Is it time yet?

Posted by: intrepid02

Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 02:58 AM

So, can we impeach Bush yet? It seems pretty likely that he broke some laws in this latest scandal.

How ironic would it be for the recently appointed Chief Justice to preside over the trial?
Posted by: Mike Rawdon

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 03:34 AM

I'm sorry, but which legal transgression would that be exactly? Plamegate, misusing intelligence to send the US to war, domestic spying on US civilians, or illegal torture of detainees?

I'm so easily confused by this administration...

Maybe an intern could just give the Prez a hummer then we could get rid of him.
Posted by: Mark Heyman

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 07:18 AM

Shhhsh. Otherwise we might not be able to find you in the morning, and who knows what country you'll end up in!

It is obvious he has the power whether or not he has he authority!
Posted by: alicex4

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 01:49 PM

Not too burst your bubble too swiftly, but the previous administration used the NSA in just the same way. Project was called Echelon, google and weep.
Posted by: intrepid02

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 01:51 PM

I was talking specifically about his spying on US citizens. Particularly those whose only "crime" is protesting the war. To me this is not very different from what Nixon did, illegaly spying on his political enemies. Nixon at least had the good sense to not get the FBI and NSA involved.
Posted by: oenophore

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 02:22 PM

An impeachment is the most political of prosecutions. It takes both houses of Congress to fire the impeached, and if one has the support of either, one is golden.

Project was called Echelon, google and weep.

Seems like a law firm.
Posted by: zachres

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 02:48 PM


Not too burst your bubble too swiftly, but the previous administration used the NSA in just the same way. Project was called Echelon, google and weep.

Well, there you have it... Clinton did it, so it must be ok????? Man, you Republicans sure can spin a web of logic (eyes roll).
Posted by: alicex4

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 03:03 PM

No, just wondered where your outrage was earlier, couched in ignorance or indifference? At least you have woken up now Zachres and smell the coffee.
Posted by: crackers

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 03:31 PM

sorry alice, but you're wrong again.

Echelon is much older than clinton, and just happened to evolve bigger during his time.

And Echelon is completely different than deciding to spy on an individual and using the capabilities of Echelon do it.
Posted by: alicex4

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 04:07 PM

Why is it different? Echelon was economic and this is political in nature? I need illumination.
Posted by: piker

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 04:19 PM


Are you outraged about the Echelon Program and satisfied with Bush's use of the NSA?
Are you equally outraged or equally satisfied with both programs?
Posted by: zachres

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 04:23 PM

The name "Echelon" refers to a complex network of sattelites and other monitoring technology that has been developed for the past 50 years in cooperation with our European allies... Yes, it exists... and, no it can't be used without adhereing to laws such as FISA.

In the late 90s and in 2000, the NSA was thought to be using Echelon to eavesdrop on any and all communications utilizing the Internet... I don't remember, nor can I find any record of, whether or not it was ever proven that they were doing this. However, in those years, there was a ton of public debate over privacy issues where the Internet is concerned.

There was also one instance of a French trade group accusing the NSA of stealing their member comapnie's secrets for the benefit of American corporations.

Now... how this compares to a President how is admittedly, directly involved in breaking established laws???

You've got to ask yourself:
FISA was enacted in 76, 79?? (can't remember the exact year), to give our intelligence agencies a legal framework under which to conduct secret surveilance both domestically and internationally. If the President felt that he needed to eavesdrop on potential terrorists, all he had to do was seek a warrant from the secret courts established by FISA. Since their inception, these courts have granted 18,995 secret warrants out of 19,000... AND, a warrant can be granted retroactively, up to 72 hours after the surveilance.
1. How hard can it really be to obtain these warrants??
2. Why did the president feel the need to circumvent the law??
3. If the legal structure for surveilance is so cumbersome, why doesn't the President do the RIGHT THING, and go to Congress for changes? It's not like the Congress hasn't been his lapdog up until the past few months.

Posted by: crackers

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 04:28 PM

briefly, Echelon is not necessarily economic.

Very briefly, the system consists an adaptive filter used to discover the prevelance of certain key words in all electronic communications intercepted by the NSA (ie all communications in the world), and then mechanically segregate those intercepts for human analysts.

You can use it for economic purposes, but it was really designed and implemented to determine large scale troop movements. People talk about using it to find terrorists, but that was not the initial focus because it was far beyond the capabilities of natural language search to segregate the massive volume of communications found from any 'terrorist' search word. (try searching google for bomb. then search google for something like 'fourth division second brigade. you should get the idea.)

Furthermore, Echelon is (was?) designed specifically to ignore IPs and other geographic locaters indicating that the messages originated in the USA. The problems of integrating Carnivore into the Echelon system--echelon is vulnerable to fiber optics as it is a robust problem to listen in to fiber optic communication--arose from figuring out which users of hotmail were in the USA and which weren't...

So, the usage of the tools of the NSA to 'listen in' to US citizens in the USA is wholly new.

And in my mind reprehensible as well as criminal.
Posted by: MarcC

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 04:55 PM


So, can we impeach Bush yet? It seems pretty likely that he broke some laws in this latest scandal. you really want Cheney as President?
Posted by: zachres

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 07:47 PM

Ha ha...

Here is part of George Tenet's testimony on Echelon in 2000:

"I’m here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency…

There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department."

Alice, aren't you tired of getting your information from liars?

