Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for March 24th, 2007

Buh-Bye, Texas Oil-For-Food Scandal. The Wingnuts Will Miss You.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2007

Ian Williams drives the final garlic-smeared silver-studded wooden stake through the heart of a favorite piece of wingnut mythology.

As I predicted nearly two years ago, the conservatives in the US largely shut the hell up about Oil-for-Food when it was found that the people working hardest to rip it off were oil men based in Houston, Texas. (And guess what? The lead perp, David Chalmers, is a big donator to the GOP.)

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, corruption, GOP/Media Complex, hypocrites, looney tunes, madness of King George, mythmaking, phony scandals | 3 Comments »

Welcome to the GOP-owned and -operated USSR

Posted by Charles II on March 24, 2007

First, credit to the Washington Post for going beyond newspaper policy to publish, after checking out the facts, an anonymous account of a person who had been served with a National Security letter. 

What they exposed by publishing this should horrify us, because it sounds very much like the state-imposed terror in the USSR:

“Three years ago, I received a national security letter (NSL) in my capacity as the president of a small Internet access and consulting business. The letter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients. There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter, and it turned out that none had. The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone, including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on the context of the demand — a context that the FBI still won’t let me discuss publicly — I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power and that the letter sought information to which the FBI was not entitledI never released the information the FBI sought, and last November the FBI decided that it no longer needs the information anyway. But the FBI still hasn’t abandoned the gag order  (emphasis added).”

This is a defining  feature of a totalitarian system. While a democratic system has checks and balances, a totalitarian system requires that the crimes that it commits be done secretly, without public exposure or judicial review.

 The inspector general’s report makes clear that NSL gag orders have had even more pernicious effects. Without the gag orders issued on recipients of the letters, it is doubtful that the FBI would have been able to abuse the NSL power the way that it did. Some recipients would have spoken out about perceived abuses, and the FBI’s actions would have been subject to some degree of public scrutiny. …

In a totalitarian system, the information itself is not important. What is important is that it not get to the ears of someone who might ask questions, who might object, who might order an end to the criminal behavior.  

If I hadn’t been under a gag order, I would have contacted members of Congress to discuss my experiences and to advocate changes in the law. The inspector general’s report confirms that Congress lacked a complete picture of the problem during a critical time…

Even totalitarian systems include some individuals who have a degree of conscience and fearlessly act to oppose wrongs. Admiral Canaris, for example, in Nazi Germany. It is these who must be prohibited from learning anything.

The Washington Post may be, as Chris Matthews said, a neoconservative organ. But someone there has a conscience, and has published an important piece of information. Now that we are no longer ignorant, let us act to demand an end to unlawful searches and seizures, conducted without judicial review.

And let us give thanks for heros like the one who, facing terrible sanctions, wrote that letter.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Congressional hearings, PATRIOT Act | 1 Comment »

What a Difference a Democratic Majority Makes

Posted by MEC on March 24, 2007

Task Force Formed to Investigate Florida 13th Election

Nearly five months after Florida Republican Vern Buchanan narrowly defeated Democrat Christine Jennings in the state’s 13th District, a congressional committee has organized a task force to investigate the controversial election.

California Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, on Thursday announced the formation of the task force, which she said was needed to investigate “possible voting rights violations” in Florida’s 13th, where Buchanan prevailed by 369 votes. [Ed. note: And where thousands of ballots from Democratic precincts recorded no vote for the Congressional race.]

Bandele McQueen, Millender-McDonald’s chief of staff, told on Friday that Millender-McDonald formed the task force after an August 2006 letter surfaced last week in which Electronic Systems & Software Inc. (ES&S) – the company that manufactured the electronic voting machines that were used in the Florida 13 election – told election officials that the voting screens exhibited slow response times during testing.


Millender-McDonald said the task force will “review and raise questions such as, ‘What went wrong, how long before the election did state and county officials know of this malfunction, and why were safeguards not taken by state and county officials.”

The Dems make it clear they know what’s been going on in our government.

Gonzales told on Friday that Democrats recognize the role of the courts but said that “nevertheless, there’s a role for Congress reflected in the Constitution of the United States” regarding contested elections.

McQueen said that the legal system could no longer be “relied upon.

Posted in Congress, election theft, Florida (where magical things happen), getting a clue, voting machines | 2 Comments »

Bada Dump Dump Dump — And Another Lie Bites The Dust

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2007

How those document dumps workin’ out for you, BushCo?

They were the bee’s knees back in the old days, weren’t they?  But in the Age of Distributed Reporting, and with a revived mainstream media shedding some of its lapdoggery towards the GOP, they do have this wee little tendency to backfire right back on your lying little butt-cheeks, don’t they now? 

Let’s look at the two big fat lies already exposed by the eager beavers whipping through the latest doc dump.  Just click on the nice little “more” link: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Alberto Gonzales, blogs and blogging, corruption, distributed reporting and research, government malfeasance, madness of King George, obstruction of justice, PATRIOT Act, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 2 Comments »

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