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Senators demand answers.

Democratic and Republican calls mounted on Tuesday for U.S. congressional hearings into President George W. Bush's assertion that he can order warrantless spying on Americans with suspected terrorist ties.

Vice President Dick Cheney predicted a backlash against critics of the administration's anti-terrorism policies. He also dismissed charges that Bush overstepped his constitutional bounds when he implemented the recently disclosed eavesdropping shortly after the September 11 attacks.

Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe of Maine joined Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Dianne Feinstein of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon in calling for a joint investigation by the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees into whether the government eavesdropped "without appropriate legal authority."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he would prefer separate hearings by the Judiciary Committee, which has already promised one, and Intelligence Committee.

The more investigatins, the merrier. And let Cheney predict whatever he wants. If after a fair and open debate, the American people decide they want a presidency with unfettered powers in the mold of Saddam Hussein (stolen elections, pre-emptive wars, torture, rape rooms, secret prisons, secret spying), then so be it.

Somehow, I suspect that won't be the case.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:23 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hate to break it to Cheney..... (4.00)
    but we are the backlash....And we are in our last throes.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:25:09 PM PST

    •  I Shall Wear My Trousers Rolled (none)
      Lord, I'm getting old.  It took me a minute to figure out exactly what you meant by this.

      Newest from Cheney is that he says that "Bush is a powerful executive with spying authority."


      "We need a war to show 'em that we can do it whenever we say we need a war." -- Fischerspooner

      by bink on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:30:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush is a child (none)
        He merely wants to "play" at spying.

        All you have to do is watch how he reacted when he found out the towers were hit, to know the lack of character within.

        He's a wimp, masquerading as a man of action.  I have zero respect for the man.

        He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:02:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The audacity and arrogance of Darth Cheney (none)
        leaves me absolutely amazed.
        •  Exactly... (none)
          Bush might as well say; "I authorized the bypass of the 4th amendment to the US Constitution, because it was inconvienent in the fight against terror."

          It is outrageous that we are even having a debate about this issue as these practices are clearly illegal and a violation of our constitutional liberties.

          "When the government fears the people, that is Liberty. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

          by RichardG on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 07:36:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dat Cheney, what a DumbAss (none)
      Honestly, the fucker is so abysmally, irretrievably, stupid that it takes yer breath away....

      For a little while...

      Then I start lookin' fer some rope

      "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

      by Nestor Makhnow on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:03:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, (none)
      We are in our first throes.

      It is Cheney who is in his last throes, according to Ray McGovern:


      Against silence. Which is slavery. - Czeslaw Milosz

      by Caneel on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great thing is (none)
        is that all this illegal spying is working out so wonderfully

        400 Pounds Of Explosives Stolen From Trailer
        Eight Bags Of Ammonium Nitrate Taken From Trailer At Rock Quarry

        POSTED: 6:10 a.m. MDT July 15, 2003
        UPDATED: 2:56 p.m. MDT July 15, 2003
        Email This Story | Print This Story

        Federal agents have joined local police in the search for 400 pounds of explosives, reported missing from a rock quarry in Colorado Springs.

        bags of ammonium nitrate

        Workers at Castle Concrete on Monday discovered eight 50-pound bags of ammonium nitrate explosive missing from a locked storage trailer, Colorado Springs police said.

        The ammonium nitrate with fuel oil added (ANFO) is commonly used for blasting purposes and is the same kind of explosive used to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, officials said. The government estimated that about 4,800 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was used to make that bomb.

        nice work, assholes.

        He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

        by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:13:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, And C-4... (none)
          ...stolen in New Mexico last week.

          "Ninety-nine miles of solid-gold track, lay on the whistle and don't look back..."

          by InquisitiveRaven on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:25:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not the first time (4.00)
          Explosives missing from site AGAIN
          In the post-Sept. 11, 2001, era, one might assume bomb-making materials would be under the tightest possible security.

          In fact, they sit unattended in the New Mexico desert, guarded by little more than lock and key.

          Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White says he doesn't understand it.

          "You have to question the logic behind federal regulations that prohibited you from carrying nail clippers onto an airplane, but allow you to store high-grade explosives in a poorly protected site in the middle of nowhere," White said.
          And here's the kickers (plural):
          "It is concerning to me that the same thing happened twice at the same location," said Tim Manning, director of the state Office of Homeland Security.

          He said he wasn't aware of the double theft until he was informed by a reporter.
          Not aware until he was informed by a reporter?  Gee, that sounds vaguely familiar.

