress.

Why does this Administration consistently "conceal the program's dimensions or existence" from both the public and "most members of Congress"?

I'll tell you why. Because the public are the ones being spied on.

Since October, news accounts have disclosed a burgeoning Pentagon campaign for "detecting, identifying and engaging" internal enemies that included a database with information on peace protesters. A debate has roiled over the FBI's use of national security letters to obtain secret access to the personal records of tens of thousands of Americans. And now come revelations of the National Security Agency's interception of telephone calls and e-mails from the United States -- without notice to the federal court that has held jurisdiction over domestic spying since 1978.

Think about that for a second. "tens of thousands of Americans". The FBI is now using "national security letters" like they were going out of style and the Pentagon is "detecting, identifying and engaging internal enemies" right here in the US.

Pardon me, but just what the fuck is the Pentagon doing spying on the very people they are sworn to protect? Of course, the Pentagon claims that the fact they had not deleted the information about people and organizations that were deemed harmless was an "error".

The official said the database included police reports and law enforcement tips in a legitimate domestic security effort, but that it had mistakenly swept up and kept information on people who were not threats to launch terror attacks.

"We held onto things that should have been expunged because they weren't a threat," the official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Stephen Cambone planned to send a letter to Congress explaining the error and promising to clean up the database and protect the privacy of innocent persons, the official added.

Uh huh. Bullshit. As Atrios likes to say, "It's not a bug, it's a feature."

We all know that the Pentagon, the folks that brought us the TALON ("Threat and Local Observation Notice") program. a program designed to gather "non-validated threat information and security anomalies indicative of possible terrorist pre-attack activity", is a fountain of honesty and all, but I think I'm done with continuing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

So, if at least a few members of Congress were informed of the Administration's new use for the NSA, why didn't anyone raise holy hell about it? It's a good question and one that has been bothering me for days. Former Senator Bob Graham, a man I have known for years and who I trust implicitly in such matters gives us an answer. Quite simply, they were lied to.

Back to the WaPo:

Former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who chaired the Senate intelligence committee and is the only participant thus far to describe the meetings extensively and on the record, said in interviews Friday night and yesterday that he remembers "no discussion about expanding [NSA eavesdropping] to include conversations of U.S. citizens or conversations that originated or ended in the United States" -- and no mention of the president's intent to bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

"I came out of the room with the full sense that we were dealing with a change in technology but not policy," Graham said, with new opportunities to intercept overseas calls that passed through U.S. switches. He believed eavesdropping would continue to be limited to "calls that initiated outside the United States, had a destination outside the United States but that transferred through a U.S.-based communications system."

Graham said the latest disclosures suggest that the president decided to go "beyond foreign communications to using this as a pretext for listening to U.S. citizens' communications. There was no discussion of anything like that in the meeting with Cheney."

An unnamed "high ranking intelligence official" who "spoke with White House permission but said he was not authorized to be identified by name", then accuses Senator Graham of "misremembering the briefings". If you know anything about Senator Bob, you know that he's probably never "misremembered" a thing in his life.

Before last week, had you ever heard of the The Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA)? Me either. There's a reason for that too. It's size and budget are classified. But WaPo tells us that it "has grown to encompass nine directorates and a staff exceeding 1,000" and that it's TALON database "has included "threat reports" of peaceful civilian protests and demonstrations."

A 1,000 folks? There sure must be a whole bunch of "threat reports" to churn out.

But, wait. It gets better.

CIFA has also been empowered with what the military calls "tasking authority" -- the ability to give operational orders -- over Army, Navy and Air Force units whose combined roster of investigators, about 4,000, is nearly as large as the number of FBI special agents assigned to counterterrorist squads. Pentagon officials said this month they had ordered a review of the program after disclosures, in The Post, NBC News and the washingtonpost.com Web log of William M. Arkin, that CIFA compiled information about U.S. citizens engaging in constitutionally protected political activity such as protests against military recruiting.

I'm sure everyone feels safer knowing that there at least 5,000 Pentagon personnel, folks who have sworn under oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States", available to keep tabs on Americans who have the temerity to exercise their rights as enumerated in that very same document.

But, this hydra has many heads and you didn't think that the FBI would let the Pentagon kids have all the fun did you?

In November, The Post disclosed an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, using FBI demands for information known as "national security letters." Created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, the letters enabled secret FBI review of the private telephone and financial records of suspected foreign agents. The Bush administration's guidelines after the Patriot Act transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

The Post reported that the FBI has issued tens of thousands of national security letters, extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans. Most of the U.S. residents and citizens whose records were screened, the FBI acknowledged, were not suspected of wrongdoing.

And now the money shot....

The burgeoning use of national security letters coincided with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed.

The NSA case seals the deal.

As we've seen for the last 48 hours or so, the Administration doesn't have a legal leg to stand on and they are stumbling all over the damn place trying to come up with one. Both the 4th Amendment and the relevant FISA statutes are pretty unambiguous.

* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting "surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order." [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

  • Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA "shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted." [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

  • The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

And, as Josh Marshall has noted, the FISA court is hardly stingy with warrants the government wants and the statutes themselves even allow for retroactive applications in times of emergency. There seems to be no reason whatsoever for the Administration to attempt to bypass the FISA court.

What gives?

Why would the Administration embark on such a risky and obviously illegal course of action? Why would they lie to members of Congress about what they were really up to?

Because what they had in mind wasn't gathering intelligence in the US related to "terrorism". What they were doing wasn't intercepting "foreign communications" originating or ending in the US, as I'm quite confident that we will learn eventually.

What they didn't want the FISA court, the US Congress or the American public to know was they were now using the awesome technological prowess of the NSA to spy on Americans, Americans that they don't trust. They don't trust them because they believe that they are involved in "terrorism" or have Osama been Forgotten's picture on their wall. They don't trust them because they are actively opposed to the policies pursued by the Executive branch.

They wanted to unleash the NSA to further their own political aims and to further insulate themselves from an ever incredulous public. You just know that the "enemies lists" exist and it's just a matter of time before we see them.

A new and improved COINTELPRO has risen from the ashes.

I guess it was predictable that this was gonna happen. I mean if you surround yourselves with a bunch of neo-fascist bootlicking gits from the Nixon era like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, it was only a matter of time before they would want to re-create their Orwellian glory days.

These are dark and extremely dangerous times. This genie needs to get put back in the bottle and those responsible need to be held to account. This CAN NOT STAND.

It seems pretty fucking obvious to me that this is not, and probably never was, about terrorism. This is about monitoring, intimidating and and squelching constitutionally protected dissent.

Pure and simple.

Crossposted at booman and my left wing

UPDATE:

It seems I'm not the only one who is coming up with the same answers for these questions.

David Sirota has a great piece over at HuffPo.

And that gets us right back to the most important question: why would the President deliberately circumvent a court that was already wholly inclined to grant him domestic surveillance warrants? The answer is obvious, though as yet largely unstated in the mainstream media: because the President was likely ordering surveillance operations that were so outrageous, so unrelated to the War on Terror, and, to put it in Constitutional terms, so "unreasonable" that even a FISA court would not have granted them.

This is no conspiracy theory - all the signs point right to this conclusion. In fact, it would be a conspiracy theory to say otherwise, because it would be ignoring the cold, hard facts that we already know.

Two years ago, the New York Times reported that the administration is using the FBI to "collect extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators." Then, just a few months ago, the Times reported that the FBI "has collected at least 3,500 pages of internal documents in the last several years on a handful of civil rights and antiwar protest groups." And just this past week, NBC News obtained a 400-page Pentagon document outlining the Bush administration's surveillance of anti-war peace groups. The report noted that the administration had monitored 1,500 different events (aka. anti-war protests) in just a 10-month period.

These are exactly the kind of surveillance operations even a government-tilted FISA court would reject, and it raises yet more questions: Are these anti-war peace groups the targets of Bush's warrantless, illegal surveillance operations? Who else has the President been targeting? Has it been his partisan political enemies a la Richard Nixon? Or has he been invading the privacy of unsuspecting citizens in broad sweeps with no probable cause at all?

There just doesn't seem to be any other plausible explanation for bypassing the Title III and FISA routes.

Originally posted to lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 06:21 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  none of these programs seem to be (4.00)
    particularly well suited to snagging AQ style terrorists. they do seem pretty adept at gathering reams of information on folks like you and me though.

    i believe this is by design.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

    by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 06:24:39 PM PST

    •  Great diary lipris (4.00)
      Considering Laurence Silberman and David Sentelle were on the FISA court, any and all requests would have been rubberstamped. They've long been part of the Federalist Society-GOP fixers. The lack of a paper trail is the reason for circumventing the FISA court. Political blackmail and coercion is the motivating factor, towards continued pursuit of the GOP agenda.

