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This post is partly inspired from lipris who wrote "Domestic Spying is NOT About Terrorism. It is About Dissent UPDATED" on how domestic spying is not about terrorism but about monitoring, intimidating and squelching constitutionally protected dissent. Why do we care about spying?  Besides the obvious fact that Bush is overriding laws, making things up about getting congressional approval for warrants, etc. why should we care?

I learned after reading Major Danby's post that using spying for political purposes (squashing dissenters and political opponents) is nothing new. He shows how former director and founder of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover abused his power to spy on Americans...Afterwards I'll show an article on how spying affects us directly in the modern day...especially for those of us brave enough to speak out against injustice (ex: Rove outing Joe Wilson's wife as a CIA agent). In fact, Rove has relied on blackmailing political enemies ever since he helped Bush run for governor. Imagine what he could do with the NSA.

"Hoover (FBI founder and director) amassed significant power by collecting files containing large amounts of compromising and potentially embarrassing information on scores of powerful people, especially politicians, which were kept separate from official FBI records. On his orders, the files were destroyed immediately after Hoover's death. In the 1950s, evidence of Hoover's apparently cozy relations with the Mafia became grist for the media and his many detractors, after famed muckraker Jack Anderson exposed the immense scope of the Mafia's organized crime network, a threat Hoover had long downplayed. Hoover's retaliation and continual harassment of Anderson lasted into the 1970s. Hoover has also been accused of trying to undermine the reputations of members of the civil rights movement and the Black Panther Party."

In addition, Hoover was credited by Truman in his memoirs saying "The country had reason to be proud of and have confidence in our security agencies. They had kept us almost totally free of sabotage and espionage during the World War II"."

If Bushie and his buddies are allowed to wiretap anyone and tap into their private lives...just imagine what the future would look like...Well you don't have to daydream that much because this abuse of power, this power that is used to undermine the political strength of opponents, of critics and unbiased journalism, is ALREADY HAPPENING.

from Capitol Hill Blue: White House keeps dossiers on more than 10,000 political enemies

"How is that you think Karl (Rove) and Scooter (Libby) were able to disseminate so much information on Joe Wilson and his wife," says one White House aide. "They didn't have that information by accident. They had it because they have files on those who might hurt them."  White House insiders tell disturbing tales of invasion of privacy, abuse of government power and use of expanded authority under the USA Patriot Act to dig into the personal lives of anyone the administration deems an enemy of the state.  Those on the list include former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former covert CIA operative Valarie Plame, along with filmmaker and administration critic Michael Moore, Senators like California's Barbara Boxer, media figures like liberal writer Joe Conason and left-wing bloggers like Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (the Daily Kos) and Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette).  "If you want to know who's sleeping with whom, who drinks too much or has a fondness for nose candy, this is the place to find it," says another White House aide. "Karl (Rove) operates under the rule that if you f*ck with us, we'll f*ck you over."

Rove started the list while Bush served as governor of Texas, compiling information on various political enemies in the state and leaking damaging information on opponents to friends in the press. The list grew during Bush’s first run for President in 2000 but the names multiplied rapidly after the terrorist attacks of 2001 and passage of the USA Patriot Act. Using the powers under the act, Rove expanded the list to more than 10,000 names, utilizing the FBI’s “national security letters” to gather private and intimate details on American citizens.

National security letters, which can be issued by an FBI supervisor without a judge’s review or approval, allows the bureau to examine the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of any Americans.

As George Santayana said:  "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." also, "A country without a memory is a country of madmen. What's good for Rove... probably isn't good for me... related:

bradspangler theorizes that Bush doesn't want authorization from FISA courts because he is politically abusing surveillance powers.

grapes theorizes that the biggest threat to Bush is the truth. Which means possibly spying on US personnel who are possibly telling folks back home what's happening in Iraq.

Originally posted to psykomeyeko on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 08:45 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Our diars should mate. (none)
    I'll show you my recommend if you show me yours.

    Join us in IRC! Dalnet; #dailykos

    by LieparDestin on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 08:51:45 PM PST

  •  well duh! (none)
    It's all about not wanting to have anything in writing to have given to the secret court to get a warrant to do the spying.  They don't want a paper trail.  If you were spying on AQ, who cares if there's paperwork requesting the warrant retroactively 72 hours later as is allowed now under the law, unless you are actually spying on Hillary Clinton or John Kerry or anybody Rove wants a dossier on, like Fitz.  These people have been drinking too many RC's and eating way too many Moonie Pies,which will be their defense....too much sugar made them do it.  There's precident...Twinkie defense.

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 09:28:37 PM PST

  •  No White House tapes this time (none)
    We've got to subpoena those files for the Congressional investigation.

    Does anyone think Bush will ever catch bin Ladin?

    by Danjuma on Mon Dec 19, 2005 at 10:51:03 PM PST

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