          "Hey, Manning!  You're doin' a heck of a job!"
          •  Wish that "Cherkoff" would stop talking (none)
            and start doing something.  The guy drives me nuts.  Everytime I've seen him asked a relevant question about their progress on security issues, he has some more excuses.  

            "Let him that would move the world first move himself." --Socrates

            by joanneleon on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 07:33:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Nice link--I like it! Thanks. (n/t) (none)

        ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

        by bibble on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:41:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Remember Waco-Gathering support from conservatives (4.00)
    IMO, the key to impeaching/removing Bush is to either win Congress in 2006 and/or to impeach/remove him even next year (less likely).  This internal spying crime of Bush can be easily used as the final straw to nail Bush if conservatives can be angered and frightened by the negative potential this internal spying precedent SHOULD have on them.  Many conservatives hate big government and are afraid big government will take away their freedoms.  It is only the religious B.S. from GW Bush that temporarily has them spellbound like a deer stunned by headlights and salivating at the thoughts of new moral powers through government control.  However, they should be torn by this internal spying precedent as it is/could be a real threat to the freedoms they like most down the road, although many don't seem to be thinking about it like that yet.

    There in a nutshell is the path to GW Bush's removal.  The tactic is to first make sure everyone understands that precedent will be set if Bush gets away with this UNCHECKED internal spying precedent.  Then it is a simple matter to make an analogy of what a more secular administration would be able to do to protect the nation from another Waco or Oklahoma city bombing fiasco.  Namely to internally spy on any religious groups and congregations that are aligned even mildly with the folks who were behind Waco and the bombing in Oklahoma city and this would now be legal!!!  Do we really believe that an unchecked Bush administration is only listening in now on international communications.  How would we know and that is precisely the point of no independent checks on this administration's internal spying!!

    I strongly believe that if this type of potential scenario precedent was clearly explain to everyone and especially to religious conservatives, they would turn on Bush because of this spying issue.  Just as important, their congressional reps may feel the heat now to get Bush out if there was the understanding that their jobs are at stake if they do not.  As much as conservatives want to feel secure from foreign threats, the idea that their own government could now legally be allowed to spy on them just because of their religious affiliations may scare them more.  It is an analogy just waiting for the picking, and it will bear good anti-Bush fruit.

    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

    by truthbetold on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:26:17 PM PST

  •  Cheney predicts? (4.00)
    His predictions are always so accurate. Greeted as liberators, finding WMD, etc. I wouldn't count on his predictions.
  •  Kinda makes you wonder... (4.00)
    How does Cheney know about this coming backlash? Was he listening to some conversations, perhaps?
    Over the phone lines?

    "...the vice president seems to have a tendency to want to embellish the facts, to make up facts to try to make a point." Dick Cheney 10/10/00

    by gobacktotexas on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:27:42 PM PST

    •  Like Everything He Says (4.00)
      It's always a prediction wrapped around a warning.  What he means is:

      "Pursue this and we'll stage a false-flag terror attack on America you Congressional scum!"

    •  Albuquerque C4? (none)
      Don't forget the 400 lbs. of C4 stolen from Cherry Engineering in NM recently, along with 2500 blasting caps and detonating cord.  Oh, and 250 lbs. of that C4 is in "deta sheet" form, suitable or perhaps even ideal for, say, letter bombs.
      Check it out

      Perhaps (I heard this from Ed Shultz on Air America Radio today) there is something going to happen on 1 January 2006 to entice our Congress to make the USA PATRIOT Act permanent?

      Have a nice day.

  •  Yeah, and why can't anyone (none)
    remember that this SOB got five, count em, five freaking deferments so that he could serve his country as vice-criminal?  

    No voice at all should be given to this man, none.  He brought nothing to the table and has offered nothing since he sat down.

    I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

    by panicbean on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:28:39 PM PST

    •  Letterman last night on Cheney's trip (none)
      to paraphrase: 'After all, that's the kind of person you want to visit you if you're off in the far corners of the globe fighting a war...a guy who collected five draft deferments.'
      •  Woohoo, don't I feel special now. (none)
        After three years of fighting in this hellhole, Hillary makes a side remark to Cheney and , "Well, methinks to self, why not?  I shall make the desert trip to shore up the fighting men and women of Amurika.  I should.  After all, the polls are in the shitter, I am not running for re-election, and if needed, the Schrub will call me back to Washington to break a filibuster vote in the Senate."