      Tom Engelhardt points out that the Amerithrax case has never been heard from again. Why haven't we heard that NSA was used to try to solve that case?

      The War on Terror is terrorism

      by Halcyon on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 06:47:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly. (4.00)
        because they aren't using these powers to look for "terrorists". they are looking for americans that disagree with them. that's why they bypassed FISA. i can't see any other plausible reason.

        from what i understand, the boom year for this program was 2003. i'm pretty sure i know (cough iraq cough) why.

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

        check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

        by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 06:58:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This was being planned back in 1998 (4.00)
          From Wired, Eavesdropping on Europe:
          Sep. 30, 1998
          Across the Atlantic, Patrick Poole, deputy director for the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, is preparing a report on Echelon to present to Republican members of Congress. "I believe it's time we start to bring this matter to our elected officials," he said.
          There might have been concerns with those in Olde Europe, but at least some in this country where forward thinking at the time. If there could be an excuse to turn Echelon inward into this country, the advantage to our elected officials would be enormous. With this extra window into the workings of those working in opposition to  our elected officials, they will be in a better position to make sure these opposition plans do not interfere with already agreed on plans for world domination and control.

          More of my rant: What the NSA might be using to spy on us

          The Place of Dead Roads
          "The City of Louisiana has dodged the bullet with Hurricane Corrina."

          by Dr Benway on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:42:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  AHiddenSaint posted a diary earlier (4.00)
            Republicans didn't let Clinton Spy on Americans, in which (s)he posted this:
            The blame Clinton game has already started. I think it is highly important to point out this catch.

            http://nsi.org/...

            Over one year ago President Clinton asked Congress for legislation to strengthen our ability to combat international terrorism. On April 24th the President signed S. 735, the `Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996' into law. Congress included many of the Administration's proposals in their bill, giving our law enforcement officials tough new tools to stop terrorists before they strike, and to bring them to justice if they do. The legislation bans fundraising in the United States that supports terrorist organizations. It also allows U.S. officials to deport terrorists from American soil without being compelled by the terrorists to divulge classified information, and to bar terrorists from entering the United States in the first place.

            Nevertheless, as strong as the bill was, it should have been stronger. For example, President Clinton asked the Congress to give U.S. law enforcement increased wiretap authority in terrorism cases. But the Congress refused. After the President proposed that the Secretary of the Treasury consider the inclusion of taggants in explosive materials, so that bombs can be traced more easily to the bomb makers, the Congress exempted black and smokeless powder -- two of the most commonly used substances in improvised explosive devices.

            I know their excuse from reading this is going to be, but the democrats tried to do it to. I'm pointing this out because as they blame Clinton for 9/11 and not wiring tapping A REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED congress felt CLINTON shouldn't have these powers. They are already attacking Clinton for not doing this...

            The War on Terror is terrorism

            by Halcyon on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 03:21:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sentelle might have been the problem (4.00)
        with running this stuff thru the FISA court.

        My only experience with him came when the Forest Service and State of North carolina sought to shut down the 1987 Rainbow Gathering via a Temporary Restraining Order. Sentelle came out to the Gathering himself, and warned the FS that if they didn't re-open the roads in, he'd issue a order against them.

        He wrote a book on the affair, "Judge Dave and The Rainbow People" reviewed here, on page 8 (pdf), and here, from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, July 10, 2002, and the best, the customer reviews on Amazon's order page

        A Senator YOU can afford
        $1 contributions only.
        Masel for Senate
        1214 E. Mifflin St.
        Madison, WI 53703

        by ben masel on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:11:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i am so sending you a dollar (none)
          thanks. an ex of mine had that book and i never got around to reading it. guess i kinda have to now.

          "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

          check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

          by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:21:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Practicing w/out a license (4.00)
            While I had not been a named defendant in the State's filing, Sentelle allowed me to argue at the initial appearance, on the theory that as a "member" I'd also be enjoined. He was sufficiently convinced to hold the procedings over a day so that proper counsel could be found.

            A Senator YOU can afford
            $1 contributions only.
            Masel for Senate
            1214 E. Mifflin St.
            Madison, WI 53703

            by ben masel on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:53:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed... (4.00)
      It's part of the right's War On Democracy. I also know many don't want to hear this, but I have little doubt that if Democrat's had been in charge on 9/11, it wouldn't have happened, or at least part of it would have been prevented. Bill Clinton would have been on everyone's ass to prevent the attacks. The Bush Administrations response was, "Cool!" Then they sat back and watched and prepared for the aftermath.

      It's the same reason we haven't captured Bin Laden. Bush needs Bin Laden just like Bin Laden needs Bush. Hate Warriors seeking absolute control of their own people. The greatest threat to American Democracy is now in control of it. If our Constitution really survives this cabal of anti-American liars it will be a miracle.

      •  agreed. (4.00)
        it's been said many times before, but it's still true. AQ could never, ever destroy this country and all the ideals that we supposedly hold so dear.

        but, we damn sure can.

        and, yeah, bush and "been forgotten" are in a sickly symbiotic relationship. they need each other.

        i know this gets diaried here all the damn time, but, do yourself a favor, if you haven't yet seen the BBC doc "the power of nightmares", do so. it's available to download or stream all over the web.

        this Constitution is in grave danger. it's up to patriots of all stripes to do our bloody best defend it from these assholes.

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

        check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

        by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:27:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  YES (none)
        And I bet the planes would have been sent up to intercept, not that it would have changed everything that happened, but it is STILL curious that our planes were at stand-down on that morning.

        Clinton's government stopped the Millenium bombings and the first trade center bombers were caught and jailed.

        In a real trial, just like in the old America.

    •  The Soviets and Us (4.00)
      Believe it or not, it's not all about us.

      This is what Eisenhower was talking about 50 years ago. This is all logical outgrowth of the cold war against an enemy developed-world empire. It just happens that domestic dissent is observed the same way.

      It's just as valid to say that the entire War on Terror has nothing to do with the likes of AQ. Of course it doesn't. It's about containing the USSR and refighting D-Day. Same as the Vietnam War was.

      All of this is only 2ndarily about government. First and foremost, it's about industry. This equipment and these methods are what the Cold War Military-Industrial Complex was evolved to build, and they've long since grown past the point that they drive policy even when the policy is criminal or absurd.

      While you guys are arguing about which Bush year we'll put the end of American democracy, there may well be historians who put it during Ike's term.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:48:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      Environmental activists are also beening targeted. The FBI has declared that animal rights and environmentist are the nation's biggest domestic terror threat. Are they really our biggest threat?

      Josh Connole's  case is a good example of how the FBI is operating. After beening fingered by a paranoid neighbor, he was arrested by the FBI for a crime he didn't commit. They eventually had to pay him $100000 for wrongful arrest.

      While right wing militias and abortion clinic bombers have a long history killing innocent individuals, the FBI is focused on a small group of misguided environmentalist commiting arson and harrasing the entire environmental movement because of them.

      This is just yet another example of how this government is clamping down on any dissent.

      •  Why? (none)
        It's very simple.

        Free Republic groups have engaged in violence (against people) (at the Publican convention, the Coronation, and elsewhere). They have not shown any sophisticated planning. They may escalate their violence.

        Earth Liberation Front groups have not engaged in violence (against people). They have (sometimes) shown quite sophisticated planning to avoid it.

        So the former does show an ability to escalate their violence, but the latter might be capable of violence (in the police sense, that is, which is 'not dead'), and therefore capable of an alarming increase of INFINITE PERCENTAGE in their violent attacks.

        No, it's not at all political ...

    •  Why step on another agency's operation? (none)
      So, let me get this straight. Dick Cheney will gladly tap every U.S. citizen's phone but, for some unexplained reason the CIA and a half-dozen allied agencies were either unwilling or unable to place a bug inside the condo in Kuala Lumpur where they knew the Flight 77 hijackers were meeting with Mohamed Atta's roommate and a bunch of other al-Qaeda operatives in January 2000?

      That doesn't make a lot of sense, unless one realizes that several of the key al-Qaeda operatives involved in the 9/11 attacks were known to US intelligence since the mid-1990s.

      It was supposed to be illegal before the Patriot Act for the CIA and/or DIA to be conducting domestic counter-terrorism surveillance, with or without warrants. By law, that was the FBI's job. Nonetheless, the Bureau brass knew they shouldn't step on the toes of another agency's operation. So, FBI HQ agreed to look the other way as the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center watched the Flt. 77 hijackers enter the US on January 15, 2000 after they attended the Kuala Lumpur planning summit. Later, the FBI brass also blocked warrant applications submitted by unwitting Special Agents in the field, and the 9/11 attackers proceeded to complete their mission.

      See, http://www.scoop.co.nz/...

    •  ACTION DIARY (none)
      Smintheus has his ACTION DIARY up, urging people to call their senators to demand action on the NSA spying. Please go recommend his diary.

