blowing up commuter trains, weddings, and churches?

Really? When did this happen?

In Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the holidays, his spokesman, Trent Duffy, defended what he called a “limited program.”
“This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner,” he told reporters. “These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings, and churches.”

I don’t remember any churches or weddings getting blown up around here? Do you? If they are doing this, why are we just spying on them? Why aren’t we arresting them?
And the real question: why not get a warrant? Warrants to eavesdrop are really easy to get, and they’re even allowed to get them after the fact, so why not get warrants if people are blowing up weddings? Why break the law and avoid the warrants? Possibly because he’s not spying on terrorists at all?
I call bullshit.
The only terrorists in the US are the right-wing terrorists who sent anthrax and blow up gay bars and planned parenthood clinics. Osama bin Laden is not hiding under your bed. No one is out there trying to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge, or the Golden Gate Bridge, or Wall Drugs in South Dakota. You have more to fear from the price of natural gas than from Muslims. The War on Terror is just as fake as the made-up War on Christmas. It’s all about scaring you into giving up your freedom.

Continue Readingblowing up commuter trains, weddings, and churches?

The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)

Sadly, Peter Daou’s analysis of the current spying scandal, in the context of the numerous other impeachable offenses the president has committed, is entirely correct. Bush commits a crime, the media fumbles the story, the Republicans front for him, the Democrats back down, the public gets confused, and eventually the story fades and the crimes continue. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Interesting, the comments people are making on that story. Basically, people are acknowledging that Daou is right, and predicting the end of America. Very disillusioned.

Continue ReadingThe Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade)

Absolute Power corrupts absolutely

Obsidian wings has some commentary:

September 11 started the war. When will it end? Maybe never. Where is the battlefield? The entire world, including the United States. Who is an enemy combatant? Anyone the President says is an enemy combatant, including a U.S. citizen–no need for a charge, no need for a trial, no need for access to a lawyer. What if they’re found not to be an enemy combatant? We can keep them in prison anyway, and we don’t have to tell their families they’re alive or their lawyers that they were cleared. What can you do to an enemy combatant? Anything you want. Detain him forever, for the rest of his life, because this is a war like any other and we have always been able to detain POWs for the duration of the war. But you don’t need to follow the Geneva Conventions, because this is a war like no other in our history. And oh yes–if the President decides that we need to torture a prisoner for the war effort, it’s unconstitutional for Congress to stop him. They took that position in an official memo, and they have not backed down from it. They have said it was “unnecessary” but they have never backed down from it.
They are not only entitled to do these things to people; they are entitled to do them in secret. When Congress asks for information about them, they can just ignore it. And they are entitled to actively deceive the public about all this.
That’s the power they claim. At what point are we going to take that claim seriously?
At some level, I think we read these things and think: well, they can’t really mean that. But by now we know that they mean it enough to have shattered a number of lives.

Continue ReadingAbsolute Power corrupts absolutely

Local FBI spying on vegan groups

In another article about the domestic spying on left-wing organizations, this time from the New York Times, the article mentions in passing:

One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a “Vegan Community Project.”

Wow. If they’re spying on vegetarians in Indy, what do you think they’re doing about all those crazy homos? I wonder how to file for the Freedom of Information Act.
UPDATE: Okay, the ACLU press release is a bit clearer on what this is about. Our local FBI was investigating PETA, and one of the group’s events was passing out vegetarian starter kits to students and faculty on the “University of Indiana” campus. (They mean Indiana University.)
Well, I guess that actually isn’t any clearer to me what the FBI was doing.
A link to the redacted PDF document that the ACLU obtained through the FOIA.

Continue ReadingLocal FBI spying on vegan groups

Bush Illegally spies on US Citizens

According to the New York Times, and later also reported by the Washington Post:

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say
Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible “dirty numbers” linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.

One of the groups they’re spying on the QUAKERS, and other local anti-war organizations. The Quakers are pacifists, people. They believe in NOT blowing shit up.
The Quakers are one of thousands of organizations on a 400 page list (that’s 400 pages not 400 groups) that the Administration has been spying on inside the United States. All of them are left-wing organizations.
None of the investigated are right-wing groups. You know, right-wing ones, like the guys who bombed the Olympic park and abortion clinics. Like the ones who sent Anthrax to the Democratic leadership. The ones who blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building. The ones who keep killing doctors. Yeah, nobody’s investigating them. I feel so safe.

Continue ReadingBush Illegally spies on US Citizens