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    22 December 2005

    NSA officer pleas for congressional audience | SC FOX is naughty

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    - A former National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence analyst and action officer has requested an audience with congress to discuss what he calls "probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts..." involving "...the Director of the National Security Agency, the Deputies Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, and the U.S. Secretary of Defense."

    In a letter sent to both chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees Russ Tice writes (dated Dec 18th)
    These probable unlawful and unconstitutional acts were conducted via very highly sensitive intelligence programs and operations known as Special Access Programs (SAP)s. I was a technical intelligence specialist dealing almost exclusively with SAP programs and operations at both NSA and DIA.

    Due to the highly sensitive nature of these programs and operations, I will require assurances from your committee that the staffers and/or congressional members to participate retain the proper security clearances, and also have the appropriate SAP cleared facilities available for these discussions.

    Mr. Tice is a member of the year old National Security Whistleblowers Coalition and has had a sorted past with this administration and I'd expect the Right will throw a shit storm at this guy. It will be surprising if he gets a legitimate audience after Karl Rove and the right-wing noise machine commence in their "2 minutes of hate" (note: 1984 reference).

    [UPDATE] I'm currently waiting for a response from a 'friend' with conections in the NSA and DIA re. this development. I'll update or repost if the response is meaningful.

    Anyway, here's another apparent Bush 'flip-flop' from a June 2005 so-called 'fact sheet'
    The Patriot Act extended the use of roving wiretaps, which were already permitted against drug kingpins and mob bosses, to international terrorism investigations. They must be approved by a judge. Without roving wiretaps, terrorists could elude law enforcement by simply purchasing a new cell phone.
    Wiretaps and search warrants require a high level of proof and permission from a judge. The tools in the Patriot Act are fully consistent with the U.S. Constitution.

    Congress created a Civil Liberties Board to ensure the Patriot Act and other laws uphold civil liberties. The Patriot Act protects America and defends American liberties.

    Now you understand why I call it a 'so-called fact sheet.'

    - Then Senate Majority leader, Tom Daschle, claims that congress did not grant the president authority to operate outside the established law in the authorization to use force in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks. In his words he "...suggests that Congress refused explicitly to grant authority that the Bush administration now asserts is implicit in the resolution."
    The Justice Department acknowledged yesterday, in a letter to Congress, that the president's October 2001 eavesdropping order did not comply with "the 'procedures' of" the law that has regulated domestic espionage since 1978. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, established a secret intelligence court and made it a criminal offense to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant from that court, "except as authorized by statute."
    "Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text," Daschle wrote. "This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused."

    Stay tuned...

    - After week's of Republican loyalists calling the Democrats "obstructionist" for forcing changes in the so-called USA PATRIOT ACT the Republicans engage in some of the same with an intelligence bill. The bill passed through committee with the blessing of Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the chairman of the Senate intelligence panel. However, "[a]n anonymous Republican placed a hold on the bill and prevented the Senate from working its will" and "[a]s a result, the bill can't go forward." Republicans reject three amendments that call for congressional access to both President Clinton and Bush's (43rd) Presidential Daily Briefs that focus on or include the subject of Iraq and a request for information on the CIA secret prisons in Europe. pure obstructionist politics form the Republicans. Add this to the long list of claims Repubs can no longer make in order to smear Democrats.

    - Neocon darling Ahmed Chalabi gets humiliated in Iraqi polls, getting less than one per cent of the vote in Baghdad.
    Out of almost 2.5 million voters in Baghdad, only 8,645 voted for Chalabi.

    In the Shiite city of Basra, the results indicate he had an equally dismal showing of 0.34 percent of the vote.

    In the violent Sunni province of Anbar, 113 people voted for him.

    No word from Kurdistan yet. I'm pretty sure this guy (and his group) gets a quarter of a million dollars a month from your taxes. Not sure of that, I'll leave it up to the reader to verify that.

    - The Kurdish state exports Beer to Turkey.

    - More rings are found around Uranus. (he he)

    - The global struggle for resources (oil) takes eight more lives in Nigeria; halts Shell's production. This is the second in the last few days, officials put the loss at 180,000 barrels of oil per day.

    - A local FOX affiliate promotes a white supremacists group/web site (stormfront.org - where the fascists get their hate literature), and then scrubs it from the website. First pointed out by Jesus' General and brought to my attention by Raw Story. The original page was cached by Goolge. This is an outrage but given it is a FOX outfit and in the backward state of South Carolina, this is typical.

    - The USA PARTIOT ACT was given an extension by the House Thursday. They had no choice given the Senate's reject yesterday of the Act and the 31 December renewal deadline. But the House Republicans had to find something to whine about and limited the extension to just over a month. This may not work out as wanted for the USA PATRIOT ACT supporters. Given the heightened debate about domestic espionage, the Act has soured in the eyes of many. Let's hope a few more Senate Republicans get an earful from their constituents over recess.

    - Katrina has been demoted to a Cat. 3 storm. This was a no-brainer to someone who has extensive knowledge of the system that categorizes hurricanes. But it wasn't the storm the flooded NO; at least not directly. It was a levee failure; levees which failed to live up to their expectations.

    Posted by Geoff

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