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Old 2009-07-11, 05:36   #1
cheesehead
 
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Default Report: Bush surveillance program was massive

Bush the Younger's covert surveillance of Americans was far more extensive than his administration ever admitted, according to a report released today (on a Friday, naturally). It wasn't just the already-admitted wiretapping ...

"Report: Bush surveillance program was massive"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090711/...c_surveillance

Here's the kicker: it apparently did nothing that conventional (legal) methods didn't do as well or better without violating our constitution -- if, that is, the goal was national security and counterterrorism.

OTOH, it did cater to the Bush administration's thirst for secrecy and unsupervised power.

"U.S. Wiretaps Were of Limited Value, Officials Report"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/us/11nsa.html

Or, rather, that was kicker number 1.

Kicker number 2 is that the surveillance programs are still operating.

So, what will the current administration do about them?
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Old 2009-07-11, 05:58   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
So, what will the current administration do about them?
Nothing, if past experience is any guide.
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Old 2009-07-11, 17:19   #3
cheesehead
 
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Another article.

"Report: Too few officials knew of surveillance"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090711/...c_surveillance

Quote:
. . .

Information gathered by the secret program played a limited role in the FBI's overall counterterrorism efforts, according to the report. Very few CIA analysts even knew about the program and therefore were unable to fully exploit it in their counterterrorism work, the report said.

The report questioned the legal advice used by Bush to set up the program, pinpointing omissions and questionable legal memos written by Yoo, in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. The Justice Department withdrew the memos years ago.

The report says Yoo's analysis approving the program ignored a law designed to restrict the government's authority to conduct electronic surveillance during wartime, and did so without fully notifying Congress. And it said flaws in Yoo's memos later presented "a serious impediment" to recertifying the program.

Yoo insisted that the president's wiretapping program had only to comply with Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure — but the report said Yoo ignored the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which had previously overseen federal national security surveillance.

. . .
Those are the sorts of glitches one gets when one has too much of a secrecy fetish and not enough respect for the benefits of abiding by the law.
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Old 2009-07-12, 01:12   #4
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I'm not making a habit of posting tidbits as they're reported; this is just about a correction of an earlier statement.

Earlier I wrote, based on statements in the articles I had read to that point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Kicker number 2 is that the surveillance programs are still operating.
However, a new article states plainly that the current head of CIA, Leon Panetta, "ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23".

"Cheney Is Linked to Concealment of C.I.A. Project"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/us...er=rss&emc=rss

Quote:
Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.
... which also means that the current administration has done something about it.

Since there are very few details available for the most highly-classified unacknowledged-until-now parts of the program, the resolution may simply be that there might be some parts, separate from what Panetta stopped, still in operation -- or else that the statements on which I relied earlier were confused or mistaken.

I intend not to make such frequent postings about this from now on.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-07-12 at 01:16
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Old 2009-07-12, 03:19   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
However, a new article states plainly that the current head of CIA, Leon Panetta, "ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23".
Good stuff.
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