      Sorry to post just to pimp another diary, in bold, no less. I recommended yours as compensation.

      But this campaign is important. I just tried Specter's office. The line was busy. HA HA HA.

      This campaign will work if we all call.

      Thanks

      AND THIS IS A GREAT DIARY, LIPRIS

      We need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

      by astraea on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 09:20:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since I'm old enough to remember Nixon (4.00)
      I really wonder if Cheney or Bush <or even Rove> have used this program to spy on political "enemies," such as politicians who disagree with them, like Russ Feingold, or wealthy financiers, like George Soros.

      I mean, I could even see them spying on reporters
      from the New York Times.

      Disgusting, this administration is simply the most disgusting and corrupt in the history of the American Presidency.

  •  I think you're right on with this (4.00)
    Once I heard the Pentagon was spying on war protesters I figured it would only be a matter of time before the Bush Administration's Nixon-style "enemies list" would spill out into public view.

    What do you want to bet the NSA has been "monitoring" that known AQ sympathizer Cindy Sheehan?

    (snark)

    The only life that matters to a conservative is that which can't talk back.

    by cls180 on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 06:58:59 PM PST

    •  i can guarantee it. (4.00)
      i've yet to tell my own surveillance stories a la jeffersonian democrat, but i will.

      ever have undercover feds in your house?

      i have. and i got to read about it in the daily news two months later.

      yeah, it's a hoot.

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

      check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

      by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 07:02:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No feds at home, but they want in at the library.. (4.00)
        ...and I am happy to say that my local library issued a big middle finger to the feds by going on record as saying "we aren't providing that information."  Now, I don't know if they were actually able to get around it, but that is the statement that was put out by them.  (By the way, this library system is no Mayberry...they have huge circulation numbers). So yes, that's encouraging, but I yet I can't help but think that every time I check something out, it's being recorded somewhere.  This is the subliminal crime: by making me ("me" being a law-abiding US citizen with no crimial record and no desire to acquire one) think that someone might care if I check out something antagonistic to whatever it is I, or "we" should be thinking now.  

        This isn't right, and I am glad that the Patriot Act was stalled in the Senate the other day.

        •  my tiny rural local library (4.00)
          had a stack of Patriot Act Info Pamphlets by the check-out desk. So I asked them about it.

           You have to see this place to believe it.  It's a store-front across from the police station/town hall, stacks mostly full of murder mysteries, 3 antiquated cpu's with internet access across one wall, a rack of very worn videos & another of children's books.  Hardly well-funded, mostly run by volunteers.

          "Do they contact you," I asked, laughing a little at the absurdity of it.  "You wouldn't believe what they make us do" was the reply.

          They have more international intercepts than they translate from gen-u-wine islamo-fascist groups-- and they want to know what this tiny nowhere podunk town is reading.

          Constitutionally abhorrent, of course. But, also, the incompetence, the waste of energy and money, the pointlessness and absurdity of the undertaking boggles the mind.

          Our best protection in this perilous times is not the law-- God knows the Republican Congress and Corporatist MSM care nothing about the constitution or civil liberties or democracy or any other of those fine traditions-- our best protection is the incompetence, the stupidity of their over-reaching.  5000 people are not enough to effectively monitor this web site alone.

          They are so out of their depth.  Their reach is so beyond their grasp.  

          Not that they shouldn't be opposed by every means feasible with all the energy we can muster. Of course they must be stopped, brought down, repudiated.

          Just, while we're at it, let's not lose track of the absurd consequences of their criminal policies.  At present, I believe that not even Pointdexter & his high tech castle of CPUs can process the amount of data they're accumulating

      •  One factiod that hasn't been mentioned (none)
        - at least in my readings - in the recent uproar over the NSA/FISA scandal:

        I recall a news item that appeared several years ago, just about the time that Bush started approving these fascist tactics, where one of the investigating agencies made a FISA request which was totally out of bounds and the FISC actually, for the first time ever, turned them down (for very good reasons).  I don't recall (sorry) the specifics, but I definitely remember the story, which was well circulated in the lefty sphere.  

        Could that FISC-snub been Bush's impetus to do his end run around the Constitution and the US Code?  Wouldn't that put the lie to his stated "motives" (which don't need refuting becuase they are ludicrous, but still)?

        Does anybody else remember this?  Any links anyone can provide?  Just a thought.

        Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

        by nailbender on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 05:58:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It Was Political From Day One (4.00)
      This is chilling - Porter Goss wanted to conduct warrentless wiretaps during the Clinton years to try and see whether Bill Clinton was making deals with the Chinese Government:
      Violating the Constitution
      By Karen Kwiatkowski
      t r u t h o u t | Perspective

      Sunday 18 December 2005

      Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who spent two years at NSA headquartes, discusses the fact that President Bush signed an executive order that allegedly allowed the collection and operational intelligence use of international telephone or electronic mail conversations, even if one or more participants were Americans. She says many questions must be asked and answered, including the most important one: "Is it right?"
      ...
      ...Certain members of Congress (during the Clinton era) were particularly interested in campaign donations from Chinese individuals, and in determining possible national security breaches or lapses that may have resulted from these financial relationships. Specifically, the concerns among some Republicans and some Democrats were that Clinton had given away, or sold, the technology farm to China. Had trade policy generosity to China been due to legal or illegal campaign contributions and deals made between agents of the PRC and associates of the Clinton administration? Inquiring minds wanted to know, and congressional representatives wanted NSA to provide the US side of the intercepts.

          Clearly, this information would have been useful to the Congress, the special prosecutor and others - but unfortunately, warrants weren't immediately available. My impression was (and I saw no indications to the contrary) that the NSA Director at the time pushed back, requiring the appropriate legal warrants and documentation be presented before handing over any material. In other words, the NSA Director, and all of us, and American citizens in the fifty states and elsewhere, were protected by the Constitution. The system worked. However, Congressmen were frustrated, including Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    •  Is Sheehan able to request her records (none)
      under Freedom of Information or are domestic spying records top secret?

      This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:50:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes she can. (4.00)
        I did.  Though some of it may be blacked out for "Natioanl security" reasons.  I also found out that my name was looked at in conjunction with a murder in Florida.  Luckily, I was able to show that I was out of the country on a military deployment at the time.  Then I figured it out; they only had my first and last name but not my middle name.  I search for my name on the internet and so. Florida and came up with around 30 different people with my name, but none with my middle name, which is somewhat unique - Zigmund.

        People would be surprised about what info is out there and who has files on them.  Like I said in my own diary about my own personal experience, it made me a tin-hatter.  I have no qualms saying, without any evidence, that we all here on dKos are monitored, it's just par for the course.  If you look at how dKos was so effective on bringing several issues to MSM, we're dangerous and a political threat.

        Ooooo, I like being subversive!

        "I traded my Beatles White Album for naked pictures of Trisha Nixon"

        by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 04:15:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  all i want for x-mas (4.00)
    is your rec. i just want enough people to be able to see this so that one of them might be able to convince me that i'm fucking nuts. then, maybe i can sleep tonight.

    apologies for being such a whore.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

    by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 07:14:16 PM PST

    •  I gladly (4.00)
      recommended your diary.  Good one
      •  thank you. (4.00)
        quick! someone tell me i'm nuts!

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

        check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

        by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 07:34:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately I don't think you are. n/t (4.00)

          "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

          by Donna in Rome on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 07:53:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  you're not nuts (4.00)
          this is very interesting and thought-provoking.  Frankly, I am scared and nervous about what is happening to the country.  BUT one word of caution.  We don't know all the facts yet.  I don't mean that in a mealy mouthed way.  We certainly know enough to see that the President believes he is above the law.  But we don't know the details.  For instance, who is on the list?  why were people on the list selected for surveillance?  what is being done with the information gathered from surveillance?  

          If I had to guess, I'd say you are probably on the right track.  And maybe we won't know for sure for a very long time, or at all.  What you are saying certainly makes a lot of sense.  Why else would Bush have done this outside the FISA protocol?  Smells like he is trying to avoid a paper trial.  But I can't say this with certainty.

          I hope to god we find out.  I also feel like I won't sleep, but I still want to know exactly what happened.  And I want this to stop--I want the rule of law restored, I want there to be legal consequences for the administration breaking the law and spitting on the Constitution.  This is a nightmare.

          •  ..look.. (none)
            ..they wanted the Patriot Act before 9/11.  Even that wasn't enough for them.  This is totally about dissent and not the war/terror.  Just like the Iraq war has nothing to do with terror/9/11.
          •  We don't know.... (none)
            because they won't tell us.  Since they are doing super-secret surveillance and concealing that fact from Congress and the public at large, I say let loose with the most outrageous suspicions you have about what they may be doing, what motivates them, and how illegal it is.  Make them disprove those accusations through proof of the scope, purpose, and limits (if any) on their allegedly legitimate activities.  They'll never have to come clean and defend their conduct if we give them any benefit of the doubt.