        Well done, sir.  Very well done.  A little too well done for my liking, but hey, each to his own, as they say.

        I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

        by panicbean on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:16:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Did you just say...? (4.00)
    If after a fair and open debate, the American people decide they want a presidency with unfettered powers in the mold of Saddam Hussein (stolen elections, pre-emptive wars, torture, rape rooms, secret prisons, secret spying), then so be it.

    Did you just imply that US elections were stolen? Or that they might be some day?

    Torture. Your tax dollars at work.

    by nailmaker on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:28:42 PM PST

  •  Did Markos just say... (4.00)
    "Stolen elections"???

    "We ought to make the pie higher..." Okay, then. The Higher Pie

    by HigherPie on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:29:28 PM PST

  •  Bears repeating, because Senators... (4.00)

     . . . can be slow on the uptake:

    1  There's a law (FISA).

    2  The law sets forth provisions for "domestic spying."

    3  The law is rather clear.

    4  If Bush didn't like the law, tough noogies -- he could've asked Congress to change it, but he didn't.

    5  Bush authorized the breaking of that law, and freely admits it.

    6  Bush should be impeached by the House, tried and convicted by the Senate, then jailed for this High Crime.

    Again, most Senators -- and even a higher percentage of House Members (believe it or not!) -- are very slllllooooow.  But, if this is repeated early and often enough, some of it may sink in.


    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:29:58 PM PST

  •  Merry Christmas to me! (none)
    I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present.  Forget that yellow sweater; I'm getting my civil liberties back!

    Of course, it's like intaxication - the thrill you feel when you get your refund from the IRS, only to realize it was your money in the first place.

    Sit at the feet of the master long enough and they start to smell. - John Sauget
    -8.00, -6.05

    by Jensequitur on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:30:11 PM PST

  •  Raise the Threat Level! (4.00)
    Looks like it's time to raise the Conservative Threat Level:

  •  Bush And Cheney (none)
    The New Toxic Twins....
  •  Ok Sen. Bennett (none)
    OK Senator Bennett, if the President would certainly be vindicated, then we should certainly hold hearings...
  •  Doesn't matter what WE want... (none)
    only what Diebold tells us we want.

    We were promised a democracy, sold an oligarchy, and ended up with a kakistocracy...

    by topicalstorm on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:33:18 PM PST

  •  Yeah, we all know how credible cheney is... (none)
    "I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators." - Cheney

    "Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by sgilman on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:33:31 PM PST

  •  When the GOOPERS figure out (none)
    that their kids have been spied on, this'll change.

    All their children go off to "elite" colleges where, for the first time, they are away from Wingerville and they join groups, take classes and read books.

    When the Feds come to the door to find out why little Jimmy or Janey has been reading the Koran, things will change.

    This is my theory.  Once we find out who they spied on, things'll change.

    You only regret the things you don't do.

    by DailyLife on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:33:37 PM PST

  •  So which is better? (none)
    I assume that Reid's reason for wanting two parallel investigations in lieu of one joint one is that it will make for a bigger story and lessen the signal to noise ratio for the respective committees.  Does the advantage of that outweigh the advantage of having the moderate Republicans on board?

    The Devil crept into Heaven, God slept on the 7th, the New World Order was born on September 11th - IT<

    by tomaxxamot on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:33:54 PM PST

  •  Perhaps one avenue of inquiry (none)
    is the Scalito hearings.  How about repeated questions on where in the constitution does it allow the president to do whatever he wants, break any law ( except boff interns)
    •  That is already on tap (4.00)
      Specter's Chief of Staff, Wm. Reynolds, responding to my letter on Monday, said that Specter has already told Alito that he will be questioned about that at his hearings.
    •  Alito becomes referendum (none)
      Poor Sam Alito.  He deferred to the executive twenty times too many.  Everybody knows he would be a rubber stamp for whatever the president (whoever it is) wants to do.  

      Hence his confirmation (or not) becomes a referendum on what Fearless Leader has done.  

      Impeach. Remove. Try.

      by jimsaco on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:27:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But what makes Bushco so certain (none)
        Alito would be a rubber stamp?  He would have life tenure, and very little prospect of any further promotions.  Tom Clark (Truman's AG, who voted against him in the Steel Seizure case) shows how presidents can't rely on justices they appoint.

        Do the Bushco people only appoint people they can control, presumably because they can blackmail them over something?

  •  If there is any issue (4.00)
    the Democrats need to go to the mat on, this is it.  Otherwise it becomes another "ho hum, another hunk of the Constitution torn off and used to wipe Bush's ass with, wonder how Britney's baby's doing?"

