[Background: We reported earlier today that NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, while interviewing New York Times’ reporter James Risen (the man who broke the domestic spying scandal) asked Risen if there was any evidence to suggest Bush was spying on US journalists. When Risen said none that he knew of, Mitchell then pressed the issue again and asked if there was any evidence that Bush was spying on CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. We reported on the fact that Mitchell seemed to know something, and shortly thereafter NBC deleted the section of the transcript dealing with Amanpour.]
When you want answers from the King, do you bow first or get down on one knee, Surveillance Court Is Seeking Answers
The members of a secret federal court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases are scheduled to receive a classified briefing Monday from top Justice Department and intelligence officials about a controversial warrantless-eavesdropping program, according to sources familiar with the arrangements.Several judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said they want to hear directly from administration officials why President Bush believed he had the authority to order, without the court’s permission, wiretapping of some phone calls and e-mails after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
So to put it in a nut shell, Bush’s push back against his critics is based purely on public relations and not the rule of law. The only thing that has resembled a legal argument is that he tried to get the Attornet General he appoined to say it was okey dokey; forever after to be called the Okey Dokey legal presedent in the annals of constitutional law. The judges of the FISA court are well aware that any evidence that has been gathered by illegal means is fruit of the poison tree; if that is the only evidence that was to be used against supposed terrorists or Christiane Amanpour for that matter, its inadmissable. Which does bring us back to the idea that if there are all these terrorists in America right now, where are the arrests. If we are to remain vigilant against another terrorist attack should Bush be constantly playing the ace of immient fear. These bumblings are the Bush administrations direct contribution to erecting another obstacle in the battle against terrorism. First, rather then finish the job in Afghanistan, which the vast majority of Americans supported, he turned Iraq into a new terrorists training ground for the next thirty years.Now he has given the entire world the idea that his pursuit of terrorists is unfocused and unprofessional. The front line grunts at the CIA and the NSA have got to be frustrated with a president who doesn’t know when or how to play his cards so he just bets the house on a game that he couldn’t rig if he tried. One of the problems with people that grow up rich, have never earned anything on their own, and never really faced a challenge in life, is the tendency to think that the first solution that pops into their head is the best solution and how dare anyone question Yale boys mission plan. I’m not much for the few bone heads conspiracy flacks that thinks Bush is doing this all on purpose, he likes war ( he might I don’t know), he likes creating the next generation of middle-eastern right-wingers, but when you look at how badly he keeps fumbling, you can see where they get their ideas.
Dems push back harder. Maybe they’re beginning to undetstand that this is not a game, the loser gets a broken democracy…. White House Told NSA Briefings Broke Law
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee toldPresident Bush Wednesday that the White House broke the law by withholding information from the full congressional oversight committees about a new domestic surveillance program.In a letter to Bush, Rep. Jane Harman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., said the National Security Act requires the heads of the various intelligence agencies to keep the entire House and Senate intelligence committees “fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States.”Only in the case of a highly classified covert action can the president choose to inform a narrower group of Congress members about his decision, Harman said. That action is defined in the law as an operation to influence political, economic or military conditions of another country.”The NSA program does not qualify as a ‘covert action,'” Harman wrote.
Linkville: Attacking vets from Iraq that don’t cowtow to the powers that be at One Veterans Voice
Credibility and the Press by DigbyBut I will no longer defend the press unconditionally. They have proved that they can’t resist the powerful pull of rightwing intimidation and seduction without some counterbalance on the left and I’m more than willing to call a spade a spade to do that. It has not served my politics or my country well to quietly support the media so that they could maintain crediblity. I honestly don’t see that we have anything more to lose when presidents are being impeached for trivial reasons, elections are being stolen and wars are being waged on lies. Just how bad would it have to get to justify criticizing the press for its complicity in those things?
With the Abramoff plea bargain, the WV mining tragedy, and the Ariel Sharon health crisis, there is a lot of heavy news keeping the Alito preliminaries on the back pages this week, making it harder for anti-Alito messages to be heard, and for opposition to build momentum.
more on Stripe-Search Alito ( not that there’s anything wrong with a good stripe search under the right circumstances)…Petition the Senate: Don’t Confirm Alito
President Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court has compiled an extensive, right-wing judicial record on numerous matters of importance to the protection of the rights and interests of ordinary Americans. Alito’s judicial opinions demonstrate that he is an out of the mainstream opponent of fundamental legal rights and protections for all Americans and must not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
GITTES: Okay, go home. But in case
you’re interested your husband
was murdered. Somebody’s dumping
tons of water out of the city
reservoirs when we’re supposedly
in the middle of a drought, he
found out, and he was killed.
There’s a waterlogged drunk in
the morgue — involuntary manslaughter
if anybody wants to take the trouble
which they don’t. it looks like half
the city is trying to cover it all
up, which is fine with me. But,
Mrs. Mulwray —
(now inches from her)
— I goddam near lost my nose!
And I like it. I like breathing
through it. And I still think
you’re hiding something. – from CHINATOWN by Robert Towne