            Can money pay for all the days I lived awake/ But half asleep?

            by milton333 on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 08:25:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hear you (none)
              I certainly do not mean to give the Bush admin the benefit of ANY doubt, and I think it is useful to theorize about what we do not know.  But I feel more comfortable, from an intellectual standpoint, in noting when something is a fact and something is a theory (logical, common-sense based though the theory may be).  That doesn't mean the theory is irrelevant and it certainly doesn't mean the theory is wrong.  

              This may be too nuanced.  Hard to explain.  I just feel strongly about delineating between facts and theories (and this is not an evolution reference!  scientific theory is a different ballgame.  I am not an intelligent designer!!).  none of this means I do not strongly suspect that this diary is on the right track

              •  looks like more reason (none)
                to believe you guys are right--I saw something in NY Times about the administration spying on Greenpeace, PETA, other activist groups.  This is getting scarier and more disgusting as more details emerge about what this "administration" is doing
        •  Not nuts. Sorry. (4.00)
          Not that I think this was done strictly for suppressing dissent.  It was done for the sake of having the full powers they felt entitled to, with all the goodies that come with it.

          Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

          by soyinkafan on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:33:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. Not just dissent. (none)
            Other goodies. For example, business-related for administration cronies.

            Think industrial espionage, stealing trade secrets, virtual 'insider' dealing, blocking your competitor's growth strategies, pre-emptive product launches....and many more weapons in the Bloody Business Battleground.

            •  Stifling dissent is a means (4.00)
              Unfortunately it is not the end.

              The stifling of dissent, along with the murder - or in this case the emasculation - of the educated and the intellectuals, the only ones capable of organized resistance, are the necessary pre-conditions to consolidated totalitarian power.

              I would never have thought this country could plunge into fascism and madness.  But I guess Europe thought the same when they first heard about Jews being made to wear little yellow stars, and the Russians thought the same when the first whisper of gulags began to filter down.

              If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

              by trillian on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:13:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  i read that diary earlier (4.00)
        and i just have to say this:

        i have read some bad fucking ass MSOC rants over the past year or so and that one should go in to the Hall of Fame.

        it's a motherfucker and a half.

        and i agree 100%.

        it's gut check time, kids and this one's for ALL the marbles.

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

        check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

        by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:13:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That was great, MaryScott. (none)
        and exactly how I've been feeling also, the They. Don't. Care. has spread to our congresspeople. I wait, wait, wait for all. of. them. to rage rage rage against the dying of the light of our democracy.

        A society of sheep must beget in time a government of wolves. Bertrand de Jouvenel

        by Little Red Hen on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 03:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  inspiration (none)
      ur diary inspired me to write a post called "Domestic Spying = Rove blackmailing political enemies"

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  When I read that article this morning (4.00)
    All I could think about was that Ted Kennedy was on a watch list and how many more dissenters were victims of this type of surveillance.  It's got to be political.  Everything they do is political. The failure to disclose the Bolton intercepts seems almost quaint when you think about the scope of this nightmare.
    •  Let Operation Blackmail begin.... (4.00)
      just before 2006 elections.

      How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy?

      by mattes on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 07:57:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From day one (4.00)
      the criticism of this administration has been that there was no policy making aparatus, just political aparatus, with Karl Rove and company working the controls.

      Consider that Karl Rove now occupies what is obstensibly a policy position.  How frightening to think of him recommending wiretaps.

  •  Combine paranoia with incompetence... (4.00)
    ...and this is what you get.  No, not your excellent diary, lipris, the debacle of domestic spying.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.  Soon, we'll be finding out that they're archiving all your phone calls, your ISP links, maybe even keystrokes.  

    The way they try and sell it (or justify it on the wingnut sites) is that this is for our security.  That you have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide.  Yeah, sure.  Like we're supposed to trust the people who botched Katrina and the Iraq war intelligence/planning/execution with being careful with our personal data.  That's a sure way to wind up in a Bumphukistan Gulag courtesy of the CIA, just because somebody accidently checked the wrong box on your Profile Code.

    "Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering." - R. Buckminster Fuller -5.88/-5.23

    by Shadan7 on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:00:50 PM PST

    •  What makes you think they're incompetent? (4.00)
      This administration wants you to underestimate them. The Bush team knows exactly what they are doing. Just because their actions don't fit the job descriptions of their various government posts doesn't mean that they blew it. That's why some of those assholes got medals from Shrub. They did their job according to plan and kept their mouths shut about it. That's why nobody's been fired, either. Except for Brownie who became a political liability. The Hurricane Katrina fiasco was designed to prepare us to accept a military solution much more quickly in the future, aka martial law. Brownie did do a heckava job! And the NSA is doing a heckava job right now.

      Did you notice how well Shrub spoke tonight on TV? No grammatical mistakes? No malapropisms? I'm sure his usual speechifying was to get us to misunderestimate him. No more. The gloves are off.

      •  Brownie- 60 days pay (4.00)
        Notice also that "heckuva job" Brownie got 60 days to ease his transition to the right wing think tanks that are sure to snap up this lame idiot.

        Bush is absolutely the Worst President Ever, what sort of Osama been forgotten attack will he set up for 2008?  I can just see the slimy Bush trying to pull a Giuliani and refuse to get out of office in 2009.  The only hope we have their is that the Cat-Killer Frist and others want to elbow their way to the White House.  Otherwise the light at the end of the tunnel is this:

        Just 1,159 more days of Bush!  

        Will there be any constitution left at all?

      •  No, no (none)
        they're really that stupid.

        At least I think so......

        Paranoid men, intent on consolidating and solidifying power, may appear intelligent, but, because they are often narcissistic, are unable to recognize, or admit, mistakes.

        They simply cannot acknowledge bad decisions, and therefore they cannot adequately analyze and correct problems.

        In the end, this leads to faulty decision making, which ultimately leads to downfall.

        Their system of leadership is incapable of change, or adapting to new circumstances.

        And what doesn't change, falls apart.

        It's scientific.

  •  I'm getting audited by the IRS (4.00)
    and I've made tons of donations to Dems, emails to legislators, etc over the past year.

    Anybody else?

  •  more spying (4.00)
    This was an ACLU press release from back in May of this year:

    Documents Obtained by ACLU Expose FBI and Police Targeting of Political Groups

    WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union charged today that the FBI and local police are engaging in intimidation based on political association and are improperly investigating law-abiding human rights and advocacy groups, according to documents obtained through a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

    "Since when did feeding the homeless become a terrorist activity?" asked ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. "When the FBI and local law enforcement target groups like Food Not Bombs under the guise of fighting terrorism, many Americans who oppose government policies will be discouraged from speaking out and exercising their rights."

    The ACLU charged that the FBI is wrongfully withholding thousands of pages of documents, and today filed a lawsuit in federal court to compel the FBI to comply with the FOIA requests. The complaint seeks files kept by the FBI on the ACLU, as well as Greenpeace, United for Peace and Justice, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

    The ACLU said that the few documents received to date through the December FOIA requests shed light on the FBI's misuse of Joint Terrorism Task Forces to engage in political surveillance. In Colorado, one memo indicates an ongoing federal interest in Food Not Bombs, a group that provides free vegetarian food to hungry people and protests war and poverty.

    Reverend Raymond Payne, a United Methodist Minister from Russell, Kentucky is among the individuals seeking FBI documents. Last October, Canadian border officials interrogated Reverend Payne for more than an hour as he attempted to enter Canada for a vacation with his wife. According to Reverend Payne, the officials informed him that the interrogation was triggered because he is the subject of an FBI file. Reverend Payne has never been arrested, been charged with a crime, or even participated in a protest.

    Actually, being surveilled and having an FBI file does put you in an exclusive club (MLK, John Lennon, the Congress of Racial Equality).  And look at all the people it's employing to get the work done.  It's the President's first jobs program!

    •  and some more (none)
      A high school student in California was visited by FBI agents because, two years ago, he doodled the phrase "PLO" on a book binder.  

      A college student in Massachusetts was visited by Homesland Security agents because he requested a copy of Mao tse-tung's "The Little Red Book" from the campus library.  He was doing a research paper on, fittingly, fascism and totalitarianism, and the book was part of his research.

      •  i liked how you used the word (none)
        "fittingly" when describing the paper he was working on.  No doubt, he learned more about totalitarianism from HS than from the "Little Red Book".  But then again, bushie is the "educahion" preznit.

        explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

        by bluestatesam on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:54:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Remember "Total Information Awareness"? (4.00)
    None of these recent domestic spying revelations should be in the least bit surprising to anyone who recalls one of their earlier attempts, the Total Information Awareness program.  That effort was spearheaded by one of the black-ops knights of the Reagan era, Adm. John Poindexter.  The TIA was supposed to collect massive volumes of data and establish computerized programs to see if patterns could be discerned that would allow for red flags to be attached to various dossiers.  The TIA was exposed -- and roundly denounced -- before it could get under way, and the idea was quickly scrapped.