    A hell of a lot of Americans are ready to rise up and kick some righteous ass, but they need a particular issue to focus their outrage, and they need a leader or a group of leaders to stand up and yell, "Follow me, boys, let's burn this motherfucker down!"

    Feingold's down with it.  Boxer's making noises.  Conyers is moving.  But too many Dems are ignoring it.  Where's Hillary on this?  Where's Kerry?  Where's Dean, even? (flip side of this question -- what have they already said that I've missed?)

    This is a balls-to-the-wall issue.  It's time to cut loose.

    •  Feinstein's speech on Senate floor (none)
      posted at Intel-dump. Debate in the comments thread definitely worth a glance.

      "Scott, this is ridiculous."

      by jokeysmurf on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:49:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kerry called Bush "lame" (none)
      And basically said Bush's actions were unconstitutional.  Okay, actually he said Bush's defense was "lame".

      Dean has a FOIA request up you can sign and has a statement up  here

    •  Dean email I got today (none)
      This is not an easy letter to write, and I'm afraid it may be a hard one to believe.

      By now you have probably heard the news that George Bush is using the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance on American citizens without the consent of any court. After initially refusing to confirm the story, the President has admitted to personally overseeing this domestic spying program for years and he says he intends to continue the program.

      These actions explicitly viiolate a law designed to protect US citizens. But the administration says that other laws somehow allow for this unprecedented use of a foreign intelligence agency to spy on Americans right here in the United States. According to reports, political appointees in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel wrote still-classified legal opinions laying out the supposed justification for this program.

      I have askedour General Counsel to draft a Freedom of Information Act request for the relevant legal opinions and memos written by that office. Since the program's existence is no longer a secret, these memos should be released -- Americans deserve to know exactly what authority this administration believesit has.

      You can help pressure the administration to release these documents by signing on to our Freedom of Information Act request in the next 48 hours:

      This extra-legal activity is even more disturbing because it is unnecessary -- the administration already has access to a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court was created precisely to provide speedy, secure judicial review to the actions of our intelligence agencies.

      To allow authorities act as quickly as possible, officials can even apply for a retroactive warrant days after the surveillance has begun. Secret warrants have been approved over 19,000 times -- only five applications were rejected in nearly thirty years. The court, which regularly acts within hours, is hardly a roadblock, but it prevents abuse by providing the oversight required by our system of checks and balances.

      This administration must demonstrate clearly what legal authority allows it to disregard criminal prohibitions on unilateral domestic spying. Sign on to the request now -- it will be delivered on Thursday:

      In an interview on Monday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez admitted that the administration asked certain Members of Congress about getting a new law to allow spying on Americans without a warrant. Realizing that even a Republican-controlled Congress wouldn't authorize such a measure, they decided to manipulate current law and proceed with the program anyway.

      Manipulation of a law like this is dangerous. The same Office of Legal Counsel used vague assertions of sweeping authority in the infamous torture memos. The victim of this reasoning is the rule of law itself -- when this administration asserts sweeping authority to step over any line of legality, it asserts that there are no lines at all.

      Does this administration believe there are any lines it can't cross? Americans deserve to know. Join our Freedom of Information Act request now:

      Some Republicans will try to pretend that this is just another political fight. But Americans of every political viewpoint are rightfully disturbed by this extra-legal activity. The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, shocked by the report of this activity, promised to convene hearings in January.

      Even Bob Barr, who was one of the most conservative members of Congress and the first member to file articles of impeachment against President Clinton, said:

      "What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order."

      We need to know whether George Bush went beyond the limits of the law -- and whether he and his administration believe that there are any limits at all. Please join this important request:

      Even after the press found out about these actions, the administration tried to cover up its existence. According to Newsweek, George Bush summoned the publisher and executive editor of the New York Times to the Oval Office to try to stop them from running the story of these illegal activities.

      We have seen this kind of arrogance of power before.

      Richard Nixon once said in an interview that, "if the president does it, it can't be illegal."

      He found out that wasn't true. This administration may need a reminder.

      Thank you.

      Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

      He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot - Groucho Marx

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 07:10:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Geez, Howard (none)
        didn't send me that email yet.  I never get any of the memos. ;-P
      •  My post to Dean on (none)
        Dr. Dean,

        This is a defining moment for the Democratic Party. Is this party truly committed to the ideals of democracy?  Is it willing to fight for those ideals?  Does it have the courage of its convictions?

