Constant's pations

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

Thursday, August 24, 2006

NSA: White House's Rove Shows Contempt For Constitution, Court

Rove claimed, in so many words, that the existing illegal NSA activity wasn't in place prior to 9-11; and that it would have stopped 9-11.

Small problem: The illegal program was in place, and failed to stop 9-11.

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Rove's claim that the current illegal activity, if stopped, would have prevented 9-11 is disingenuous. The Qwest CEO reports the NSA prior to Sept 2001 was engaged in the illegal, warrantless surveillance. Also, the NJ litigation in the NY District Court reports there is evidence showing the NSA and AT&T prior to 9-11 were actively working to circumvent the FISA requirements.

Again, to restate the obvious:

A. We are a nation of laws;

B. Despite those laws, prior to Sept 2001, NSA and AT&T were, according to the New Jersey litigation, already engaged in the illegal activity; and

C. Despite that illegal activity prior to Sept 2001, the illegal activity did not stop 9-11.

Rove's statement today is meaningless speculation and a distraction from reality. More of the same RNC strategy: When you cannot win on facts, invent facts.

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Let's take the broad view of what is going on. First, Rove has misstated the facts.

Second he's asked the public to believe one set of fictions in order to justify diverting attention from the President's violation of the law, to something else.

Third, Rove is asking the American public to believe a fiction about what did or did not happen before 9-11, as a basis to make a voting decision in 2006.

Fourth, Rove would have us believe that his comment, rightly or wrongly, has some bearing on the matter. Rather, the court of appeals is the only relevant place. Rove's comments amount to an attempt to affect the voters, not actually see that justice or equity is done.

Fifth, Rove continues to bring discredit upon himself and the United States of America. It is the likes of Hezbollah, Hamas, and the enemies-of-the-week that thrive on these comments. Rove's problem is that he fails to comprehend that his factual errors, and convoluted logic increases the contempt for American values as practiced.

Sixth, Rove in now way does himself any favors. He's asserting that one set of convoluted arguments, devoid of facts, warrants belief; while the actual abuses and violations need no attention. Recall, the entire issue before us in re NSA isn't terrorism, but whether or not the government will or will not assent to the Constitution. Using Rove's analogy, we are to ignore the violations, and the fact that legal procedures were possible after 9-11, but they were either rejected, or not harmonized with the statute; nor was the asserted defect in FISA brought before the Congress to solve the problem. Rather, the approach Addington, Gonzalez, Yoo, and the White House staff took was to ignore the law.

The court finds that this violation, regardless its occurrence before or after Sept 2001, is not lawful. Rove's assertion simply muddies the water. The truth is that even when this leadership ignores the law, it still can't get it right.

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The central problem facing all government employees is what is to be done when [a] your peers violate the law, and [b] your leadership punishes those who are concerned that the procedures, warrant process, and other legal requirements are ignored.

The problem is well understood. Not only is the leadership violating the law; but there is a chorus of enablers who are not only going along with the violations, but they are intimidated to put their oath to the Constitution before their personal safety. You are already at risk by permitting this nation to be ridiculed. Other nationals believe that only combat can constrain America. The issue is whether you will go along with the abuse in silence, or whether you will stand up and possibly affect the country and help end the abuse. Either way, you are in an abusive environment.

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The problem the United States has is, despite it's constitution, if offers no protection to those who are in the know. At best, the only method to reveal evidence of criminal activity is to go to the media; thus any claim by the White House, Rove, or any DoJ Staffer that "leaks are bad" misses the point: Evidence of illegal activity is not protected by statute or by privilege.

Once that employee reveals that privileged information, the Executive may not claim privilege, especially when the Executive Orders do not provide a protection for illegally hidden evidence of criminal conduct.

The world knows what Rove hopes the world will not comprehend. It is only the clerk in the oval officer who is fooling himself.

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This is not simply a matter of whistleblower protection, Constitutional law, warrants, or Executive Abuse of power. Rather, it's whether Americans and the world believe that the American government is acting in a predicable or unpredictable manner. Ideally, a nation of laws increases predictability. The problem Rove has is that despite the law, he proves he prefers unpredictability.

