Monday, May 15, 2006

Just Record Everyone and Everything Maybe That'll Help

Since ABC news and their reporters have been told their phones are being tapped, recorded and stored in a database, it's Deja Vu time. The taps are not in search of terrorists, but in search for "leaks" of White House activities and policies. Welcome to another seige-mentality and the ever-reliable "plumbers" -- perhaps it's the inevitable mindset of group of wartime leaders whose military strategies can't seem to find the boat that actually takes them to the Port of Mission Accomplished.

Perhaps the Us vs.Them philosophy only allows for the inevitable paranoia even here within our own country, where an act of protest is ruled an act of "mental instability". Don't think that could happen? Ask Carol Fisher, who was forced into a psych unit by a judge just for daring to express a non-White House opinion. (Hey, we all have enemies lists ... don't we??)

Or maybe ABC shouldn't be reporting this, or this or this.

Even those in charge of warrentless domestic spying knew two years ago an investigation was inevitable, why else hire someone to train NSA workers about answering questions during a Congressional investigation into what the agency had been doing.

So they brought back the one person who had first-hand experience in just such matters:

"[Joseph] Tomba
has a unique perspective on the subject. On Feb. 25, 1976, the West Virginia-born engineer became the first, and so far the only, NSA employee subpoenaed by Congress for his role in a domestic surveillance program. And because he was a less-than-cooperative witness before a House Government Operations subcommittee, he also became the only NSA employee to be recommended for a citation for contempt of Congress. The lack of cooperation wasn’t entirely his idea. As part of a sweeping assertion of executive privilege by President Gerald Ford, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered Tomba not to answer legislators’ questions, particularly those about Project Shamrock, under which NSA had spent the previous three decades intercepting almost all outgoing U.S. telegram traffic.

So we've all been here before. But that doesn't mean we should assume this is normal governmental attitudes or policies. It isn't. And thinking that it is makes it worse.


  1. I can't stand it. I just can't stand it.

    Would somebody please just give Bush a hummer so we can impeach him, already?

  2. As Nixon so famously said "It's the Lie that gets you."

    A hummer ain't enough!