Feingold: Correct on Substance- Weigh the Facts, Chuck the Spin
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) Are publicly supporting Senator Feingold. Have you called/written/faxed your Legislators?
Looks like the David of "We the People" confronting the Goliath of corporate media.
Consider this ending snippet from The Wall Street Journal editorial page:
Which brings us back to Mr. Feingold's public service in floating his "censure" gambit now. He's doing voters a favor by telling them before November's election just how Democrats intend to treat a wartime President if they take power.
Not only do they want to block his policies, they also plan to rebuke and embarrass him in front of the world and America's enemies. And they want to do so not because there is a smidgen of evidence that he's abused his office or lied under oath, but because they think he's been too energetic in using his powers to defend America. By all means, let's have this impeachment debate before the election, so voters can know what's really at stake.
The papers of note are striving to shape the censure debate, taking it from the realm of the specific, Presidential power and over reach versus our Constitution to more abstract realms.
The motion of censure is with the question: Is Mr Bush fulfilling his oath to uphold the US Constitution as he has sworn to do. As Senator Feingold stated on the Senate Floor:
The President authorized an illegal program to spy on American citizens on American soil, and then misled Congress and the public about the existence and legality of that program. It is up to this body to reaffirm the rule of law by condemning the President’s actions.
All of us in this body took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and bear true allegiance to the same. Fulfilling that oath requires us to speak clearly and forcefully when the President violates the law. This resolution allows us to send a clear message that the President’s conduct was wrong.
It is clear to me, an average working class guy, what the issue is. Why would the Wall Street Journal spin it, and not answer Mr Feingold and "We the People" by refuting the substance of the censure issue.
There is a lot to read to keep up with issues though.
WSJ, like The New York Times, The Washington Post, are our bellwethers for if censure is the correct action to take. If they talk around the issue at hand it shows what anyone who reads deeply and thinks for themselves has figured out; these media outlets lack a factual leg to stand on and will resort to utilizing misdirection and bamboozlement to shape your opinions for you. Let the "experts" do your thinking.
We are the Government (mouthpieces), we are here to help you (think the way we'd like you to).
Helen Thomas wrote about this just the other day in a piece aptly titled "Lapdogs of the Press".
After all, two of the nation's most prestigious newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, had kept up a drumbeat for war with Iraq to bring down Dictator Saddam Hussein. They accepted almost unquestioningly the bogus evidence of weapons of mass destruction, the dubious White House rationale that proved to be so costly on a human scale, not to mention a drain on the Treasury.
Remembering their past track records,(Judith Miller, anyone? )you can see who their reportage benefits. Judge for yourself- are they supporting a vital and lively Democracy in our United States, or, do they seem to speak for the elite in power? The corporate entities that make up their advertisers are the group I'm refering to. Not to mention the politicos who's favor they need curry to get "scoops", to get interviews in high places to keep their papers in competition with each other for the eyes of readers, which keep their advertising rates high, which keeps them succesful and solvent. They need to remain friendly to the halls of power for access. Hey, it's just business sense.
The halls of power? They are Republican. They are corporate.
"a smidgen of evidence"
We'll get back to The Times finally reporting on Bush domestic spying. I offer you up some evidence (more than a smidgen) that the Administration is aware it is shredding the Constitution.
According to the Times, Attorney General John Ashcroft's top deputy, James Comey, refused to sign on to the continuation of the secret program in 2004 amid concerns about its legality and oversight. At the time, Comey was serving in place of then Attorney General John Ashcroft while Ashcroft was hospitalized for a medical condition. Comey’s refusal prompted senior Presidential aides Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales to visit Ashcroft in his hospital room to grant the approval. The Times reports Ashcroft expressed reluctance to sign on to the program.
Miffed that Comey, a straitlaced, by-the-book former U.S. attorney from New York, was not a "team player" on this and other issues, President George W. Bush dubbed him with a derisive nickname, "Cuomo,".
Other issues like condoning torture. But that is another issue. The Bush Hydra...
I recommend you read "Palace Revolt: They were loyal conservatives, and Bush appointees. They fought a quiet battle to rein in the president's power in the war on terror. And they paid a price for it. A NEWSWEEK investigation." This article is different for the one highlighted above.
The Times:Illegal Domestic Spying
The Times sat on this NSA domestic spying information for a year. (Article citeds' co-authors recieved a Goldsmith award, for journalism which promotes more ethical conduct of government today ) A Year. Until one of their writers, James Risen, was coming out with a book that mentioned it.