    Or was it?

    •  i've been reading about TIA (4.00)
      all day. yeah, it was "scrapped" alright. only to be reborn in smaller pieces farmed out throughout the intelligence services.

      TALON, is a part of the reborn TIA. as i quote above, it's a program to "non-validated threat information and security anomalies indicative of possible terrorist pre-attack activity".

      that's not a recipe for some serious monkey business, is it?

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

      check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

      by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:17:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dictatorship (4.00)
    That's how Jonathan Alter characterized the revelations that Bushco is spying on American citizens (interview on our local Air America station).  

    And he emphasized that he's not the type of guy who would overreact to this kind of news...

  •  As I argued a couple days ago (4.00)
    in this diary, domestic spying is also about enabling blackmail.  Think J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.  (And, it would be no surprise, John Bolton and the NSA.)

    (Sorry to be a diary whore.  Oh, who am I kidding, I'm not sorry.)

    "If you [just] wanted to reduce ignorance, you could ... abort every Republican baby in this country, and your ignorance rate would go down."

    by Major Danby on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:23:20 PM PST

  •  Of course the targets of warrantless spying (4.00)
    are American dissidents and not terrorists.

    No one would hesitate to ask for (or grant) a warrant to do surveillance on someone who is trading voice-mails or e-mails with anyone from al Qaeda.  So that's not who the targets of these "black ops" are.

    The targets of the Bush/NSA warrantless spying thus have to be people whom everyone knows you cannot justify spying on, except as some kind of Nixon-Hoover type retaliation against Bush's "enemies list".

    So who are the targets? Cindy Sheehan? Joe Wilson?

    ModestNeeds.org Response For Hurricane Evacuees

    by socal on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:24:30 PM PST

    •  bingo. (4.00)
      that's exactly the point i'm trying to make as far as the NSA part of this mess is concerned. the only plausible reason to bypass the FISA court, a court which has proven itself since its inception to be very amiable to any and all warrant requests from the feds, is that those they wanted the NSA to snoop on were folks that even the FISA court would not grant, i.e. people with no discernible links to, well, anything.

      you want to spy on cindy sheehan or michael moore or, for that matter, the french UN ambassador?

      sick the NSA on their ass with your newly minted "war powers" delivered as ordered from an assmunch like john yoo.

      there really isn't any other good reason to engage in such risky and obviously illicit behavior.

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

      check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

      by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:02:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  howard dean? (4.00)
      john mccain? dan rather? mary mapes? tom daschle? russ feingold? john kerry? colin powell? john conyers? punch sultzberger? pat fitzgerald?

      by the time this comes to light, a lot of people are going to be royally pissed.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:19:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  in their view, dissidents (none)
        include each and every Democratic politician (with the possible exception of Joe Lieberman). I would be amazed if no phone calls of the Kerry campaign were monitored.
    •  "it's not a bug it's a feature" (none)
      which is referenced by the diarist, is used to describe a flaw that inadvertently is introduced to a product via a problem somewhere in the code, and of course, to add a humorous spin on it.

      And what is a "flaw"...well it is a undesirable behavior not anticipated by the designers.

      The behavior described by the diarist is neither unintentional nor undesirable (by the architects that is).  Rather, it is behavior that was intended all along.  

      Excellent diary!  And an extremely important issue.

      explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

      by bluestatesam on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:56:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It infuriates me (none)
      that this type of system would EVER be used on anyone, really, except for those determined, by a REASONABLE person, to be a potential threat to national security.

      I was reading yeaterday about a group called the Angry Gramndmas or Raging Grannies,(they are anti-war, like all Moms), and I began thinking this is the type of group  Bush or Rove or Cheney would find threatening, and would authorize the NSA to spy on.

      Makes me FURIOUS.

      I know I value my privacy, as I'm sure others do.

      I don't want some unknown punk snooping into my life, simply because he or she has the means to do so.

      Slippery slope, indeed.

  •  cointelpro (4.00)
    tell me this project doesn't have their name all over it...
    •  it reminds me of this guy (none)
      who showed up at a few meetings at my house of a street theater group i was working with prior to RNC. he kept goading us to be more "radical" and "fuck shit up". he was basically trying to steer us in a more, shall we say, "violent" direction, one that would involve us all in activities that were clearly illegal.

      who says agents provocateurs belong to a bygone past?

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

      check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

      by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:08:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now I know why Bush likes Putin so much (none)
    He gets his hints and pointers about spying on one's own people from the ex-KGB man himself.  

    Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

    by LionelEHutz on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:46:19 PM PST

  •  doing the timewarp back 35 years (4.00)
    What I want to know is, if I hafta releive the Nixon years... where the hell is the origional soundtrack?

    There's something happening here
    What it is ain't exactly clear
    There's a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware

    I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down

    There's battle lines being drawn
    Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
    Young people speaking their minds
    Getting so much resistance from behind

    I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down

    What a field-day for the heat
    A thousand people in the street
    Singing songs and carrying signs
    Mostly say, hooray for our side

    It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    You step out of line, the man come and take you away

    We better stop, hey, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down
    Stop, hey, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down
    Stop, now, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down
    Stop, children, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down

    SOCIAL SECURITY: Invented by Democrats yesterday, Protected by Democrats today

    by mollyd on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:46:26 PM PST

    •  For What It's Worth (none)
      Timeless and very relevant lyrics that certainly apply to Nixon and Bush, except that this 60's anthem came out in early 1967, fully two years before Nixon became president. For a Nixon theme song, I'd go with CNSY's Ohio--although I certainly hope that the sad event chronicled in it is never repeated (although some might say that it already has).
      •  yeah, (4.00)
        You are right about the piece.

        "My point was that if we have to have times as paranoid and troubling, wouldn't be nice to also have music as good?

        Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
        We're finally on our own.
        This summer I hear the drumming,
        Four dead in Ohio.

        Gotta get down to it
        Soldiers are cutting us down
        Should have been done long ago.
        What if you knew her
        And found her dead on the ground
        How can you run when you know?

        Gotta get down to it
        Soldiers are cutting us down
        Should have been done long ago.
        What if you knew her
        And found her dead on the ground
        How can you run when you know?

        Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
        We're finally on our own.
        This summer I hear the drumming,
        Four dead in Ohio"

        SOCIAL SECURITY: Invented by Democrats yesterday, Protected by Democrats today

        by mollyd on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:50:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just a tinfoil hat thought (4.00)
    Domestic spying might also be about Republican Party discipline.

    -6.00/-7.18 The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 08:51:51 PM PST

  •  talking points (4.00)
    Repeat them, repeat them, repeat them until they stick:

    • No one disagrees that wiretapping may be necessary; the issue is illegal use of wiretapping.

    • FISA is specifically designed to expediate warrants.  The supposed six-month turnover rate is a red herring: FISA allows post facto application for warrants.

    • Repeat that last one again: FISA allows you to apply for warrants after the fact, so the issue of emergency wiretappings is rendered moot.

    • Demolish the straw men whenever you see them: "war on terror", "six-months", "expediency", "executive privilege".  They do not apply to this case.
    •  Exactly. Simple unanswerable questions. (none)
      Why, sir,
      did you not use
      FISA?
      What's your excuse?

      You'd have the power
      to tap a wire
      within the hour.
      Or in a dire

      panic state
      just tap away...
      OK can wait
      another day.

      FISA
      was all it took.
      That's why, sir,
      we'll throw the book.
      __________

  •  Your thinking is flawed. (4.00)
    It's not only about dissent - that's just a small beginning.  A wedge in the door.

    It's about every second of your life:  every thought, every feeling, every opinion, everything you are - monitored and controlled in real time, by the most disgusting representatives of our species that exist.

    Here's a better example than anything the monitoring of dissent could possibly compete with:

    http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/...

    Follow the links.  Google it.  Every car in America with a GPS chip that reports its location to the government, in real time, 24/7.  And it's already more than half implemented.

    Didn't you know?

    JF

    Invest in your future - VOTE DIEBOLD!

    by Jaime Frontero on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:04:17 PM PST

    •  asdf (4.00)
      They are already embedding chips into animals so that owners will not have to worry their pets will get lost.  The next step will be id chips in children sold as a safety measure for parents so that if their children are stolen they can be identified quickly.  The chips in cars are sold as safety measures if you are in an accident and are unable to tell where you are.  The domestic spying is for our "protection".  Snowstorms are sold on the news as major events to be feared and schools are closed before the first flakes fly.  Thunderstorms, fog, terrorists, kidnappers, rapists, snipers, disease... fear.  Fear is used to control the population and it has worked like a charm for the facists in power.  Americans have turned into whiney, fearful children looking to any authority figure for protection.  Statistically speaking none of these potentially scary things are actually going to happen to any one person but people have been programmed to think this way now.
      •  Tracking cell phones now (none)
        The Bushite scum are also tracking cell phones right now- anytime your phone is on it sends a signal to the various cell towers you pass, so it is simple for the Bushites to track you.