        It is mandatory for every elected Democrat, from the lowest county official to the highest-ranking senators and governors, to unify their voices in one powerful, irresistable message of outrage and righteous anger.  What this Bush administration is doing is so far beyond the pale of what Americans stand for, and so far past what we should tolerate as a free people, words cannot describe.

        This goes past any kind of "gotcha" political game.  This must be opposed, heart and soul, with every fiber of our collective being.  Republicans have learned that as long as Democrats are willing to treat their crimes against America as political footballs, they can weather the criticisms and keep on breaking the law and dismantling the Constitution.  This administration doesn't need a "reminder" of what's right and wrong.  It has long ago made its choice to betray our Constitution and our ideals in order to fulfill its own criminal agenda.  Face it, Dr. Dean, they are no longer just our political opponents.  They are enemies of America.  They must be defeated.

        This far and no further, Dr. Dean.  We must draw the line here.  We must demand accountability.  We must not only demand change, we must enforce it, by any legal means necessary.

        This issue transcends politics.  This strikes to the heart of what we are as a nation.  Are the Democrats merely political animals, locked in an endless dance of political one-upmanship and spin, or are they the party of America?  As citizens of this country, we all took the responsibility of defending this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Right now the most fearsome enemies of this country occupy the White House.  Do we fight them, or do we play political footsie with them?  The choice is clear.

  •  If gays and god drove people to the polls in '04 (4.00)
    than protecting civil liberties for ALL Americans will be our issue in '06 and '08.  

    (May I also add, I'm really liking the way Russ Feingold is taking charge of this issue.)

    •  My money is going to Russ for '08 (4.00)
      if he keeps up this fight against Bush. He has been everywhere, and i'm counting on him to finish off the Patriot Act problem articles.
    •  Holy BeeJeeBus! (none)
      You just took me back to the elections of 2004 and the stupid, idiotic, pre-historic issues that were on the table at the time.  

      How surreal;  that this issue could have been brought to light if only the NYT had published when they could have, instead of bowing to pressure from this administration?  

      Gay issues?  Religion?  Oh please save me, now I am a sinner, Oh Lord, please redeem my sinking soul!

      I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

      by panicbean on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:47:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]


    Understand Your History - Understand Your Potential Future


    THE GLASS HOUSE TAPES - The Story of an Agent-Provocateur and the New Police Intelligence Complex and the Citizen's Research and Investigation Committee and Louis Tackwood, AVON. 1973.

    My name is Michael O'McCarthy, I am one of the investigative journalists who wrote the above book which surfaced the first "Watergate" story, i.e., those other operations under the "command" of E. Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, operating at the Watergate under the code name Plumbers. They are the oft unspoken tie between the FBI - CIA - CONINTELPRO conspiracy in the service of President Nixon.

    In 1971 Louis Tackwood was an agent/informer then employed by the Los Angeles Police Department Criminal Conspiracy Section when he came to me with the story of the plot by police to plant explosives at the then planned Republican Convention in San Diego, 1972. This was to be the American Reichstag. (The use by the Nazi's of the burning of The Reichstag, the seat of the German Parliament in 1939, that launched the dictatorship of the 3rd. Reich. Tackwood's story revealed a plot by those involved to then have Martial Law declared by President Richard Nixon and to have American dissidents placed in detention centers.

    Tackwood identified meetings with Hunt, (and Segretti who headed up the "dirty tricks" campaign against the Democrats,) as part of the operation which was tied into local law enforcement in California and linked to federal intelligence agencies. These eventually played out to be the LAPD's infamous Criminal Conspiracy Division with a tangential relationship with the California Department of Corrections and the California DLE, (involved in the George-Jonathon-Angel Davis conspiracy.)

    The essential fact is the scenario in which "Deep Throat" operated.

    1- The nation was in the throws of an extraordinary wave of illegal police observation and repression of ALL dissident groups and citizens.

    2- The Nixon Enemies list was but one list: Every Federal and local police agency had "Enemies Lists." They were tied together through a cooperative relationship with COINTELPRO.

    3- The paranoia was palpable; based on both the attacks against civil rights/anti-war activists and the Black Panther Party and Martin Luther King Jr. in particular.

    4- The fear of government sanction, harassment, arrest and murder of those on "enemy lists" was based on reality. Anyone who dared to reveal the level of criminality as we now know it, originating in the White House at that time, placed his/her life in jeopardy.