Posted by: alicex4

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/20/05 08:22 PM

It all depends on who's ox is being gored Zachres. It seems as if you are all finally on board. I was as befuddled and appalled in the 90's with Echelon and Carnivore as I am now. For me, disillusionment really started with the RICO statutes in the 70's, and we can see how well they have abolished organized crime's involvement in "legitimate businesses." As an aside, getting a FISA warrant had not helped the defendents in United States v. Battle. The defendants asked to review the warrant applications the FBI submitted to the FISA courts and were denied. Without knowing the basis for the warrants, the defendants contend, they cannot know if their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures were abridged. The judge ruled, however, that the basis for the warrants will remain secret. This is a creepy precident set in 2003, it will mean that a U.S. citizen can now be convicted of a crime, without ever knowing the reasons why the government was given permission to spy on them in the first place. All 5 defendants reached a plea agreement of guilty I believe. People allow the govt to take their liberties in small increments and hardly a word is uttered by the public. The barn door has been open for many years and the animals aren't even on the property anymore. Seems people are finally noticing at least. Bray all you want to about this latest offense, a day late and a dollar short as far as I am concerned, but a 'better late than never' platitude might fit in here.
Posted by: yorick

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/21/05 01:27 PM

[quote This is a creepy precident set in 2003, it will mean that a U.S. citizen can now be convicted of a crime, without ever knowing the reasons why the government was given permission to spy on them in the first place.

ah, Kafka...
Posted by: zachres

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/22/05 03:36 PM

Well.. the answer to the question is: Yes, it's time!

Or, it's getting really close.

The text of a broadcast email I got from John Conyers:

Dear Friend:

Today I released a staff Report entitled, “The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverups in the Iraq War.”

In response to the Report – which finds substantial evidence of federal legal violations by numerous members of the Bush Administration --
I have introduced a resolution creating a Select Committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war and report on possible impeachable offenses; as well as Resolutions proposing both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney should be censured by Congress based on the uncontroverted evidence of their abuse of power.
Posted by: PeteG

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/23/05 12:24 AM


So, can we impeach Bush yet?

Not yet, but maybe if we can get somebody to respond to this:

Posted by: dalguard

Re: Is it time yet? - 12/23/05 04:48 AM

That's a tough job but I suppose for the sake of the country . . .
Posted by: mworking

Re: Is it time yet? - 01/17/06 08:20 PM


That's a tough job but I suppose for the sake of the country . . .

Someone call and let him know right away...

Though it's awfully kind of you to offer, I think GW will drive a harder bargain than Clinton. Perhaps you'd be willing to give a bit more?
Posted by: chazman

Re: Is it time yet? - 02/10/06 04:42 PM


February 10, 2006 White House Knew of Levee's Failure on Night of Storm
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 — In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.

But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight

How about now?
Posted by: chazman

Re: Is it time yet? - 02/13/06 02:15 PM

OK... NOW?

Republicans' Report on Katrina Assails Response By ERIC LIPTON
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 — House Republicans plan to issue a blistering report on Wednesday that says the Bush administration delayed the evacuation of thousands of New Orleans residents by failing to act quickly on early reports that the levees had broken during Hurricane Katrina.

A draft of the report, to be issued by an 11-member, all-Republican committee, says the Bush administration was informed on the day Hurricane Katrina hit that the levees had been breached, even though the president and other top administration officials earlier said that they had learned of the breach the next day.

That delay was significant, the report says, rejecting the defense given by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security that the time it took to recognize the breach did not significantly affect the response.

"If the levees breached and flooded a large portion of the city, then the flooded city would have to be completely evacuated," the draft report says. "Any delay in confirming the breaches would result in a delay in the post-landfall evacuation of the city." It adds that the White House itself discounted damage reports that later proved true.

The report, by the select House committee examining the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, is the first of three major investigations into the subject; the others, for which reports are expected within one or two months, are being conducted by a Senate committee and by the White House.

The House report blames all levels of government, from the White House to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana to Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans, for the delayed response to the storm.

"Our investigation revealed that Katrina was a national failure, an abdication of the most solemn obligation to provide for the common welfare," the draft says. "At every level — individual, corporate, philanthropic and governmental — we failed to meet the challenge that was Katrina. In this cautionary tale, all the little pigs built houses of straw."

A White House spokesman said that President Bush was now focused on the future, not the past. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said that Michael D. Brown, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was partly to blame for failing to make timely reports to his superiors.

The response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, in which about 1,400 people died along the Gulf Coast, raises troubling questions about the nation's ability to react to other threats to domestic security, the draft report says.

"If this is what happens when we have advance warning, we shudder to imagine the consequences when we do not," the draft says, referring to the potential for a terror attack. "Four and a half years after 9/11, America is still not ready for prime time."

Democrats declined to appoint members to the committee, raising concerns that the group would produce a whitewash, though several House Democrats participated in committee discussions. After the Republican report was prepared, Democrats praised it in a written response for being comprehensive and detailed, though they complained that it did not hold enough individual officials accountable and continued their call for an independent commission.

What is most disturbing about the hurricane response, the draft report says, is that the entire catastrophe was so easily foreseen — given the weather reports and the precarious position of New Orleans as a below-sea-level city in a major hurricane zone — yet still the response was so flawed.

Posted by: intrepid02

Re: Is it time yet? - 02/19/06 03:38 AM

I guess we still need somebody to get their dress stained...
Posted by: chazman

Re: Is it time yet? - 04/12/06 01:13 PM


Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War
Administration Pushed Notion of Banned Iraqi Weapons Despite Evidence to Contrary

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 12, 2006; Page A01

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.

Link to full article