Wednesday, October 17, 2007

House Cleaning

From DailyKos a few days ago:

This is something that's now being whispered in nearly every conversation on the subject, but might as well be repeated here: the filings in the appeal of former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio's insider trading case reveal that the Bush "administration" was pressuring telecommunications companies to cooperate in a massive domestic spying operation well before 9/11.

Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts.

And, as the Wired blog reports:

Qwest CEO Not Alone in Alleging NSA Started Domestic Phone Record Program 7 Months Before 9/11

By Ryan Singel October 12, 2007 | 4:23:55 PMCategories: NSA, Surveillance

Startling statements from former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio's defense documents alleging the National Security Agency began building a massive call records database seven months before 9/11 aren't the only accusations that the controversial program predated the attacks of 9/11.


And in May 2006, a lawsuit filed against Verizon for allegedly turning over call records to the NSA alleged that AT&T began building a spying facility for the NSA just days after President Bush was inaugurated. That lawsuit is one of 50 that were consolidated and moved to a San Francisco federal district court, where the suits sit in limbo waiting for the 9th Circuit Appeals court to decide whether the suits can proceed without endangering national security.

So here's the key. The domestic spying has always been justified by saying it was a necessary response to 9/11. But clearly there's damned good reason to believe these programs were conceived and initiated well before the September 11th attacks.

That would mean -- gasp! -- that your "government" is full of it.

But it's not just that. If Qwest's competitors were already abetting this bloodless(?) coup before 9/11, then the "administration's" domestic spying not only has little if anything to do with response to terrorism, but it also objectively failed to prevent 9/11.

So the next time Congress is threatened with having the "responsibility" of a threatened attack on its conscience if they don't knuckle under to the Bush junta, as was the case in the August FISA capitulation, perhaps they'll give some thought to the demonstrated record of failure the program evidenced with regard to the single biggest attack on American soil ever perpetrated.

And when they're asked to roll over once again, this time granting immunity to the companies that agreed to sell out your inalienable rights to the "government" in exchange for contracting money (taken out of Qwest's pocket, for refusing to play along), do you think maybe they should take five to figure out just what the hell's going on before they vote?

I do. But then again, what am I going to do? Vote "Bag of Hammers '08" if they don't?

What we're learning more and more are things that explain why the Bush administration has been so defensive about it's decisions. They've clung to 9/11 as an excuse, without really backing that excuse. Now we know why. It's because things like spying on Americans and attacking Iraq without real cause were plans of the administration before 9/11 and proof that these policies don't work is that they didn't stop 9/11. Short answer, Bush and his cronies are intent on increasing the powers of the executive branch despite the rights of Americans. These men are criminals and should be tried for their crimes.

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