with a simple flick of a switch I could shut out the greedy murmur of little men

Just some weekend snippets:

Eavesdropping case gains steam

A Portland-based federal judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Terrorist Surveillance Program — just as President Bush was urging Congress to authorize it.

U.S. District Judge Garr M. King ruled that a lawsuit by an Oregon-based Islamic charity could go forward without revealing state secrets, rebuffing the government’s attempt to dispose of the case swiftly.

King left for another day the ultimate question: Does the warrantless eavesdropping program, administered by the National Security Agency and authorized by Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, violate the law?

King didn’t go as far as Judge Taylor in condemning the whole program so while the Right will inevitably find away a way to slime him they can’t say that his reasoning has been too broad. The score: Bush 0, Judges for the rule of law 3.

Yes Virginia there are bad people in the world. Always have been. Prep school graduate and former alcoholic George W. Bush thinks that the preeminent bad guys of our time are some transnational Islamic jihadists. He’s serious about stopping them, or at least he and his supporters swear that he is. Heck if you disagree about the means and measures used to rid the world of these scoundrels its pretty much axiomatic that you, yes you, are a terrorist sympathizers. Some of us were just wondering when the unfocused and shrill rhetoric would match up with action, A comprehensive and sometimes surprising portrait of the handling of criminal cases in the United States against individuals identified as international terrorists

In the twelve months immediately after 9/11, the prosecution of individuals the government classified as international terrorists surged sharply higher than in the previous year. But timely data show that five years later, in the latest available period, the total number of these prosecutions has returned to roughly what they were just before the attacks. Given the widely accepted belief that the threat of terrorism in all parts of the world is much larger today than it was six or seven years ago, the extent of the recent decline in prosecutions is unexpected.

Maybe they’ve all been killed and there is no need for prosecutions, but since in the last two weeks the administration has reminded us that the west faces its gravest threat since Hitler that cannot be the case unless they were pumping up the threat like an old beach float. Even if Bush wanted to start prosecuting terrorists we have a little problem, Tainted FruitHow can al-Qaida’s 14 worst terrorists stand trial?

Torture and disappearances work. That was the essential message in an extraordinary speech by President George W. Bush on Sept. 6. In the speech, the president acknowledged for the first time the existence of secret detention centers administered by the CIA, admitted that detainees held there had been harshly interrogated, and argued that it was all worth it because the tactics had produced valuable intelligence that had “saved American lives.” Now, the president claimed, he was transferring 14 detainees from their “disappeared” states in these CIA “black sites” to Guantanamo Bay, so that they could be “brought to justice.”

It seems highly unlikely that these men—who include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, as well as several other high-level al-Qaida leaders—can actually be brought to justice, precisely because of the way the CIA treated them. Here, as in so many of its other national security initiatives, the Bush strategy has backfired, leaving the government fatally hamstrung in holding real terrorists accountable. Just as in Iraq, the administration violated basic principles of the rule of law in the name of “preventing terrorism,” and we are all now paying the consequences.

Bush got caught in another, well let’s just say distortion of the facts in that little speech when he sited an example of why torture worked; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was caught because someone turned him in for the reward, not because torture made a captive talk. According to the right-wing blogs Bush has achieved a state of nirvanic perfection and never ever lies so I’m confused.

I know for a fact that all the odd socks I have now can be traced back to William Jefferson Clinton and his supernatural ability to control the entire universe including my dryer; still I stop short of blaming him for 9-11, ABC ‘Path To 9/11’ Connected To Ongoing Effort To Blame Clinton

HUNSECKER
(softly)
Harvey, I often wish I were dead
and wore a hearing aid…with a
simple flick of a switch I could
shut out the greedy murmur of
little men…
from SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman