Thursday, January 22, 2009

When known unknowns become known knowns

You knew that Cheney didn't set up that massive surveillance program just to spy on "terrorists" didn't you?

The risk of prosecution is know real, even though the Senate Republicans are slowing Eric Holder's nomination down over prosecution of torture crimes. So people have an incentive to not be among those left holding the bag.

Scott Horton in Did Bush’s Terrorist Surveillance Program Really Focus on American Journalists? No Comment blog 01/22/09 summarizes what Keith Olbermann has reported on the "Terrorist Surveillance Program", as the Cheney conspirators preferred to call it:

Last night on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” we learned that [Bush's CIA Director Michael] Hayden is concerned about more than just allegations that detainees in CIA custody were tortured. Former NSA analyst Russell Tice, a source for the New York Times disclosure of details of the program, appears to offer further details on the program. He reports that under Hayden the NSA was looking at “everyone’s” communications — telephone conversations, emails, faxes, IMs—and that in addition to suspect terrorists, the NSA was carefully culling data from Internet and phone lines to track the communications of U.S. journalists. This was done under the pretense of pulling out a control group that was not suspect. But Tice reports that when he started asking questions about why journalists were sorted out for special scrutiny, he found that he himself came under close scrutiny and was removed from involvement in the program. He found that he had come under intense FBI surveillance and his communications in all forms were being monitored. After expressing severe doubts about the operations of the NSA program, both Deputy Attorney General Comey and former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith both believe they also came under intense surveillance. Both decided to leave the Bush Administration after these developments.

If Tice’s allegations are correct, then Hayden managed a program which was in essence a massive felony ...
The Beltway Village crew are heavily invested in not seeing these things fully exposed, much less prosecuted.

But since our main national news organizations focus on producing infotainment instead of actual news reporting, it will probably be only prosecutions and maybe Congressional investigations that expose the extent of the wrongdoing of the now-gone Cheney-Bush administration.

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