Friday, January 06, 2006

Let's be blunt

Submitted 01/06/06

DODO’s are not extinct! They migrated to Idaho and now form the 50% who continue to support Bushco. Why have I taken to outright slamming instead of more subtle sarcasm? Because our civil rights are being destroyed while I type, and if you support this administration you are complicit in the destruction of America.

If you aren’t outraged by what is going on in our country, then you’re not paying attention.

All excuses to the contrary, the warrantless domestic spying program is neither legal nor are the excuses offered for it valid. The fear-mongering that this leak alerted and assisted the enemy is laughable. Do you know that Alberto Gonzales, one of Bush’s big defenders on this action, tried to get the second in command at the DOJ to recertify it while Ashcroft was in the hospital with pancreatitis? He refused, knowing it was illegal. So Gonzales and Andrew Card went to the hospital to have Ashcroft sign off. He at first refused.

Through four previous administrations, the FISA approved all but one warrant application. Come 2000, problems developed. The court rejected six requests and modified 179. For the first time the government clashed with the court. Changes were requested by Bushco including changing the phrase “the purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information” to “a significant purpose of the surveillance.” However their attorneys were unwilling to expand on what other purposes there might be besides suspicion of terrorism or espionage.

Bushco got their way, but obviously even with the expanded powers of the Patriot Act and FISA warrants, it wasn’t enough. In 2003-2004 four applications were denied, the court forced them to withdraw three, and 173 were modified. Compare this to a total of six application objections in the previous 24 years. The FISA judges were appointed by Rehnquist, so don’t pull out the “liberal” label.

According to an article by Doug Thompson from Capitol Hill Blue, millions are being spied on by the FBI, Homeland Security and the Pentagon. He reports a former NSA agent who quit in disgust as saying, “We’re no longer in the business of tracking our enemies. We’re spying on everyday Americans.”

And as for the Patriot Act so beloved in Idaho, read it and know that formerly investigations on Americans that led nowhere were destroyed. Bush stopped that in 2003. It’s now all being saved.


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