Civil liberty, lies, & inquiry
By Frank Schier
By Frank Schier
Editor and Publisher
With continual disregard for our privacy and civil liberties, the presidency of George W. Bush, Jr. is the most dangerous administration in the history of this country.
Having read that statement, a reader may ask What of Franklin D. Roosevelts policies during WWII?
Yes, Roosevelt opened Pandoras Box and the evil he released has never been constrained since.
Roosevelts presidential directive of Sept. 6, 1939 gave the FBI authority to surveil Americans of German and Italian descent for possible espionage, sabotage, or subversive activityeven though no proof existed of such activities. Roosevelts policies toward Japanese-Americans allowed seizure of their property and detainment without charges or trial. The precedent had been set to subvert the Constitution in times of crisis or war. Drat, Lincoln did it first with the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus (an order for a prisoner to appear in court to decide on the legality of his detention) and the arrest of opposition Democratic candidates, complete with Martial Law in some states during the Civil War. Inclusively, the most important precedent that Roosevelt set in this regard was the building of secret dossiers on U.S. citizens.
His successors, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson all used these FBI files to their personal advantage, as much as they were allowed by J. Edgar Hoover, who used these files, and his files on the presidents themselves, as political currency.
Nixon and Clintons usage of their enemies list and political opponents FBI files were revealed in the Watergate and Travelgate scandals. Nixon paid the price, and Clinton got away with the crime.
Bushs Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft dictated last week that the 1976 rules prohibiting the FBI from attending political or religious gatherings were null and void. Ashcroft gave only two hours notice to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), before issuing his edict.
Sensenbrenner said to CNN, I believe that the Justice Department has gone too far in changing the domestic spying regulations.
Up to last week, supposedly, the FBI had to submit to judicial oversight and present evidence and request an order for surveillance. Now they can attend your social club, church or Perryville Road protest meeting and build a file on anyone, without asking permission from a judgejust on a hunch (or dislike). The same goes for your Internet communications, chatrooms, databases, et cetera.
The 1976 restraints were put in place because of the abuses revealed by Senator Frank Churchs hearing on the governments domestic and foreign intelligence practices, particularly those concerning the Vietnam War and civil rights protesters of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Remember the Conintel-pro program?
Sensenbrenner told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, I get very queasy when federal law enforcement is effectively going back to the bad old days when the FBI was spying on people like Martin Luther King.
The Chicago Tribune quoted Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.): Any government effort to institutionalize the same powers that allowed the FBI to wrongfully spy on the activities of civil rights organizations and disclose information on the private affairs of Martin Luther King would constitute an embarrassing step backwards for civil liberties in this country.
Now Congress is going into closed-doors hearings on the intelligence failures surrounding 9-11. These hearings should be open, just like the Church committe hearings. Church got results. He got the FBI rules in place and exposed the MK-Ultra/Monarch mind control program, which just jumped deeper into the illegal CIA black-bag operations.
But, noooo! Buzz off, Americans. The public doesnt have the right to know exactly how our government screwed up. These secret John Belushi-like farcesall show and a lot of loud noisewill be co-chaired by the Democratic Senator Bob Graham of Florida (Jeb Bush country, home of the election disaster) and another Florida Republican Rep. Porter Goss.
Guess what? Goss is a former CIA agent. Graham has long-standing relationships with the CIA and FBI as a member of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.
Do you know that the headquarters for the Afghan campaign is Florida, not Washington, D.C.? Do you also know that ever since the Bay of Pigs, Florida has been a home away from home for the CIA folks at Langley, Virginia?
So we have two Floridians investigating the actions of a administration put in place by the Florida fiasco. One was spy, and the other oversees spy activities all the time and has a working relationship with spies. Remember, these hearings will be in secret, so we cant see all the back slapping. What a joke! Duck, here comes the whitewash!
As our guardian foxes eat all the hens in that hen house, the Bush spin farm continues to kick out more manure, not just about what the FBI knew about 9-11 and when, but also the CIA!
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) of the Senate Intellence Committee said the CIA had massive failures in regard to 9-11.
Gee, it turns out that the CIA knew that Kahlid Almihdhar, who was on one of the hijacked planes, was involved with the folks who brought you the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. By the way, the CIA also knew Almihdhar had visited the U.S. before the Cole bombing and that his California roommate was Nawaf Alazmi of U.S flight school fame. Yup, they knew much of this in 2000!
Makes that 2001 Phoenix FBI memo about flight schools look kind of lame, eh. Did the CIA tell the FBI? Some say No, and others conveniently say, Yes.
Most importantly, shortly after 9-11 the CIA said that they didnt know anything about the terrorist network in the U.S. before August of 2001, but they really knew in 2000. Did the CIA lie? YES! They lied, they lied, they lied!
And where is CIA Director George Tenet? Conveniently and insultingly, he is in Israel consulting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and advising Arafat on how to reform the corrupt Palestinian Authority security forces.
An editorial in The Wall Street Journal has called for FBI Director Robert Muellers resignation. After all of Muellers screw ups, Ashcroft gives him Roosevelt-like power. What about Tenet? He should resign as well, as should Ashcroft. Supposedly, our President Bush was out of this whole loop. This bunch is either the Ship of Fools or a Trojan Horse.
Compounding these insults to our intelligence, our suspension of disbelief and our security, privacy and civil liberties, is the Patriots Act. Almost every member of Congress has admitted they did not read the bill before they passed it. Amazingly this hugely complex bill was ready to go immediately after 9-11. Just happened; what a coincidence.
But now we are almost nine months down the road, and finally Congress has gotten off its shaking keester to do a whitewash investigation of the biggest modern attack on our mainland.
The only people who have seriously questioned the administrations actions concerning 9-11 and displayed any courage in Congress are Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). They should start an independent investigation.
We need a completely independent investigation of 9-11. I suggest panel members like Michael Moore, the filmmaker of Roger and Me and also the recent author of Stupid White Men. I also suggest the host of Politically Incorrect Bill Maher for this august panel. A real expert investigator would be former L.A policeman, Mike Ruppert, who authors the From the Wilderness newsletter and the website www.copvcia. Since this is all turning out to be a big joke on us, add Gary Trudeau, the cartoonist of Doonesbury; look at his comic strip nowadays.
Seriously, these people all love our county, but they dont trust or believe our government. We must stop this continual governmental deceit that requires a team of Herculean horses to drag the truth out in the open.
Meanwhile, Dubya said over the weekend, The War on Terror will not be won on the defensive. Oh, boy. Whats he going to do next? The pressure is on. The truth might come out; but before it does, watch for Wag The Dog and maybe some more anthrax or worse. Congress got real quiet after their dosage last time.