Tuesday :: Nov 8, 2005

Push for the truth


by Duckman GR

There's nothing like some pointy headed liberal spouting rule of law, point of order, show me the evidence, and so forth, to make Big Time's blood pressure rise. To wit, Wednesday, the House is expected to vote on HR 505 to call for release of documents from the WHIG (White House Iraq Group), here-to-for withheld from Congressional oversight, and in between pro torture arm twisting events, I'm sure dick will weigh in on this too.

Sponsored by Dennis Kucinich, and 63 co-sponsors, groups like the Backbone Campaign, After Downing Street, and members of The Progressive Caucus of the CA Dem Party are trying to get votes for passage, or at least more co-sponsors to ratchet up the pressure on bushco.

Congressman Smith of WA has an editorial laying out the case, and while there are some questionable holes in his logic, this part rings true,

...We need to know how they got that information -- which we now know to be false -- and whether they deliberately misrepresented the facts. The administration and its supporters often have dismissed the need for an investigation by arguing that everybody thought Saddam had WMD. They seem to mistakenly believe that this assertion makes it irrelevant whether the administration lied.

Pressure is the name of the game here. georgie can't handle it, big time prolly shouldn't handle it, rover is occupied elsewhere, the B team is running things as much as anybody, and there's no time like the present to push this misbegotten bunch of frauds and moneychangers.

Call your Congressperson, the links urge, there's all upside and no downside, really. Another investigation, cut 73 or 473, they all add up to force bushco onto the defensive, and if they're busy defending, they aren't busy offending, not assaulting our open spaces, our clean water, our Rights, all the little and big offensive things they do. And that matters, that makes a difference. For example,

Josh Marshall has a couple of posts about the FBI investigations into the Niger Uranium story and the chalabi/Iran intelligence leaks here and here and he says [n]one of that adds up. Something's wrong.

On the NewsHour Margaret Warner intervied Barton Gellman from the WaPo who broke the story about what the FBI is doing these days, essentially spying on Americans.

It's not just library books, but everything from bank records to purchases to car repairs. It's absurd, disgusting actually, that the FBI is spending so much of it's resources, its time, its agents its money, 30,000 National security letters a year for nothing. Whereas we would be happy to see just one stinking letter from dick cheney on his energy task force, or his fact fixing on Iraq, they get 30k for nothing. We need some pushback, no matter the size. (My bolds in the excerpt below.)

"National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no [EFFING] example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.

The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides 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. Late last month, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined.

And remember the cow they had over "filegate" when the Clinton's moved into the White House.

So if you can personally do something that helps get these bastards out of office, please do so. Because they really really really need to go.

Duckman GR :: 1:07 AM :: Comments (45) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!