Hamas and Hezbollah have already shown Mr. Rove that unpredictable outcomes on the battlefield are not only possible, but realities. Rove’s problem is that in choosing unpredictability, he exposes the nation to that same nexus.

We need not take Mr. Rove's constructs seriously. Rather, the unpredictability is whether Rove will lawfully be defeated in the courtroom, or subjected to lawful retaliation on the battlefield. He may be a White House employee, but he is not immune to the natural inclination of free people to defeat those who choose to put themselves above the law. That battle will be waged in the court room. If Rove would prefer to wage that battle on another irrelevant forum he is free to do so. The problem is when he wages a legal defense not to defend America, but to defend himself from voter accountability.

Hezbollah and Hamas are simple reminders that when a government chooses to create sophistry and not assent to the rule of law, a government that prefers battle must be prepared to assent to the final judgment of the battlefield. Defeat on the battlefield cannot be appealed.

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Rove deserves to be subjected to a line of duty determination. It is meaningless that his peers may be fearful of consequences. Rest assured, the potential career roadblocks will seem meaningless should other forces lawfully choose to take to the battlefield and subject Americans to lawful combat losses.

Rove also has some explaining to do before the court. His comments amount to a post-decision comment: Any working papers related to this contempt for the court are not protected; rather, they are admissible. The US Attorneys well know that they are to protect the Constitution, and ensure the public maintains confidence in the legal system.

The process continues, but the confidence wanes. Rove is free to speak publicly; but he is not free to mislead the voters.

The courts have admitted evidence, which the NSA has not denied, showing that Verizon, AT&T, and the NSA were working in concert well before Sept 2001 to violate the law. The Verizon General Counsel is a former US Attorney General; and the Verizon e-mail system is publicly known. The evidence has not been refuted.

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Rove implicitly asks America, as it was compelled to do on the eve of the illegal Iraq invasion, to embrace non-sense. Americans must decide whether you are willing to continue embracing non-sense, or simply assent to the court: The Constitution remains in full force.

Rove is not the supreme leader. He works for a clerk in the oval office. The court has made no new law, merely reminded the clerk, and his poodles, that no one is above the law.

Rove's assertions about what may or may not have happened prior to Sept 2001 have nothing to do with FISA, a court, or technology. Rather, the results speaks for itself: Despite violating the law and not using the lawful process, this leadership still was unable to protect America. As sadly demonstrated with Katrina and Iraq, despite ignoring all constraints, the leadership has well demonstrated that it is incompetent, reckless, and unfit to be trusted to guide this nation in peace, at work, at home or abroad.

America has alternatives. All that is needed is to keep an open mind. Do you trust people to solve problems; or do you trust them to make excuses and blame others. People are willing to discuss in open what their solutions are, comply with the law, and do what must be done to protect our way of life without destroying it, and our Constitutional structure.

This nation has a leadership, training, supervisory, and compliance problem. The way forward relates to a simple thing called performance, feedback, corrections, and solutions.

The clerk in the oval office is delusional; and his only hope, this late in the game, is to pretend something might have happened if only something else. He embraces hypotheticals and speculation because reality and the law do not cooperate with his criminal designs. Yet, he cannot rewrite history. Sept 2001 events happened on his watch. His failure in spite of his disregard for the Constitution, is no excuse to ignore the law; rather, it is our excuse to ignore the man.

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If you are a government employee wondering whether America "get's it" or not, rest assured: There are forces working behind the scene lawfully working to remove from the political stage the those who are asking you to swim through the cess pool you have to work.

Yes, it is annoying when you leadership is more interested in abusing power, making excuses, and making up stories. The problem they fail to face is that the voters have woken up. We know and we're working on some solutions.

Don't lose hope. We're all in this together. Watch for the middle of next month and there will be some nice surprises. Don't worry, it won't involve anything illegal or involve anything involving violence, but it will send some shockwaves.

Stay tuned. Best wishes, and keep the faith. The Constitution and rule of law shall prevail. Rove's destiny is less certain.

He wished this.