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Thursday, February 02, 2006

My God, does anybody listen to the words coming out of their mouths?

I am dumbfounded that people in power can have such arrogant conversations in front of we hoi polloi. The following is a news article regarding the domestic spying program that Bush is defending as government's right (which, by the way, was in full swing under Pres. Clinton and I railed against it then, too.)

I am going to highlight the "naughty bits."
To wit:

CIA Director Porter Goss said Thursday that the disclosure of George W. Bush’s
eavesdropping-without-warrants program and other once-secret projects had undermined U.S. intelligence-gathering abilities.

"The damage has been very severe to our capabilities to carry out our mission," Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said a federal grand jury should be empaneled to determine "who is leaking this information." (BTW, how's that Dick Cheney investigation going?)

His testimony came after National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, who directs all intelligence activities, strongly defended the program, calling it crucial for protecting the nation against its most menacing threat.

"This was not about domestic surveillance," Negroponte said.
Leaders of the nation's intelligence agencies appeared before the panel in a rare public session to give a rundown on threats facing the world.

Negroponte called al-Qaida and associated terror groups the "top concern" of the U.S. intelligence community, followed closely by the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea.

Committee Democrats sought to change the focus to Bush's decision to authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop — without first obtaining warrants — on communications to and from those in the United States and terror suspects abroad.

"Bush has not only confirmed the existence of the program, he has spoken at length about it repeatedly," while keeping Congress in the dark, said Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the panel's senior Democrat.

"The White House wants to have it both ways," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
Goss complained that leaks to the news media about the surveillance program and activities such as reported CIA secret prisons abroad had damaged his own agency's work.

"I use the words `very severe' intentionally. And I think the evidence will show that," Goss said.

He said not only have these revelations made it harder for the CIA to gather information, but they have made intelligence agencies in other countries mistrustful of their U.S. counterparts.

"I'm stunned to the quick when I get questions from my professional counterparts saying, `Mr. Goss, can't you Americans keep a secret?'" he said. (Apparently disclosing information to mere citizens is a cardinal sin.)

Goss cited a "disruption to our plans, things that we have under way." Some CIA sources and "assets" had been rendered "no longer viable or usable, or less effective by a large degree," he said.

"I also believe that there has been an erosion of the culture of secrecy and we're trying to reinstall that," Goss said. (!)... oh, and just for emphasis (!).

"I've called in the FBI, the Department of Justice. It is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present, being asked to reveal who is leaking this information," he said.

Rockefeller suggested that the "leaks" Goss talked about most likely "came from the executive branch" of the government.

That brought a terse response from FBI Director Robert Mueller, who said, "It's not fair to point a finger as to the responsibility of the leak." (Though I agree with Mueller for a TOTALLY different reason than his, I'm sure, I've got to contrast his sentiment with Goss'in the second paragraph. Given Deep Throat's FBI connection, it sounds like the FBI might be the leak.

link | posted by Jae at 11:05 AM |


Blogger Olive commented at 12:57 PM~  

Regarding Bush’s ‘‘State of the — [his] State of the Union — or state — [his] speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation” (George W. Bush, Bridgeport, Conn., 4/9/02)…

A January 31 Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial called it “a grave disappointment, a speech which … relied on vague assurances and familiar applause lines rather than producing any fresh ideas.”

Well, duh.

And my dinner with Hannibal Lector was a grave disappointment, a repast which relied on specialty meat items rather than offering any fresh vegetarian dishes.

It’s a fine line between diplomacy and disingenuousness. I’m almost as sick of liberal understatement as I am of conservative lying.

This reference does relate back to the post. These guys no longer shock or awe – they have become entirely predictable in their arrogance and hypocrisy.

The same (Bush appointed) Goss that said, “not only have these revelations made it harder for the CIA to gather information, but they have made intelligence agencies in other countries mistrustful of their U.S. counterparts,” also said…

“The [Plame] case was the result of wild and unsubstantiated allegations, which are being obviously piled on by partisan politicians during an election year.”

