Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fact check Hoekstra [R-MI], Harman [D-CA]: Couriers used, NSA violates the law

Update: 13 Feb 2006 To see how this effort fits in with the White House disinformation strategy, visit this summary box, open in a new window to see the larger pattern and other related ruses: [ Click ]

Update 9:30P EST, Feb 13th: Rewritten, the original version made no sense

The President is down for the count, but will the Congress take advantage of that?

Get real. It's too early to expect the timid to be brave. Congress needs to be beaten more before they're willing to assert themselves.

[ For your convenience, there is an NSA Hearing Archive; Click here to read other content in the NSA Hearing Archive.]

There should be little surprise why the White House is doing so well. Sure, their numbers are tanking, but they’d be in worse shape if the Congress had a clue.

Let’s consider a little bit of selective memory in the Congress.

It’s fairly comical and easy to understand.

The latest twist and spin – ooh, is that a board game? – is that the NSA program has been compromised because of the NYT. The argument goes something like this: Because we know about something, then everyone knows – so we should be ignorant and safe.

Small problem. The “big scary enemy” had already changed their plans before the NYT article. Insight Magazine reported in December 2005 that JTTF learned AlQueda had shifted to using couriers. [ Click] This transition occurred before the NYT article, so there’s no merit to suggest the NYT disclosures caused a problem.

The real issue is the White House is doing what it always does when it’s on the defensive. Rallying support.

This week the Members of Congress on both sides of the sleepy aisle have rallied to defend their President.

Hoekstra [R-MI] has a habit of flip flopping. When the Able Danger news is unsettling for the President, he doesn’t want to look at the matter; but if the issue is a way to silence the opposition – he’s all for finding the facts to remind the public to behavior. [ Click ]

Harman [D-CA] is bit of a mystery. She’s seem to have taken the bait.

The core problem is simple. The White House has gotten caught violating the laws. He tried to rewrite the laws, but the Senate Judiciary Committee wouldn’t let him.

The only option this Executive has is to rewire history. This Congress is assenting to this non-sense.

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Of course this is outrageous. Not simply because of the FISA violations, but the DNC doing exactly what it did with Alito: Refusing to corner a trapped animal.

Well, Harman what do you say about the JTTF report to your committee that tell you the opposite? Once the NSA finds out that they're using curriers, you can't turn around and say, "The reason they're not using the phone is because of the revelations about the illegal conduct."

I expect more of elected officials. Use the information you're given to make informed judgments, not jump to convenient conclusions. Moreover, when the leadership does this it raises reasonable doubts whether you are capable of exercising independent judgment. It's no wonder the NSA and DoJ have kept you isolated in the intelligence committees: You show you have to rely on staff, and when left to fend for yourself you fall in line with the RNC.

"Oh, we don't pay attention to the bad news -- just to whatever the White House tells us to think." Brain dead!

Brilliant. The problem isn't just the President's unlawful conduct, but the Congress that is willing to forget reality: A law is a law; and no matter how much this White House tries to spin it, the law has been violated.

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This isn't the first time Hoekstra has made a silly comment. He's flip flopped on whether intelligence issues will or will not be investigated. Case in point: The Able Danger program contrasted with the Scorpion program.

Is it any surprise why some intelligence matters are or are not investigated? If they violate the law, Hoekstra doesn't want to know. But if there's a chance to show the program can be used to intimidate the public, why the RNC bullies are there cheering on the program.

Very similar to the non-sense over Phase II on the Senate side.

I'll spare you the details: Whether Congress is or isn't doing their job depends on whether the weather is favorable.

That's unacceptable. The public deserves intelligent leaders, not those who assert their oaths only when the White House says, "OK to use your brain."

This Congress isn't sure. They want to be beaten.

The states are ready. The State proclomations calling for impeachment are in works.

Then Congress might stand up and do what needs to be done.


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Added: It gets better -- turn the clock back to 2000. What was the RNC saying then? You got that right: "We can't do this. We need warrants." [ Click ] They can't make up their mind when their leader is caught . . . but his pants are still up.