Good evening. A lot to cover so let's get started with two important things from Democracy Now!
Surveillance Court Judge Resigns in Protest of Bush Spy Program
This news on the Bush administration’s domestic espionage program: the Washington Post is reporting a judge has resigned from the country’s top spy court in protest of the secret program in which the National Security Agency has eavesdropped on Americans without court-approved warrants. U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, submitted his resignation Monday. The court is regarded as the only authority to authorize wire-taps for domestic espionage.
Bully Boy keeps saying it's not big deal. He's lying because those lips keep flapping but more proof because if it wasn't such a big deal, why would Judge Robertson resign.
We were talking about this one, Tony and some of my friends today. Nina goes that Judge Robertson isn't talking about why but people are saying he's been really bothered by things before it came out that Bully Boy was using NSA to spy without a FISA warrent. Tony said he heard that. I'm going, "Where did you hear that?"
They saw it in the first entry this morning at The Common Ills. "NYT: 'Spying Programs Snared U.S. Calls' (James Risen & Eric Lichtblau)" was where C.I. compared and contrasted the New York Times and the Washington Post coverage. Washington Post was the one who broke the story on the judge, Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer 's "Spy Court Judge Quits In ProtestJurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel." I hadn't read it because I went into work early today to try to grab some extra hours. I didn't even get to hear Democracy Now! until I got home this afternoon and listened online. So I was walking blind all day which felt weird but I wanted to try to make a little more cash because I wanted to bring something nice to Christmas dinner. Ma always knocks herself out cooking like crazy and everyone brings something except me and my sister since we still live at home. I could try to microwave something but I think I'd just be in everyone's way so I'm grabbing something on Saturday. Not sure what so if you got ideas let me know.
Bush in 2004: "Wiretap Requires A Court Order"
President Bush has argued eavesdropping without court-approved warrants is legal under authority granted by Congress shortly after 9/11. But in April of last year President Bush told reporters wire-taps were only conducted with court approval.
President Bush, April 20, 2004: "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so."
The White House is now claiming Bush was referring only to actions taken under the Patriot Act.
Still having a hard time calling Bully Boy a liar? Shouldn't after that. Tells us a wiretap requires a court order and he was already using the NSA to eavesdrop without a court order. He lied. He should be impeached for spying on Americans and not even bothering to get a warrent.
C.I. noted this already but I have to note it both because it's worth noting and because Dad goes, "Michael, your mother noted it." She did. So here's Matthew Rothschild's "Bush Takes the Crown:"
Add this to the long list of impeachable offenses that George W. Bush has committed, and put it at the top.
The President swears an oath of office that he will uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws of the land.
The law against domestic spying without a warrant he has executed, all right. He shot it in the head.
When The New York Times revealed on December 16 (after sitting on the story for a year and omitting details at the request of Administration officials!) that Bush ordered the National Security Agency to monitor "the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years," I expected Bush to deny it or to say he was going to review the policy.
Instead, he is vehemently defending that policy, citing his authority under the Constitution as commander in chief and Congress's authorization to go after Al Qaeda. He did so in his radio address on Saturday and in his press conference on Monday.But these were the very same rationales that the Bush Administration put forward last year at the Supreme Court in the case of Yaser Hamdi, one of the U.S. citizens Bush detained without charge or trial.
The Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, did not buy those arguments at all. "A state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens," O'Connor wrote.
I figured because C.I. noted it, that was enough but Dad's right, if Ma cared enough to get it highlighted at The Common Ills, I need to put it up here too.
Nina never asks for a spotlight of any kind but she asked me to note "Governmental spying/snooping." If you missed that, it goes into some of the history of spying on Americans when Nixon was the Bully Boy using a book by Ruth Rosen. Here's a part of it quoting from Rosen's book:
Americans first heard about the Cointelpro program and learned something of its scope when a "Citizens Committee to Investigate the FBI" broke into the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in March 1971, removed secret files, and subsequently leaked them to the press. Soon after Cointelpro was exposed, several agents resigned and blew the whistle on the agency's crimes against ordinary citizens. After Hoover's death in 1972, the agency issued a public apology and vowed to reform itself. In 1975, Senator Frank Church held congressional hearings that further exposed the program and confirmed some of the New Left's and women's movement's worst nightmares.
Ruth Rosen's book is called The World Split Open.
Along with C.I., Wally and Rebecca have been hitting on this issue. And you know Elaine has at Like Maria Said Paz so be sure to check her out.
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