According to an article in The Herald-Tribune of southwestern Florida, Goss said an investigation into the leak was unnecessary because “there was no evidence of "willful disclosure … somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation."

As far as Bush’s spy program revealed making intelligence agencies in other countries mistrustful of their U.S. counterparts, I’m sure their distrust has nothing to do with the fixed and faux intelligence Bush used to draw other nations into the flimsy ‘coalition of the willing’ and Mideast nightmare.

Blogger CB commented at 10:37 PM~  

I can feel the Democrat party falling apart, almost like a pre-explosion rumble. Party leaders are made to dance to the tune of interest groups like NARAL and People for the American Way. John Kerry calls in a filibuster from Davos. The Daily Kos has replaced the Grey Lady with all the shit that's fit to print and Howard Dean is thought to be a right winger.

The MSM has got it all wrong too. They think Hillary is the darling of the party. Among party activists, she's viewed to be nearly as right wing as Cheney. Cindy Sheehan is taking a run at Diane Feinstein and Rahm Emmanuel keeps saying he'll come up with "a plan."

The ineptitude of a party that can't capitalize on an unpopular war, White House and Congressional indictments, a spy program that includes some domestic calls and a President that can't say nuclear is revealing. Watching Democrats lose more seats this fall, I'm afraid, will send many into long term therapy or at least binge drinking.

In the Dem primary for President, the base won't go for "electability" anymore, they will want one of their own. So when Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore are on the ticket together, remember you heard it here first.

Blogger Olive commented at 7:39 AM~  

The Democratic party has been rendered impotent by the scheming, conniving, criminality of the right wing as well as it's own ineptitude and lack of vision. I am sick and saddened by what this means for all of us. But you... you seem almost gleeful at the prospect of a one party government (read dictatorship), a government devoid of checks and balances, enlightened debate and the rule of law... a government where the guy with the most money (cause you can kiss campaign reform goodbye with the confirmation of Alito) takes all.

I guess fascism aint so bad... as long as you're not a member of a targeted group. But that Republican party membership card that you carry around in your wallet, CB, will not protect you from the fallout because you, an African American male, are a member of a targeted group.

Blogger Olive commented at 7:57 AM~  

"Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes.

Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

The above is a summery of the more detailed orignal article "Fascism Anyone?" first published in Spring 2003 edition of Free Inquiry."

Blogger Renegade Eye commented at 9:41 AM~  

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires---a wiretap requires a court order.

Nothing has changed, by the way.

When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.

It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

---President George W. Bush
April 20, 2004

Blogger CB commented at 10:50 AM~  


It seems that by precedent, law (legislative action), court ruling, constitutional authority and with the support of most Americans, the President continues to engage in tracking suspected calls to or from al Qaeda, with at least one end of the call overseas, with a warrant or not.

Jay Rockerfeller (Senate Intelligence Committee Member informed of the practice) had access to courts, not just the desk drawer he placed a cya letter to Cheney in; as did Harry (Indian Tribe) Reid and Nancy (Illegal immigrant abuser) Pelosi. I suspect the hearings on this will show that the President acted within his authority, that there were no abuses and it will do damage to Democrats with their base, just as the Alito confirmation process did.

Blogger CB commented at 11:23 AM~  


I was a Democrat most of my life. It was a very difficult decision for me to make the move less than a decade ago. I had to leave because the party made no sense. The biggest challenge for me was believing that Republicans were racists. The Southern Strategy (although later acquiring its name) began with Barry Goldwater. The passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 & 65 passed with much larger percentages of Republicans voting for passage than Democrats. Goldwater was a notable exception, he claims, based on states rights. For whatever reason, it was at best poor timing to oppose passage of those laws.

He won the Republican primary and tried to woo southern Democrats, it didn't work, but it sowed the seeds of what officially became Nixon's Southern Strategy - both crass attempts to exploit race to win political victory. In the late 60's black voters migrated toward the D party as a result.

Although some dispute it, Reagan, albeit awkwardly at times, moved the party away from that stance. The culmination of that decision is a George Bush Presidency which has had more blacks in responsible positions than all Presidents in history combined, including the "first black President" William (Cigar) Clinton. That people are reticent to acknowledge this, despite black voters still voting 85-90% Dem - he had nothing to gain by it.

