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Signs of the Times for Tue, 07 Feb 2006

7 Feb 06
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales insisted to skeptical lawmakers that monitoring Americans' phone calls and email messages without a warrant was a necessary part of the US "war on terror".

The secret government program has provoked a storm of opposition, but Gonzales refused to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee whether the eavesdropping had led to charges or other results.

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Comment: Of course it is necessary to the Neocon "war on terror." As Andrew Lobczewski writes:

The actions of [pathocracy] affect an entire society, starting with the leaders and infiltrating every town, business, and institution. The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country creating a “new class” within that nation.

This privileged class [of pathocrats] feels permanently threatened by the “others”, i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man. [Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Ph.D. (psychology); Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes]

In other words, WE the PEOPLE are the terrorists to Pathocrats.

By Steve Benen
February 6, 2006.
Bush critics worry that the White House may have deleted Plame-related emails during a 12-hour head start in the CIA leak probe. The delay is worse than they think.

On the evening of Monday, Sept. 29, 2003, then-White House Chief Counsel Alberto Gonzales had a choice. He had just received formal notice from the Department of Justice that the White House was the subject of a criminal investigation as a result of White House officials' leaking the identity of an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame, as part of an effort to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Gonzales did not immediately alert the White House staff to the investigation, explaining the need to safeguard germane documents. Instead, he asked Justice Department lawyers if he could notify the staff in the morning. Because the call came in after 8:00 p.m. on a weekday, and most of the personnel had left the building, the attorneys agreed. Gonzales, before wrapping up his day, called White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card to notify him of the start of the probe. Twelve hours later, Gonzales informed his colleagues that they must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation.

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Comment: Sounds like the gap in the Nixon Tapes - only worse. Gonzales has clearly committed a criminal act and ought to be arrested immediately and taken away in handcuffs as the slimey criminal and traitor to the American People that he is.

NY Times
Published: February 7, 2006
It is the sort of problem that judges confront every day. One law forbids a certain activity. The other may allow it. Which one counts?

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales made the case to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that two potentially contradictory Congressional actions — one a 1978 law forbidding domestic surveillance without a court's permission, the other a 2001 resolution giving the president authority to use force to combat Al Qaeda — together mean that the executive branch is free to decide on its own to spy on communications between people in the United States and those abroad.

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by Tom Tomorrow
February 6th, 2006
Cartoon: click link to chuckle.

by James Ridgeway
February 6th, 2006
The subject of opening mail came up in this exchange between Gonzales and Democratic senator of Vermont this morning when the senator asked whether Bush believes his supposed authorization would be enough to allow the government to open people's mail.

"There is all kinds of wild speculation out there about what the president has authorized and what we're actually doing," Gonzales said.

"You're not answering my question," Leahy retorted.

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by Bob Burnett
6 Feb 06
In December, The New York Times revealed that the Bush Administration, has been eavesdropping on our phone calls, without a court order. Although the exact nature of this surveillance is highly classified, it appears that the White House has gone on a massive “fishing trip;” one that invades the privacy of thousands of ordinary Americans and violates the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act. This is the first of three articles about Administration eavesdropping – here, I dust off my techie skills and suggest how it’s being done.

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Comment: These speculations are based on the idea that the Neocons are spying on ordinary Americans all day long. Give it a REST! Do you actually think that Bush and Gang actually would spend their time listening in on conversations between Junior and his granny in Pakistan? Get real! Do you think Karl Rove is stupid? Do you think he - or ANY of them - really think that there are "terrorists" in America?

Of course not. They know that the whole "terrorist threat" is manufactured. They aren't going to waste their time looking for something that they created in their sick imaginations.

So, WHO are they REALLY spying on? And why did they out themselves as they did?

Obviously, they outed themselves because they had to. They had intell that Risen's book was going to spill the beans. How did they get that info?

Why, by spying on him of course! Sure, we read: "President George W. Bush was so desperate to stop The New York Times' secret spy program story he summoned Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Executive Editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office to try to talk them out of running it, Newsweek reported on its Web site on Monday." That smacks of smokescreen. Do you really believe that if the President wanted the Times to keep quiet that there would be a problem? After Judy Miller? Get real.

So, what other journalists, congressmen, judges, various other government officials are they REALLY spying on? After all, considering the nature of these creatures that have taken over the U.S., you have to know that they are only going to expend their energy on things that will bring them the biggest rewards of money and power. The hoopla about spying on innocent Americans to ferret out terrorists is just a smokescreen.

Get a clue, folks!

Associated Press Writer
HENDERSON, Nev. - Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program Monday and said he believes the president has broken the law.

"Under the Bush administration, there's been a disgraceful and illegal decision - we're not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we're spying on the American people," Carter told reporters. "And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act."

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Comment: The object of the illegal spying wasn't really to target innocent Americans as the Neocons would like us all to think: it was, purely and simply, to spy on political opponents, journalists, and to obtain material for blackmail so as to completely control the
political process. As Paul Craig Roberts has written:

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.[...]

The years of illegal spying have given the Bush administration power over the media and the opposition. Journalists and Democratic politicians don't want to have their adulterous affairs broadcast over television or to see their favorite online porn sites revealed in headlines in the local press with their names attached. Only people willing to risk such disclosures can stand up for the country.

Florida Today
6 Feb 06
How does spying on a Brevard mom pushing a baby stroller, or an 85-year-old retiree or a woman in a wheelchair mesh with President Bush's claim he needs expanded surveillance powers to protect the nation from terrorists?

It doesn't.

But that didn't stop the Melbourne Police Department from videotaping those peaceful anti-Bush demonstrators on Inauguration Day last year, or the Brevard Sheriff's Office from creating dossiers on them.

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