Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

13 January, 2006

War on terror is a fig leaf

If you haven't already, stop buying the canard that 9/11 "changed everything." It didn't. But it sure as hell provided a convenient justification for some activities that were already occuring, like, I don't know, illegally peeking in on the communications of American citizens without a warrant:
The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document (.pdf).

The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

In its "Transition 2001" report, the NSA said that the ever-changing world of global communication means that "American communication and targeted adversary communication will coexist."

"Make no mistake, NSA can and will perform its missions consistent with the Fourth Amendment and all applicable laws," the document says.

However, it adds that "senior leadership must understand that the NSA's mission will demand a 'powerful, permanent presence' on global telecommunications networks that host both 'protected' communications of Americans and the communications of adversaries the agency wants to target."

What had long been understood to be protocol in the event that the NSA spied on average Americans was that the agency would black out the identities of those individuals or immediately destroy the information.

But according to people who worked at the NSA as encryption specialists during this time, that's not what happened. On orders from Defense Department officials and President Bush, the agency kept a running list of the names of Americans in its system and made it readily available to a number of senior officials in the Bush administration, these sources said, which in essence meant the NSA was conducting a covert domestic surveillance operation in violation of the law.


George W. Bush is a criminal. He has violated his oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. He is a domestic enemy to the Constitution. The acts of his administration are high crimes against our nation. He should be impeached.

(and a tip of the old cranial covering to Pope Guilty for spreading the word and having a very sweet username)

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