    Without understanding this history and the circumstance in which Felt, Bernstein and Woodward operated is to lie once again to the American people, and to allow two of the White House co-conspirators involved, Liddy and Buchanan, to continue the Nixon deception. Enabled by the pathetic nature of mass media news "production executives" and the paltry professionalism of its "journalists" once again American history is re-written to the advantage of the powerful.

    These circumstances outlined above but reflect in a minor way, the nature of the times then, and portent of the times now.

    The civilian and congressional anti-war movement and the incipient movement in the Congress to restrain/impeach Bush is a dire threat to his regime. Educate yourself and others to the nature and reality of the government reaction.

    yours, Michael O'McCarthy

  •  Cheney also predicted (none)
    that he and Bush would win the 2000 and 2004 elections...

    Choose Our President 2008

  •  Meded made the same (none)
    prediction today. He was then taken to task by Chris from Salt Lake for 20 minutes followed by Mike S from Santa Monica for another 10. Then he got a break because "General" Torture Gonzalez needed a few minutes to lie about the Patriot Act. Right after that he was taken to task again.

    I don't think they understand that the country isn't nearly as cowardly as they are and pretty soon they won't be called the "daddy party" anymore but will be labeled the "I want my mommy party" because they are afraid of their own shadows.

    "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

    by Mike S on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:36:16 PM PST

  •  Cheney, the fat, bloated white tick... (4.00)
    ...still trying to suck the lifeblood out of democracy.  

    "Vice President Dick Cheney predicted a backlash against critics of the administration's anti-terrorism policies."

    In your dreams, tick-boy.  You've been dead wrong in every single one of your ridiculous predictions, and you have no credibility left...and you dodn't have much to begin with, you lying prick.  

    Besides Dick, people in this country fucking hate your guts.  You -- yes, YOU personally, and all that you stand for.  Don't you get that yet?  You're loathed.  There will be no "backlash" to save your police state-wannabe ass.  

    (And you think that's "puerile," Joe Klein?  Well so be it.  Primary Colors by "Anonymous" was a real mature piece of writing, though.   Especially showed your gravitas when you lied about writing it, and later had to eat your words.)

  •  Not my words, but I believe them (none)
    "I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"

    I wonder how many people on the right believe these words? Do you think they ever believed them? I wonder if the person that said these words believes them? I wonder if he was telling the truth then. I wonder if he is telling the truth now.

    Its time we get a uniter and not a divider into the Whitehouse in order to restore honour and dignity to the office.

    Ask Three Poeple a Day: What Noble Cause?

    by Random Excess on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:36:52 PM PST

  •  Isn't there a missing (none)
    pretty white girl?
  •  Cheney credibility (4.00)
    Here's all you need to know about the words that tumble from the sneering yaw of of the Grand Inquisitor, himself:

    "The insurgency is in its last throes."
           -- Vice President Dick Cheney

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:40:35 PM PST

  •  Beyond here there be no dragons (4.00)
    "I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it," he said. Speaking with a small group of reporters on Air Force Two as he flew from Pakistan to Oman, Cheney laid out more fully and explicitly than any senior official the administration's thinking on the need for a stronger presidency. And he directly linked the effort to strengthen it under Bush to the nation's safety since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "You know, it's not an accident that we haven't been hit in four years," he said. (12/20/05 IHT(NYT) / Stevenson)

    As he's taken responsibility for four terra-free years, I assume at some point he'll fess up on why his Super-Fantastic Counterterrorism Squad was idle in the months before 9/11.
    But I'm not a poor sport, so I'd like to state that since Smirk & Sneer's draconian spying measures, I've been safe from attacks by Draco the Fire Breathing Dragon for the last four years.
    Thanks for keeping the fiend in your sights, Dicko.

    Treason's Greetings, Karl Rove (DOB Xmas Day, 1950), the grinch who stole freedom.

    by Peanut on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:41:03 PM PST

  •  Bipartisan is the key (3.50)
    Remember the lesson of Watergate: you don't lose your presidency just because the other party is in power. You lose the presidency when you lose support of your own party.

    I think this is the pivot point. It's still going to take some time to unfold, but it's going to happen.

  •  David Corn added this... (4.00)
    Feinstein notes that under intelligence committee rules, "if five members of the Committee make a request in writing to the Chairman to call a meeting of the Committee, and the Chairman fails to call such a meeting within seven calendar days thereafter, including the day on which the written notice is submitted, these members may call a meeting by filing a written notice with the Clerk of the Committee who shall promptly notify each member of the Committee in writing of the date and time of the meeting."