Policy ineffectiveness was at the heart of my move though. Liberal policies, especially with regard to economics, simply failed. Not only have they failed, they fail everywhere in the world they have been attempted - with the notable exception of the Nordic states Jae pointed out, that I don't yet have enough information on to dispute his stats. Protectionism, doesn't work, central distribution of scarce resources with alternative uses (tax and spend), doesn't work, over-regulation kills jobs and sends them overseas.

On a micro economic level, welfare has been a disaster, resulting in fatherless homes, child poverty, violence and the acceptance of the misogynistic violence of hip hop as "black culture. Abortion policy has been directed toward black communities, following the founder's goal, to cull the black population from the gene pool of America.

The party is cleriphobic, wants the courts to circumvent the democratic process to strip away the fabric of what "We the People" want with "gay marriage" finding a "right to privacy" where none existed and by extension calling the murder of an unborn child "a woman's right to choose."

There is no center to the party, unless you consider the Daily Kos the glue that holds this disparate group of single issue interest groups together.

Blogger CB commented at 11:40 AM~  

There are factions within the Republican party too, although not nearly as pronounced as found among Democrats. The rift between modern, paleo and neo conservatives and libertarians is seen in war and economic policy. Then there are the country club Republicans, of which W is a descendant. Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chaffe, Susan Collins, Chuck Hagel, John Warner, etc. They organize themselves with Republicans but they have distaste for ideologues on the right (for everyone really-they're just snooty). Bush has been able to hold this collection together, but strains are beginning to appear over the war between neo and paleo conservatives. Strains have also appeared between economic conservatives and big government conservatives like Bush and the country clubbers. I think there will be enough inertia to hold it together, but I know that I'm frustrated.

I'd like to see big government conservatives (which include a big chunk of the neo con crowd, all of the country clubbers and others) jettisoned. I want no part of the activism some Christian right conservatives advocate - they want to replace liberal activists with conservative activists - activists shouldn't be on the court period. I'd also like to see the social liberals go. Lincoln Chaffee's embrace of Chavez last year comes to mind - as well as his recent vote against Alito.

While these skirmishes are mild compared to the seizmic fissures in the Dem coalition, I and others, seeking ideological seperation are discontented.

Blogger Renegade Eye commented at 11:19 PM~  

I disagree with Olive and Jae, regarding your feelings of forlornness, toward the Democratic Party. I think you should instead celebrate your political growth.

As I told Jae previously, fascism is something that occurs, after specific prerequisites. Even a military dictatorship is not fascism. A military dictatorship is only a bureaucratic state with military protection. That definition is incorrect. Those attributes have been seen in many states, that weren't fascist. They may have been bureaucratic, dictatorial, or reactionary. Fascism is much more than that definition.

Blogger Olive commented at 9:25 AM~  

OK, dictatorship.

... I'm not feeling any better.

Blogger Renegade Eye commented at 10:08 PM~  

It is important not to misuse the word fascist.

Fascism occurs when the progressive and revolutionary movement, without proper leadership, gets close to taking power, but is rebuffed. Fascism is the state of the total annihilation of the revolutionary movement. It is more than conservatism, racism, bureaucracy, or militarism.

Liberals often misuse the term to get votes.

Blogger Olive commented at 8:54 AM~  

Thanks, Ren. I'll try to be more precise. Nonetheless...

We are facing a future in which one party rules. I'm not -- as a previous post discussed -- necessarily interested in saving conservatives from themselves. I am asking them to take an honest look at the what they have bought or all of us. As I was saying to a friend recently, we all have to drink from the same watering hole --liberal, conservatives and every one in between and on the fringe. I would ask that they stop their arrogant (and premature) victory dance for a moment, allow their minds to be still and just feel (if I may be so hippy-dippy) the vibe.

It's a bad moon rising.

Anonymous Anonymous commented at 1:46 PM~  

Don't mistake observation of the obvious with glee, as I said before, many of us are unhappy, but for reasons other than what causes your angst.

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