In the LA Times today, A good-enough spy law,
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the White House directed telecommunications carriers to cooperate with its efforts to bolster intelligence gathering and surveillance — the administration’s effort to do a better job of “connecting the dots” to prevent terrorist attacks.
No, it started a few weeks after Bush took office – a time when the Bush administration was ignoring the terrorist threat. So it was about something else, and was a high enough priority to plan out during the transition. (Can you say “political spying?”)
One telecom company, Qwest, refused because it was flat-out illegal. The Bush administration punished them, blocked federal contracts, and in an early indicator of what was to come from the politicized Bush Justice Department, they prosecuted Qwest’s CEO on trumped-up charges.
The combination of the telecoms letting Bush illegally spy on us BEFORE September 11, and the politicized Bush Justice Department punishing the company that refused – refused because it was illegal – is the reason so many of us are so adamant that Democrats should not be passing a law giving these companies immunity. The President can’t spy on people without warrants, and the telecoms knew that. They knew it was illegal to spy on us without warrants but they went along with it. Why? Why didn’t they ask the Bush administration to just get warrants? And why would Democrats vote to let them off the hook?
Don’t forget that Watergate was about Republicans illegally wiretapping Democrats. Don ‘t think they don’t do it.
Bush claims that the illegal wiretapping is OK because they are only listening to known terrorists. But now there is more evidence supporting my theory that the NSA is listening to every call, to see IF any might involve terroists. (And maybe to collect information to use to blackmail political opponents and the press.)
DOJ: NSA Could’ve Monitored Doctors’ Calls ,
The National Security Agency could have legally monitored ordinarily confidential communications between doctors and patients or attorneys and their clients, the Justice Department said Friday of its controversial warrantless surveillance program.
Could have monitored calls between doctors and patients or attorneys and clients? They’re listening to EVERYONE. They are intercepting every single call, computers are looking for certain words, and calls that trigger the computers are sent to a human for analysis. It’s what the NSA is said to do, and they just added domestic calls.
Earlier this month I asked, Was Bush Wiretapping the Kerry Campaign? The problem is, we have no way to know.
Let’s get serious for a minute about Bush’s assertion that as Commander in Chief he has the “wartime” right to do anything he feels is necessary, without warrants and regardless of laws. Asking if they are wiretapping political opponents is not a far-fetched question because without warrants there is no check or balance on what they do. THAT is why our Constitution requires warrants – so a judge can look over what they are doing. It’s like asking us to trust Nixon, and we know how that worked out, don’t we? Or Reagan and we know about Iran/Contra, or Bush’s father, and we know about how many he had to pardon to keep himself out of jail. We’re not supposed to trust our politicians – that’s why we require warrants.
In the previous post I wrote,
I have a question about the NSA wiretapping scandal: Was Bush wiretapping the Kerry campaign? Were they wiretapping campaigns for the Senate and Congress?
Is this the reason they couldn’t get warrants?
This is one of the questions this brings up. Another is, were they wiretapping anti-war leaders?
We now know that the Bush administration is scanning every conversation and e-mail with computers, looking for interesting information, and doing this without warrants or any other kind of legal authorization. (Note – The Bush people say they are only scanning communications into and out of the country, and say they are only looking for “terrorists.”) So I have been looking back at President Clinton’s controversial “Clipper Chip” proposal. This was a standardized chip that would go into computers and phones and would encrypt (securely code) every message and call made by anyone in the US, so no one could eavesdrop.
Opponents said the Clipper Chip would have led to the government monitoring our communications. I say it would have prevented what is happening now, and that is why the Right mounted a campaign of disinformation to kill it.