I'm outta office. Too late sucka!
E-mail records required by law to be available were "lost" during the Bush administration and somehow no one seemed to end up bearing the responsibility. That aside, the e-mails have now been "found" and it will be very interesting to see what's in them.
Meredith Fuchs, general counsel to the National Security Archive, said "many poor choices were made during the Bush administration and there was little concern about the availability of e-mail records despite the fact that they were contending with regular subpoenas for records and had a legal obligation to preserve their records."
"We may never discover the full story of what happened here," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director. "It seems like they just didn't want the e-mails preserved."
"It seems like they just didn't want the e-mails preserved"…. No kidding. During a time when they were blocking the subpeona's of congress for Whitehouse staffers to testify against them for the screwups of WMDs in Iraq, the CIA leak, the security agency spying case, and more. I wonder what they could have to hide?
More importantly, can they retro-actively impeach him or is there some kind of statue of limitations? One of the biggest mistakes Obama has already made was to say that we should look forward and not back. That is incorrect mister president. The American public needs to see that abusers of power are held accountable. Make it so!
, Lost E-mails
I should hope so
. I would like to think this is the worst it will ever be.
Brilliantly written though not just a little depressing
And although the president now understands—or so he says—that we must begin to wean ourselves from oil and coal, we have on his watch become more deeply dependent on both.
I found this online petition to remove Pelosi
for failing to do her job and being a political hack. Even if Congress couldn't pull an actual impeachment (which I believe they could for trying to block investigations of the White House staff alone
), then they could still do something
Make sure you also support Dennis Kucinich's petition for impeachment hearings for Bush and Cheney
Schneier covers the recently released US policy for laptop seizure
The U.S. government has published its policy: they can take your laptop anywhere they want, for as long as they want, and share the information with anyone they want
Oy. So what does it take to end this horrible trend? Obama? McCain (not likely)? Or something else entirely, and, if so, what?
, Public Confidence
This makes me sick
. Bush has tried to attach a provision to a bill that would allow him to escape prosecution for his war crimes. How’s that for an admission of guilt?
, War Crimes
Here's a take that I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't considered: Members of Congress may be protecting Bush because of votes they made previously that might seem to have supported his illegal activities
. While it might not end in prosecution, it could end their lucrative Congressional careers.
So, of course key Congressional Democrats who were made aware of these illegal torture and surveillance programs are going to protect the Bush administration and other lawbreakers. If you were Jay Rockfeller or Nancy Pelosi, would you want there to be investigations and prosecutions for torture programs that, to one degree or another, you knew about? If you were Jane Harman, wouldn't you be extremely eager to put a stop to judicial proceedings that were likely to result in a finding that surveillance programs that you knew about, approved of, and helped to conceal were illegal and unconstitutional?
(H/T to digg
for the link)
, If You Only Knew
In Senate debate, Patrick Leahy (D-VT) argued strongly against telecom immunity, because it would make it almost impossible to ever find out what really happened and “the American people ought to know who in the White House said, ‘Go break the law.’”
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) noted that, “We’re considering granting immunity when roughly 70 members of the Senate still have not been briefed on the president’s wiretapping program. The vast majority of this body still does not even know what we’re being asked to grant immunity for.”
These were the protests that smarter senators made before the vote
. They were ignored
. The “FISA update” including immunity was passed yesterday.
“I sit on the intelligence and Judiciary committees, and I am one of the few members of this body who has been fully briefed on the warrantless wiretapping program,” said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), another prominent opponent. “I can promise that if more information is declassified about the program in the future, as is likely to happen . . . members of this body will regret that we passed this legislation.”
Tags: Big Brother
You have found a RANT
. Articles in this section are sounding boards for my frustrations. They usually (more like always) lack impartiality and may include arguments and "facts" that may not be supported.
With time I may calm down and make this a real article, but for now, you have been warned...
Breaking news, Congress is full of quarter-witted imbeciles and corrupt sychophants. Wait… we knew that already. What is
new is that now we have a roster of the members of the House who either have no clue about what's going on or have gone to the dark side (cue Darth Vader-like breathing).
Yesterday the House passed a FISA amendment act which includes a provision shielding telecommunications companies from any liability. In the coverage of the situation by Ars Technica
, they were able to quote Nacy Pelosi as being an idiot:
(Bold text in parenthesis is mine)
The most extended apologia came from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who urged that the compromise be judged by comparison with the Senate bill, which she characterized as the only realistic alternative (So we can't ask for a good law, only a less bad one? That's a great standard to live to). She outlined several ways in which the current legislation is preferable to the Senate's version. First, the compromise bill reasserts that FISA is the "exclusive means" for conducting electronic surveillance, which would require the president to ignore such language twice in order to launch an extralegal surveillance program, rather than only once, as under traditional FISA rules (So if the President breaks the law, now it would violate two laws instead of just one. The next time someone breaks a law, I wonder if it will result in jail time if it only breaks the law "once"). Second, it preserves prior judicial review of surveillance authorizations, except in "very, very rare" circumstances, such as when the attorney general asserts that waiting for a judge would entail delay (I think that recent history has shown how much we can trust to the "rarity" of the Attorney General approving anything a president might ask. Has she even been awake in the last decade?). Third, it contains specific provisions barring the use of authorizations targeting parties abroad as a pretext for targeting U.S. persons, presumably to be enforced by a board of psychics. Finally, it provides for an internal investigation of the extent of past surveillance, which Congress will act upon with the same legendary zeal for civil liberties it has displayed over the past seven years (Brilliantly summarized. Ars has some great writers.).
So in one day, the House voted to expand powers of the Judicial branch that they didn't need and shield their conspirators from liability against justice.
Don't get me wrong, if I got a letter from the Attorney General of the United states that required my company to do something and my lawyers said to do it, I would have and maybe
that's what happened to the telcos. But if there is no accountability for the Attorney General, the President, and the involved Agencies, then the whole things tastes like Congress cooked us up some chili made of poo.
Tags: Big Brother
, Public Confidence
, Utter Failure