        No warrant needed for the Bushite scum, they don't even want to bother with the FISA Court- hey they might get turned down, after all the FISA Court has turned down TWO REQUESTS in 25 years!

        Turn off your cell phone until you want to make a call, then shut it off quickly afterwards- save your battery, preserve your privacy.

      •  Luckily this is all a sign of the Rapture. (none)
        Praise Jesus.
        <snark>

        If not for the cat,
        And the scarcity of cheese
        I could be content.
        --Jack Prelutsky

        by Reepicheep on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:06:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great post. Diabolical administration. (4.00)
    Reading the excerpts from the WP article explained a lot. The rationale for going to all this trouble to do warrantless COINPRO has to be some political advantage for them. I never thought I'd live through this again. During Watergate and Vietnam we thought it could not ever be as bad or worse than that, but it just shows how when people do not learn from history....and we know W has not ever learned much---except how to be BAD.

    Reading here that they have given intell on innocent Americans to people beyond the federal government is bizarre. With whom are they sharing the information? Are they giving it to the Repub party? State officials? Corporate interests? Are they selling the info? What could they possibly do with it outside government use? Somone mentioned possible blackmail but I think there is some more systematic use of it, and of the 10,000 letters, and unknown number of communications intercepts probably most of them are "innocents" that they should have destroyed but "shared." Isn't that a nice term for something so evil?

    •  Think corporations... (none)
      I am willing to bet the gov. already has a list of little old people who try to buy prescription drugs outside the USA. Wanta bet?

      "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

      by martyc35 on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:24:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Beyond the federal government (none)
      Beyond the federal government?!?

      Does this mean they share the identities, activities, and beliefs of Americans who have been accused of no crimes with foreign governments? Will peaceful advocates for a free Palestine in the US have their identities and communications passed on to the Israeli government? Will people working for a free Tibet, an independent Taiwan, or religious freedoms inside of China have their identities and communications passed on to the Chinese government?

      While clearly immoral and illegal, I can't see sharing this information with Republican party officials as really capable of doing anyone any harm. But if this information is shared with foreign governments, then our safety and security is truly in question.

      "But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country" -- Al Gore

      by PhiloTBG on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 09:11:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a long diary, (4.00)
    and I'm too tired to read it all.  I am just posting a comment so it can have more comments than the "Snow Penis" diary, and the Kommune can resore some of its dignity.  (OK I admit, I posted a comment over there, too.  Is that so wrong?)

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard

    by illinifan17 on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:29:04 PM PST

  •  When it becomes feasible (4.00)
    it's vitally important that we go after the little guys that are part of this machine, as well as the big fish. If government operatives and employees know that they will face arrest and jail time, as well as destroyed careers, for engaging in this type of oppression, perhaps that will give others pause before they participate or enable it.
  •  Someone tell the wingnuts: (4.00)
    All the stuff they were worried about from those power mad Clintons is actually coming to pass with Bush!  Annie, get your gun!

    At least Bob Barr seems to have figured it out.

    Next time I write a diary I think I'll include the following poll:

    Bush Administration's favorite author?

    Machiavelli
    Orwell
    Kafka

    "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

    by Jim in Chicago on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:50:50 PM PST

      •  I used to think it was Orwell (none)
        but I'm coming around to Kafka as the answer lately as well...

        "We can win elections only by standing up for what we believe." --Howard Dean

        by Jim in Chicago on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:40:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Orwell is so passe (none)
          so 2003....
          •  Orwell passe? (none)
            Read the section in a tract entitled War is Peace within 1984 (about 10 pages) and you will see Bush's Mid-east plan in an early version. Like the Cold War, the War on Terror is about the organization and control of American citizens, not about defeating terrorism which is, after all, a method, not an ideology. How can we gain victory over a method? That makes it a permanent war and therefore a permanent organizing principle. Without that principle from the War on Terrorism, the people get disorderly and spoiled, making it much harder for the ruling classes to stick their hands in our pockets.
            •  The point was (none)
              that we have already gone past the Orwell phase and on to something worse... hopeless and pointless supression and impossibility. Of course if you have to explain the snark is gone...
            •  Terror, no. But global, definitely. (none)
              Pliant/compliant domestic population is not an end in itself. Why are they building bases in Central Asia if all they want is to muzzle Americans?

              The domestic repression agenda is a way to stay in power.

              Neocolonial exploitation, pillage and rapine - that's how they use that power.

              Corporate and military rampages overseas also require a stifling of domestic outrage and conscientious protest. So the two agendas interlock nicely.

              To think that 'organization and control of American citizens' is all they want is - pardon me - a very insular view. There's a huge world out there.

    •  Naw (none)
      you left off the author of "My Pet Goat." Those authors you listed are way above the reading level of this administration.
  •  Highly recommended (4.00)
    An excellent diary, lipris. Exceptionally well done.

    We're now coming to recognize the true face of the current administration (among so many faces, like an onion peeled). We understand what we see on an almost instinctive level; acceptance of the truth we perceive is essential to the concrete steps needed to protect ourselves & one another.

    Now: what can be done?
    I'm forever open to helpful, practical suggestions. A simple, heartfelt rant -- offered so regularly at this site & others as emotional balm for offended spirits -- will  soon be far less than enough for us.

    (This diary  is obviously excepted from that category, btw.)

  •  What new kind of technology did the Bushies use (none)
    to spy on us all??
    This does seem right - it has to be right - they thought they would get away with it - thank God they got caught -- I bet you this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    If I was a Democrat in Congress I would be very worried what technology could be used to spy on them 24/7

    http://www.defensetech.org/...

    Look at what former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was briefed on the eavesdropping program, told the Washington Post:

    "I came out of the room with the full sense that we were dealing with a change in technology but not policy," Graham said, with new opportunities to intercept overseas calls that passed through U.S. switches.

    Or what New York Times editor Bill Keller had to say about the paper's year-long delay in breaking the story:

    In the course of subsequent reporting we satisfied ourselves that we could write about this program -- withholding a number of technical details -- in a way that would not expose any intelligence-gathering methods or capabilities that are not already on the public record.

    So maybe the NSA wiretaps were using a new kind of capability; one that terror suspects might not have know about; one that might have even made the FISA court uncomfortable, somehow.

    It's a lot of mights and maybes, I know. But the current threads of this story are so thin, it's time to start considering some alternatives.

    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

    by sara seattle on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 09:56:29 PM PST

    •  It's the same old stuff (none)
      that they've had for years, just pointed in a different direction. Echelon and programs like it filter out leads. I would guess that many ideas from Poindexter's TIA program are used too, to create a database of "suspicious activity"... like attending anti-war rallies.
    •  i'll just say this: (4.00)
      i've known senator graham for many years. if he says that he was briefed on a technical or technological change in the way the NSA gathers intelligence and nothing else, that's exactly what transpired. the man has, among other quirks, an almost creepy memory capacity. we all know about the notebooks and all, but i have literally seen the man call folks by name that he met once 20 years ago at a school in wewahitchka. it's uncanny.

      the man has never "misremembered" something, let alone something of such gravity, in his cotton pickin' life.

      they were flat out lied to. you can take that to the fucking bank.

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

      check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

      by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:10:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is really starting to scary me - - - n/t (4.00)

        Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

        by sara seattle on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:13:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is exactly why i included (4.00)
          senator bob's comments in the diary. something stinks to high heaven about their "notification" of the relevant committee members in congress.

          people forget shit all the time. hell, i can't really remember what i had for breakfast, but i can guaran-goddamn-tee you that bob graham knows what he had for breakfast 5 years ago to the day. he could probably tell you what he had for breakfast on this date 20 years ago, where and with whom.

          i love the guy, but, let's face it. he's kind of a freak in this respect.

          if bob graham tells you that this shit wasn't told to them, then it wasn't. period.

          "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

          check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

          by lipris on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:20:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's all right here: (4.00)
            THE WHITE HOUSE

            Washington

            October 5, 2001
            MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE
            THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
            THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
            THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
            THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
            THE DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

            SUBJECT; Disclosure to the Congress

            As we wage our campaign to respond to the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, and to protect us from further acts of terrorism, I intend to continue to work closely with the Congress. Consistent with longstanding executive branch practice, this Administration will continue to inform the leadership of the Congress about the course of, and important developments in, our critical military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations. At the same time, we have an obligation to protect military operational security, intelligence sources and methods, and sensitive law enforcement investigations. Accordingly, your departsment should adhere to the following procedures when providing briefings to the Congress relating to the information we have or the actions we plan to take:

            (i) Only you or officers expressly designated by you may brief
            Members of Congress regarding classified or sensitive law
            enforcement information; and
            (ii)The only members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated
            officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement
            information are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader,
            the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking
            Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate.

