17
Dez
2005

Spying on Americans: Pardon us while we gloat

The Rant
By DOUG THOMPSON
Dec 16, 2005, 07:32
Capitol Hill Blue

When President George W. Bush gathered his shell-shocked cabinet together in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he turned to then attorney general John Ashcroft and said “John, you do whatever is necessary to make sure something like this never happens again.”

Those instructions to Ashcroft are documented in Steven Brill’s book, After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era,

http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/brill.html

about the days following 9/11 and the Showtime docudrama on the event. It is also well-known that Ashcroft, a zealot who doesn’t allow the Constitution to get in the way of his crusades, took Bush’s command to heart, creating the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act, the controversial law that allows the federal government to spy on Americans without cause, without court order and without restraint.

But Bush went even further, turning the giant communications monitoring apparatus of the National Security Agency into a personal machine to snoop into the lives of Americans and setting Adm. John Poindexter loose to create the Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) program.

Congress thought it shut down TIA but Bush ran an end around on the Hill by transferring TIA into the Pentagon’s “black bag” operations, a fact we first reported in June of last year. We also reported the program used technology developed by the National Security Agency to snoop on phone calls and emails and that some NSA employees were pissed about being involved in spying on Americans. [...] Read more of his "I told you so" at http://tinyurl.com/afmcz


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