Here is a bit of what the book " State of War: the Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration" has to say:
The NSA is now tapping into the heart of the nation's telephone network through direct access to key telecommunications switches that carry many of America's daily phone calls and e-mail messages. Several government officials who know about the NSA operation have come forward to talk about it because they are deeply troubled by it, and they believe that by keeping silent they would become complicit in it. They strongly believe that the president's secret order is in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches, and some of them believe that an investigation should be launched into the way the Bush administration has turned the intelligence community's most powerful tools against the American people
In order to overturn the system established by FISA in 1978, and bring the NSA back into domestic wiretaps without court approval, . administration lawyers have issued a series of secret legal opinions, similar to those written in support of the harsh interrogation tactics used on detainees captured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Bush administration legal opinions that supported the use of harsh interrogation techniques on al Qaeda detainees have, of course, proven controversial, drawing complaints from allies, objections from civil liberties advocates, and court challenges. The administration faced its first serious legal rebuke in June 2004 when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the administration's effort to hold "enemy combatants" without a hearing. The court warned that "a state of war is not a blank check for the president."
"There is nothing explicit in the Patriot Act for NSA," said one former congressional aide who was involved in the drafting of the Patriot Act, but who was unaware of the NSA operation. "Their surveillance is supposed to be directed outside the United States."
It is now clear that the White House went through the motions of the public debate over the Patriot Act, all the while knowing that the intelligence community was secretly conducting a far more aggressive domestic surveillance campaign. "This goes way beyond the Patriot Act," said one former official familiar with the NSA operation.
President Bush's secret order has given the NSA the freedom to employ extremely powerful computerized search programs -- originally intended to scan foreign communications -- in order to scrutinize large volumes of American communications. It is difficult to know the precise size of the NSA operation, but one indication of its large scale is the fact that administration officials say that one reason they decided not to seek court-approved search warrants for the NSA operation was that the volume of telephone calls and e-mails being monitored was so big that it would be impossible to get speedy court approval for all of them. It is certainly true that when the FISA court was created, Congress never envisioned that the NSA would be involved in a massive eavesdropping operation inside the United States. No one in the 1970s could have predicted the enormous growth of telecommunications traffic in the United States, or the degree to which Americans would become addicted to digital, electronic communications. Today, industry experts estimate that approximately 9 trillion e-mails are sent in the United States each year. Americans make nearly a billion cell phone calls and well over a billion land line calls each day.
NSA's technical prowess, coupled with its long-standing relationships with the nation's major telecommunications companies, has made it easy for the agency to eavesdrop on large numbers of people in the United States without their knowledge. Following President Bush's order, U.S. intelligence officials secretly arranged with top officials of major telecommunications companies to gain access to large telecommunications switches carrying the bulk of America's phone calls. The NSA also gained access to the vast majority of American e-mail traffic that flows through the U.S. telecommunications system. The identities of the companies involved have been kept secret. Unknown to most Americans, the NSA has extremely close relationships with both the telecommunications and computer industries, according to several government officials. Only a very few top executives in each corporation are aware of such relationships or know about the willingness of the corporations to cooperate on intelligence matters.
Domestic Spying Pre-9/11?
Elsewhere Jason Leopold states:
The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups. Let's Get Back To Censure
Mr Feingold and his associates in this endeavor to bring about justice are tapping into the energy of the populace- chances are a majority of people you have spoken with have seen the Bush administration as one that has used innuendo and deceit to accomplish its aims. Anyone who reads knows there was no Iraq-9/11 link etc, etc, etc. These techniques are echoed today--
We need to act. Censure is a good beginning. Ignoring "the man behind the curtain" is costing human lives.
President George W. Bush said on Monday components from Iran were being used in powerful roadside bombs used in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel had been inside Iraq.
Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."
A letter, a call of support to your legislators; actions that take a few moments but may slow or even stop the Bush juggernaut. Censure is a start.
Happy Saint Patricks Day
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
I share Yeats blood, being Irish in descent. "We the People"- the falconer. Do we have the love of country, the passion for life, the life of all, to direct the eagle of our nation to be just, to live up to our founders vision?
I think we do. Let the good, the just exercise their passion to stem the tide of Neoconservative/Bush administration hate. Let our convictions and values shine.
Let the folks in power hear you. For the good of our nation and for the innocent of the world