            This approach will best serve our shared goals of protecting American lives, maintaining the proper level of confidentiality for the success of our military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations, and keeping the leadership of the Congress appropriately informed about important developments. This morning, I informed the House and Senate leadership of this policy which shall remain in effect until you receive further notice from me.

            (Signed) George Bush

            Note what he "promises to do"

            inform the leadership of the Congress about the course of, and important developments in, our critical military, intelligence, and law enforcement operations

            Nothing there about seeking direction, legislation, or providing updates and reviews.
            Graham says Bush agreed to rescind this directive to the agencies.  Is there evidence for that?

            Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

            by hannah on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 05:05:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I miss (none)
        Sen./Gov. Graham. Tell him to go rattle some cages for us.
    •  Well, you might have a look (none)
      at some of the following:

      Allied Defense Group
      NS MICROWAVE
      MECAR USA
      Titan Dynamics
      VSK Electronic Security
      Chesapeak Energy
      American Management Systems Inc
      Contran Corp.
      Gannon Technologies
      John Hopkins Center for International Studies
      Intellibridge
      Cyber Security Industry Alliance
      Orson Swindle
      Ken W. Cordier
      John C. Gannon

      Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

      by hannah on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 05:30:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't help wondering.... (4.00)
    ...since ostensibly this is about "national security", just how many translators who speak Arabic does the NSA have?

    My uninformed, baseless, and purely cynical guess would be not nearly enough to meaningfully monitor any genuine members of Al Qaeda.  

    Of course, you don't need to speak Arabic to spy on Americans.

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:02:42 PM PST

    •  good observation (4.00)
      if bushco is so serious about how important homeland security is, why was its last grade on the subject an "F"?

      We all know that 9/11 was the BEST thing that could have happened for the republicans.  If americans got the sense that the threat was diminished, bush would lose some of the hard-core support he has left.

      And so, ironically...if the administration successfully prevents another attack within the U.S., it would in essence, lose a powerful incentive for wing-nuts to support bush.  After all...if in another 5 years, america isn't attacked, people will get weary of the whole "keep us safe" rhetoric".

      It's scary, when you think about it...

      explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

      by bluestatesam on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 12:24:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its the same thing with the torture issue (4.00)
    They know torture doesn't produce intelligence.

    But it does deter dissent.

    Think about it.

  •  Environmental and peace groups likely targets (4.00)
    Let's all bear in mind that this administration considers all environmental groups to be "fringe", and "eco-terrorists" to be our number one domestic enemy.  

    Never mind that, at worst, eco-fanatics have destroyed property but injured no one (that I know of), whereas members (or "recent ex-members") of racist, religious and religio-racist groups like Christian Identity have targeted and killed a dozen or more blacks, jews and gays over the last ten or fifteen years, have cells across the country, and are armed to the teeth.

    I think it's fair to guess that wiretaps have been placed on environmental and peace groups all over the country, likely emphasizing individuals who have gone overseas over the last few years on peace, medical and supply missions.  

    One can only hope that someone somehwere in the bowels of the intelligence bureaucracy continues to monitor the hate groups that truly threaten Americans.

    Power corrupts. Hey, let's learn it the hard way!

    by Bob Love on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 10:15:18 PM PST

    •  My Bet: Politicians, UN diplomats, (none)
      and government (CIA, State etc) careerists  who Bushies knew/felt might be against war plans were probably even more likely targets when Bush began the FISA-violating NSA eavesdropping in summer-fall 2002.  Also journalists and reporters who the former  might might talk/leak to.

      Bushies had fully committed to a course to invade and occupy Iraq Iraq by summer 2002 , and they needed to be two jumps ahead of  antiwar leaning US politicians and career diplomatic/intelligence people, and were monitoring them, as well as the international diplomats, to head off any strong opposition efforts that could hurt their war plans during the critical period of late 2002-early 2003.

  •  Ahem... (4.00)
    The official said the database included police reports and law enforcement tips in a legitimate domestic security effort, but that it had mistakenly swept up and kept information on people who were not threats to launch terror attacks.

    Yeah, this is no mistake. It's actually pretty standard law enforcement practice. Collect as much information as possible and then do whatever you can to keep it...including "forgetting" about it.  Ya know, "just in case".

    ...They don't trust them because they are actively opposed to the policies pursued by the Executive branch.

    Bingo. See, this is where genuine national security issues get caught up with politics and ideology:

    An example:

    Many Progressives oppose the War in Iraq and are demanding immediate withdrawl of American forces, yet the Neo-Cons think this would be a national security disaster.

    Therefore, from the Neo-Con perspective, because these Progressives advocate the withdrawl of U.S. forces from Iraq, they are advocating a position that would be a National Security disaster, and,thus, they and their politics are a threat to national security.

    See How easy it is?

  •  Who ARE These People? (4.00)
    No, not their names, identities and titles. We already know all that. What I mean is who they REALLY are, in terms of their actual, hidden and ever so clearly unholy agenda. Yes, I know about destroying the New Deal, degulating everything from environmental controls to labor laws, ending all social programs, killing the depts of education, HHS, HUD, etc. But these are all policy goals. What is their POLITICAL agenda? Are they literally, consciously, deliberately trying to destroy our democratic system of government? Not weaken it, or make it subject to their control, but destroy it completely, and replace it with some neo-fascist totalitatian regime? Or should I take off my tin foil hat and calm down because while they're bad, they're not THAT bad?

    But before I take it off, has anyone ever thought about how, if all of the allegations made in this diary are true (and I'm sure that most if not all are true), it's not a huge leap of imagination and faith to believe that they probably have some people on staff monitoring this and other leftie blogs, saving everything in a DB for analysis and trying to identify its members and keeping files on them for possible future action, including being spied on? Anyone capable of doing these things is certainly capable of doing such a thing. In fact, I'd be shocked if they weren't, as these people appear to leave no stone unturned.

    Scary. Ok, hat's off...

  •  Boycott the tech providers (none)
    Start with IBM.  Hard to boycott directly, but there are big-name users of IBM technology, like the GAP, that are easy to target.

    Make it hurt to provide technology for spying.

    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. - Thoreau

    by harrier on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:31:22 PM PST

  •  one of the (none)
    best diaries i've read at dkos.  good job.
  •  Congrats... (none)
    You are now on "the list".  
  •  This should block Hillary, intell committee member (none)
    Unless Hillary Clinton can somehow prove that she didn't know about Echelon eavesdropping on U.S. civilians, I think the likelihood that she, as the wife of a president, knew about this should stop her from being the Democratic candidate for president. I can honestly sort of understand why this would happen, just as I (sorry) can understand why some Harrison Ford kind of FBI agent might shake the suspected planter of a ticking bomb really hard, but I don't think this sort of thing (or the mistreatment of a suspected terrorist) should ever be officially condoned.

    It's one thing to say, "People are people, I'm not a god, and I'm not going to pass judgment in this instance." It's another thing entirely to say, "I approve of this so much that I'm going to support you in your quest for a higher office."

    This is the same reasoning that applies to the idea of Alberto Gonzales becoming an attorney general or a Supreme Court justice. Of course, sure, someone had to prepare a memo describing just how far U.S. forces could go in interrogations. I don't think Gonzales should be arrested or punished for giving an honest opinion about what he thought the law was, but I don't like the idea of us endorsing his point of view by appointing him to one of the highest offices in the land.

    •  I'm not a hillary fan, (none)
      and probably wouldn't vote for her for a variety of other reasons, however, the list of people who could be briefed at most
      (ii)The only members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated
      officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement
      information are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader,
      the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking
      Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate.
      Does not lead to this conclusion
      I think the likelihood that she, as the wife of a president, knew about this should stop her from being the Democratic candidate for president.

      Daily Kos is the worst form of liberal web-site, except for all the others that have been tried.-Roy Solomon(paraphrasing Winston Churchill)

      by roysol on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:58:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  PLAYING DEVIL'S ADVOCATE (4.00)
    I was about to play devil's advocate and point out that maybe FISA is inapplicable to U.S. citizens, and that there may be times when the gov't needs to spy on someone who is a U.S. citizen but is also in cahoots with the mysterious and pervasive terrorists.

    However, the language of FISA authorizes surveilance against suspected "agents of foreign powers"...this is so vague that it would obviously cover an American citizen suspected of terrorist activity so long as there is some sort of overseas connection---thus W's contention yesterday that they use it for international communications ending or beginning in the U.S. makes NO SENSE, as FISA would explicitly cover this situation, and the FISA courts almost NEVER say no (do you want to be the judge who denied a wiretap order, and a week later the guy the gov't wanted to spy on blew up a building?)...

    so I have NO IDEA why W would limit it to something FISA was written to cover, other than maybe that it doesnt sound so bad to the public, 99.9% of who do no overseas communicating and dont intend to, so psychologically, they are then reassured that this has nothing to do with them...

    ideas????