  •  Two vultures with one stone? (none)
    It sure would be nice if Cheney could be implicated along with Bush.
  •  is this the latest installment (none)
    of the impeachment-of-the-month club or the real thing? i think clinton pioneered a new way of looking at the office. if you're a two termer then your presidency isn't taken seriously if you haven't been the target of at least one substantial effort to impeach. fend one off and you make your bones.
  •  I guess we raised hell with the Senate (4.00)
    on Monday. My own Senator's phones were busy all day, anyhow. Think they got the message?
  •  The Coming Bush/Cheney/Neocon Hail Mary (4.00)
    • Get Scalito installed.
    • Get the '72 Nixon USSC decision re: the limits of Presidential authority to eavesdrop on Americans over-turned by his brand new kangaroo Supreme Court.
    • Profit!

    Clearly that's where this is all going.

    Does anyone think America can get 5 Supreme Court justices to uphold the Constitiution against the wishes of George W. Bush?  
    Their decision will determine whether the rule of law has ended in the United States.

    There is no other way this can end.

  •  Delousing (4.00)
    Brandeis couldn't be more right:  sunlight's the best disinfectant.  Let's nag any Senator we can get to listen for hearings, whenever and wherever and however we can get them.  The more the merrier.  Fax talking points to the committee picked up through live blogging . . . let cameras roll on and on and on and on while the Senators turn on each other like vipers in a nest, fighting for mike and camera time.  Let America see John Cornyn and his gang of lickspittles for what they are . . . fat, putrifying hogs at W's trough, looting the country just as fast as they can.  Disinfectant.  Yeah.  The stench now is unbearable.  

    Impeach. Convict. Remove.

    by DC Scott on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 05:54:14 PM PST

  •  If we can't impeach both (none)
    Then an impeachment of Bush might actually make the situation worse.  Can you imagine a President Cheney?  I always thought the "We're going to war in Iran!" stuff was wrong, but he'd do it---Syria too.  At home, I think he would start locking up some critics as enemies of the state.  

    I seriously think that it would end with hundreds of thousands of Americans dead, and America no longer being a constitutional republic (an abyss we're already tottering over).  

  •  Have all the hearings (none)
    you want. Call me when something actually stops them from doing what they are doing. Hearings are fun, but they are nothing without corresponding action.

    Impeach. Now.

  •  This scares me (4.00)
    because when I heard Bush admit to violating the constitution, I instantly thought that there is something more going on here. That confession displays a lot of confidence that they won't be found doing anything wrong.

    Is Cheney expecting backlash because thats ok with him, while those investigations deflect attention from something more sinister going on elsewhere? Another war?

    Staying the course is not a policy - Congressman John Murtha

    by PAbluestater on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:06:34 PM PST

    •  Great Tactical Move on the Part of BushCo (none)
      Will force the issue to the Supreme Court where Bush's buddies can hand him a victory and now he is truly the dictator he always wanted to be.

      If that doesn't work they can always nuke a city and declare martial law.

    •  That scared me too (none)
      He's not so stupid that he doesn't know what he's done. Therefore, he knows and he just doesn't give a fuck. What are we going to do about it, after all?

      [America]Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?

      by hstokes on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:36:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about McCain? (none)
    Before I get troll-rated, I agree he's very conservative, but he likes to posture as an independent guy for the press.  And his anti-torture amendment is meaningless if the Administration doesn't feel it has to obey the law.  

    I'd suggest writing him, especially if you live in Arizona.

  •  You Know We're In Trouble... (4.00)
    ...when the rubber-stamp FISA court wouldn't allow the Bushites to do  what they wanted under the current law.

    How bad is it?  My imagination is running wild.  And if the NSA is reading, I'm sure they are all really nice people.  They just work for a asshat.

    "Ninety-nine miles of solid-gold track, lay on the whistle and don't look back..."

    by InquisitiveRaven on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 06:21:46 PM PST

  •  Josh Marshall and Data Mining (none)
    Josh Marshall has been speculating on why Bush went around FISA after getting rejected in 2002:

    I'm not sure it's data-mining precisely. Perhaps they're doing searches for certain patterns of words or numbers, perhaps something as simple as a phone number. But unlike 'traditional' wiretapping, in which you're catching the conversations of a relatively small and defined group of people, this may involve listening in on a big slice of the email or phone communications in the country looking for a particular phone number or code or perhaps a reference to a particular name.