  •  I was dumbfounded (4.00)
    to learn the Quakers have ties to terrorists (why else would they need to spy on their meetings?) Oh, the humanity! You can't even trust the Quakers!</snark>
  •  Look, this is nothing but (none)
    "market research" applied to the consumers of government.

    Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

    by hannah on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 04:54:44 AM PST

  •  Had to read this twice (none)
    They don't trust them because they believe that they are involved in "terrorism" or have Osama been Forgotten's picture on their wall. They don't trust them because they are actively opposed to the policies pursued by the Executive branch.

    I think that first sentence should be "It's not that they are involved in 'terrorism' or have Osama been Forgotten's picture on their wall." Otherwise, it looks (at least at first glance) like you're saying that they are involved in terrorism or do have Osama's picture on the wall.

    Excellent diary.

    "I think that in modern America, we have far too many options for breakfast cereal and not enough options for president." - Barry Schwartz

    by AlanF on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 05:45:13 AM PST

  •  nice job (none)
    Nixon double super secret redux

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

    by seesdifferent on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 05:45:31 AM PST

  •  Jeff Gannon (none)
    TALON ("Threat and Local Observation Notice") -- Is this where he came from?

    John Murtha speaks for me

    by cotterperson on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 06:32:15 AM PST

  •  FOIA link (none)
    Go here and submit your own Freedom of Information Act request for any and all records related to possible surveillance by NSA or other intelligence agencies related to ::your name::.  It's fun . . . and easy!
    •  Thanks (none)
      will call them.
      Being a German citizen (living in NYC for over 35 years) I suspected as early as 2002 that the Administration would spy on people who were/are against the war in Iraq.
      Since I was and am still quite active contacting Senators by E-mail and telephone to express my point of view, I am taking steps today:
      Join ACLU; talk to their legal service;
      Thank you all Kossacks!
      ingrid
    •  FOIA link (none)
      is not correct. It goes to FCC.

      Will try to find alternative route.  Sorry.

  •  Not sure now if I understand what's new (none)
    My understanding is that the intelligence folks have been using Echelon to spy at least on conversations starting within the United States for decades, so my assumption was that Bush has justed admitted to what all presidents have actually been doing since the mid-1980s, if not earlier.

    But I don't have time to read any of the coverage all that closely, and it could be that the Bush use of Echelon is clearly different than the Clinton use. If so, sorry. This is just a case of a misunderstanding, not me trying to be a troll.

  •  arguably the most comprehensive (none)
    but succinct diary i have read on this subject matter in a long time.  

    this needs to forwarded to every one of our senators (and congressman for that matter).  no harm in providing it to wolf, russert, tweety, cafferty, et al..

  •  1 Question to Ask Bush. (none)
    How do we know that the NSA isn't surveiling Pat Fitzgerald and providing the information to Rove? Clearly, Fizgerald is a threat to National Security, because he threatens to lock away Rove, at a time of national peril.

    Any Press Poolers around? Somebody Please Ask Bush this question.

    •  Good question, but I suspect (none)
      that Fitz is Mr. Cautious, Esq. and has his many FBI friends sweep for bugs periodically.  

      I certainly hope so, anyway.

      Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

      by hrh on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 02:20:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most memorable item in Fahrenheit 911... (4.00)
    ...was the part on Fresno Peace Action.  When they saw the thing in the newpaper about a local counter-terrorism cop killed in a motorcycle accident.  Counter-terrorism cop?  They'd known him under another name, and a "member" of their group.  Infiltration.

    One of the most memorable parts, anyhow.

    And it isn't just about whether this is good or bad.  It's bad, of course.  

    It's also about tax dollars being squandered on folly (at best, repressive police state at worst) that could go for something actually useful and beneficial for society.  Even if it's strictly limited to security, maybe they could screen more container ships, or packages in cargo holds of passenger flights.  

    Would arguably do more for security than spying on Quakers.

  •  Spying on Fitzgerald and Whistleblowers (none)
    Great question..how do you know?

    I note there were no followups today on the Plame outing and Novaks comments that the President knew who the leaker was...Is it just MSM have a short attention span or that they are afraid to ask?

  •  Spying on Congress (none)
    They're using this to blackmail certain Democrats who have acted like weasels.

    Lieberman, Biden ... Clinton ... they are blackmailing them.

    It's the only logical explanation for their behavior.

  •  Leaders lead and Rulers rule (none)
    A leader represents the views of the group that he/she represents while a ruler does not.Every time a protest is sent to rulers it just reinforces their position in juxtiposition to a leader who would consider consequences in a positive feedback loop. Results can be evidenced through punishment and rewards for greed,corruption,hyprocrisy,murder,abuse of power,political persecution and sheer arrogance of the rights of freedom and justice.
  •  Dissent & today's "news" conference (none)
    Those who don't get the message will be admonished from Dec 24th-26th.

    (The earlier diary this was posted to scrolled off)

    Some have wondered at the timing of this flurry of activity from King
    George's temporary housing.  They have speculated at too high a level.

    This is about quashing discussion and dissent from the Bush/Cheney
    message at the Christmas & Chanukah gatherings.

    If you don't agree, you are a traitor and are to shut up!! (Been there,
    endured that.....and more)

    This is about including the military and their mission in Christmas
    Dinner blessings.

    This is about priests and evangelical & "main line" Protestant
    ministers including certain instructions and prayers at Christmas Eve
    services.

    With little else to talk about, Rove has engineered a week's worth of
    "commentary" from the O'Reilly's, Russerts, Druges, Rushs, Matthews, &
    local talk radio.

    What with gift buying, wrapping, travels, cooking, etc, many families
    will be time stretched and tired.  And will meekly bow their heads to
    bullying & aggression.

    It also feeds into some Christians view of The Father protecting you.
    Bush fancies himself "the protector Father"  -- as Geo Lakeoff noted --
    it works for many, given their religious conditioning.
    ***********
    We do not chose to sit at a table where ALL of us, including our brains
    & values are not welcome.

    We also could not stand to have the TV on for more than 15 minutes this
    of vitriol - give me Martha's gingerbread house any day!   Quite sure
    from the limited time the Q/A portion was on, that King George was
    wired.  Hemmed & hawed before answering some questions.  The beligerant
    smirk never left his face or manner.

    ---Posted from a "Bush/Cheney Free" zone/ home, where a shredder is used.

    We defend what we value.

    •  i think everyone should (none)
      be talking about this with their families this week. heck, we should make a campaign out of it. explain to the doubters in your family the full ramifications of what this means. i'm sure we can't convince everybody, but we can damn sure win over some leaners.

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

      check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

      by lipris on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 12:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Family talk (none)
        Explain?

        "They" don't want to talk - "they" call you a traitor, full of crap, accuse you of being disloyal to family members (in the military), a disgustingly shameful, liberal idiot, etc. Like listening to Rush & Bush.  

        Knowing being in a room with guns makes you nervous, they bring them out and sling them around.  

        Three-four years of it is enough, thank you. These people have been enboldened by Bush & Co.  Remember that billboard which was posted from WVA?  These folks endorse it everyday!  They love to hate - gives purpose to their lives.

        I suspect there are too many others in the same situation.

        It is interesting that when older members of this family were alive during the V-N days, we listened but did not even tell them we disagreed.  We also refrained from rubbing Watergate in their Republican noses.  Unfortuately, the younger members do not grant us the same courtesy.  

        Good luck with your campaign, lipris!

         

  •  petition to sign (none)
    petition to sign at act for change:

    http://fc-politics.blogspot.com/...

  •  petition (none)
    Act for Change has a petition demandnig an investigation...pass it on!

    Smintheus has now posted three diaries on Operation Flabbergasted:

    Part I - Let's Watergate Bush

    This cannot stand. In ordering the NSA to spy secretly on America, George Bush has overturned United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18, which prohibits domestic spying by NSA; violated the federal act which created the FISA court to oversee covert domestic investigations; and trampled upon the Fourth Amendment guarantee against warrantless searches. It cannot stand for a day, much less a month while Congress is in recess.

    Friday, when Sen. Specter said he'd make investigating the allegations a top priority in January, it was barely possible to pretend that they might be false. But by Saturday's radio address, when Bush defended his policy and insisted it would continue, we had entered a full-blown constitutional crisis. George Bush would love for Congress to back down from a fight next week, to go home grumbling "Wait until next year."

    Operation Flabbergasted:  We cannot let that happen. We have to ensure that by Monday, all hell has broken loose in D.C.

    Part II - A Nation of Laws, Not Men

    Part III - Take Back Your Country

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