    Bush should know from his paranoid coke dealer that it is common knowledge that keywords over the phone or over email trigger tapping.

    •  Ahh yes (none)
      had the Feds been listening in on my calls in college, they would have discovered amongst my friends and I an almost unholy love of cookies, a great concern for who had cookies, and a nearly paranoid fear that the cookie supply would run dry amongst my friends and I.
  •  Some things I'd like to know. (4.00)
    Four years of warrantless monitoring...I would like to find out:

     - Who was monitored?

     - What was the probable cause that precipitated the monitoring?

     - How many people were arrested/charged as a result of the monitoring?

     - Name them and provide the dates and jurisdictions of their arraignment.

     - How many terrorist threats were thwarted as a result of the monitoring?

     - Specify them by date and action taken.

     - Specify the part of the constitution that grants the authority to do this "monitoring".

     - Who has seen/analyzed/evaluated the data gathered through the monitoring?

     - Who has access to the data now?

     - What is the basis for the secrecy around this monitoring program?

    These are just a few of the things that I would like to see an investigation try to answer. However, I am of the opinion that many of these questions cannot be answered because I think the monitoring or "detection" program is one of wholesale eavesdropping on citizens in general without any probably cause and without any of the other criteria that would have satisfied even the FISC.

    Investigate now. Then impeach.


    •  DOJ was desperate to get Al-Arian convicted. (none)
      So I would be surprised if the prosecution in the Al-Arian case did not use evidence derived from the illegal spying in the Al-Arian case.  If that's so, Al-Arian has standing to sue.

      That might be the wedge that gets the whole thing opened up via discovery.

  •  1970s FBI (none)
    I've been digging up past cases and rulings from the 1970s about the FBI black bag jobs.  We've seen this before, and the courts sided with the Bill of Rights.  Check out this Intelligence Committee report from 1976:

    "Warrantless surreptitious entries against American citizens who have "no significant connection with a foreign power, its agents or agencies" are undoubtedly unconstitutional. 92 The constitutional issues arising from warrantless surreptitious entries against foreign agents within the United States have not been definitely resolved by the courts. The Committee recommends, as a matter of policy that all governmental search and seizure "should be conducted only upon authority of a judicial warrant" issued in narrowly defined circumstances and with procedural safeguards "to minimize the acquisition and retention of non-foreign intelligence information about Americans.""

    expanded analysis at

    by The Stuffed Tiger on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 07:06:51 PM PST

  •  Presidential Powers are not unlimited (none)
    Truman found his limitations when he tried to seize the Steel Mills in 1952 (

    The Supreme Court smacked him down in a 6 to 3 decision ( saying Presidential powers are not unlimited even during a time of war.

    Congress was specific that there are limitations to Presidential powers under FISA even when Congress has declared war.

    "Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress." (

    The penalties for violating FISA are:

    "(c) Penalties
    An offense described in this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both. " (

    Because of partisan, Republican control of Congress don't expect much to come of this violation.

  •  Bush admits breaking the law (4.00)
    and says he will continue to do so. This is clear. And yet all we are getting is a few senators talking about some investigation in the New Year. Where are all the calls for immediate impeachment and/or resignation? Our wonderful media just run those "balanced" reports where they keep repeating "the prez says he has the constituional right".
    I despair at what has become of my country. If Bush can get away with this one, it is all over for us as our entire constitution, and politcal system of "checks and balances" will be exposed as a sham.
  •  Any politicians spied on ? (none)
    I hope they spied on some congressman / senator. Because thats when those guys will take this seriously and do something about it ...

    Emperor Bush has no brains.

    by nataraj on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 07:32:00 PM PST

  •  Don't get your hopes up (none)
    "If after a fair and open debate, the American people decide they want a presidency with unfettered powers in the mold of Saddam Hussein (stolen elections, pre-emptive wars, torture, rape rooms, secret prisons, secret spying), then so be it. Somehow, I suspect that won't be the case."

    You may be in for a rude awakening. This in from Gallup:

    "Based on what you have read or heard, do you think the Patriot Act goes too far, is about right, or does not go far enough in restricting people's civil liberties in order to investigate suspected terrorism?"

    Goes too far: 34%
    About right: 44%
    Not fascistic enough: 18%
    Clueless: 4%

    If Saddam ran as a Republican, I can just about guarantee you he'd have a lock on 40% of the vote, minimum. "A strong leader. Tough on crime," they'd say. Throw in a few Swift boat ads, and some gay bashing, and he'd be in the roses.

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