Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Cheney urged NSA to eavesdrop on Americans
May 13, 2006 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Cheney Pushed U.S. to Widen Eavesdropping In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for terrorists, according to two senior intelligence officials.
posted by Postroad (62 comments total)

 
Cheney isn't sleeping in meetings - he's listening to intercepts. He just closes his eyes so he can concentrate.
posted by trondant at 11:44 AM on May 13, 2006


Well, I'm shocked and outraged.
posted by Zozo at 11:45 AM on May 13, 2006


why doesn't this surprise me?
posted by brandz at 11:48 AM on May 13, 2006


I, for one, am shocked. I was sure it Colonel Mustard.
posted by keswick at 11:50 AM on May 13, 2006


Does no one in this administration have any decency? Does no one in this administration believe that they're there to serve the American people?
posted by bshort at 11:55 AM on May 13, 2006


Im not clear on the article - it is implying over and over again that the program is now and was always intended to be for domestic-international calls. This is not at all what the current roar is about - where billions of purely domestic calls *your* calls were being used as well.

That Hayden is being promoted to head of CIA smells of getting everyone who isnt "with us" pushed out.

Lastly, there is never any mention of internet traffic. I am fairly certain that the domestic spying using IP traffic is far more widespread than phone-based listening. When do we get to find out about that?

Hang all these guys by their balls. Its a fucking disgrace.
posted by H. Roark at 11:55 AM on May 13, 2006


Is anyone still too shy to call these fascists what they are?

Or are we still too hampered by American exceptionalism and teh fear of teh Godwin?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:06 PM on May 13, 2006


I wonder what crimes the next president will do with all these brand spanking new powers?
Personally, I can't believe that this administration will just step down in '08. All they would have to do is make up a security issue, suspend elections, and never give up power.

And there would be plenty of people who would rationalise that and support them, the same ones who support them now.
posted by Balisong at 12:10 PM on May 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Is anyone still too shy to call these fascists what they are?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Actually you could make an argument that any country with a 'military-industrial complex' has fascist characteristics, but illegal wiretapping has nothing to do with fascism. This is just general authoritarianism.
posted by atrazine at 12:13 PM on May 13, 2006


Is anyone still too shy to call these fascists what they are?

Or are we still too hampered by American exceptionalism and teh fear of teh Godwin?


It is certainly valid to observe examples of fascist behavior in the current government. I think anyone who seriously compares this government with a certain German regime does a disservice to six million dead Jews and perhaps another six million dead european civilians.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:14 PM on May 13, 2006


The neo-cons were outright facists, we're agreed on that, right?

I'm not sure taht theyr'e really running the show anymore though.
posted by Artw at 12:18 PM on May 13, 2006


"Does no one in this administration believe that they're there to serve the American people?" bshort askes.

These people are not Americans! The neocons who are now the new Republican party, are international corporate looters. Just as Enron looted California, they are now looting the United States.

Spying is how those who won't go quietly are being identified. Why do you think good people who are on the inside are leaking all these sad facts about the NSA?

If we don't stop them in the next election, we will become third-world slaves. Our national parks will be their private hunting preserves, and our grandchildren will serve them as masters.

It all comes down to November. We take back the country then or lose it forever.
posted by BillyElmore at 12:18 PM on May 13, 2006


Does no one in this administration believe that they're there to serve the American people?

Come on, now. Halliburton is staffed by American people.
posted by Zozo at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2006


In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks

You know, for some reason I really don't have a problem with this. How many of you were outraged after the WTC towers collapsed? I seem to remember the taste of blood in my mouth.

Now, what happened in the years following is another story. If all the info coming to light lately (number database, etc) came with expiration dates I think a lot few people would be up in arms about this.
posted by tomplus2 at 12:23 PM on May 13, 2006


b1tr0t writes "It is certainly valid to observe examples of fascist behavior in the current government. I think anyone who seriously compares this government with a certain German regime does a disservice to six million dead Jews and perhaps another six million dead european civilians."

In all fairness, it's not over yet. They have far greater potential.
posted by IronLizard at 12:26 PM on May 13, 2006


a certain German regime

More like a certain Italian regime, imo, but whatever. (or at this point Greek.)

Personally, I can't believe that this administration will just step down in '08.

They either do not intend to extra-legally hold on to their power, or they have become so deluded they cannot even envision a Democratic takeover.

Does anyone seriously think the Republicans will allow a Democrat-controlled Executive with these powers?

I guess some people think that the two parties really are indeed in complete cahoots, but I still can't buy that.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:43 PM on May 13, 2006


Newsweek Poll: Americans Wary of NSA Spying
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on May 13, 2006


Oops: do not intend
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:48 PM on May 13, 2006


It all comes down to November. We take back the country then or lose it forever.

I think that there should be a focused effort to vote out anyone that is a member of the PNAC.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:02 PM on May 13, 2006


More like a certain Italian regime, imo, but whatever. (or at this point Greek.)

You claimed that posters are afraid of Godwining threads. Mentioning Mussolini wouldn't do that, so you must have been talking about the Germans.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:08 PM on May 13, 2006


I think that there should be a focused effort to vote out anyone that is a member of the PNAC.

I second that. Followed shortly thereafter by charges of high crimes against the American people and the Constitution. Bush & Co. so need to do jail time..
posted by Skygazer at 1:12 PM on May 13, 2006


From Mr_Zero's link, "Donald Rumsfeld...PNAC founder and previously Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences Developer of Tamiflu."

I did not know that but, no surprises there.
posted by 517 at 1:14 PM on May 13, 2006


Seriously? Gilead? Shit, now I'm even more worried.
posted by adamrice at 1:26 PM on May 13, 2006


b1tr0t: impeccable logic good sir, I'm quite skewered.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:27 PM on May 13, 2006


Gilead?

That is the creepiest thing I have read in a while.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:35 PM on May 13, 2006


As they say in the ads: But wait, there's more! not just the phones. Not just the emails.
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060513/D8HIRAK80.html

try this: have as many people as you can to call their Net provider and ask if they are allowing the govt to have access to their emails and account...enough calls nationwide might cause something to happen
posted by Postroad at 1:42 PM on May 13, 2006


From homunculus' poll above, 41% of the American public are STILL willing to accept this surveillance crap.
You all read this as a positive. I don't. I read it as all Cheney has to do is flip a firecracker into a crowd a week before the Nov. elections and that 41% will jump to 65%. Whatever.
posted by notreally at 1:43 PM on May 13, 2006


Luckily for GWB, Nancy Pelosi doesn't believe he has done anything worthy of impeachment, so there will be no talk of taking this country back from anyone.
posted by jellicle at 1:57 PM on May 13, 2006


Actually you could make an argument that any country with a 'military-industrial complex' has fascist characteristics, but illegal wiretapping has nothing to do with fascism.

Isn't the government (NSA) colluding with corportations (telecoms) a fundamental underpinning of fascism?
posted by ryoshu at 1:58 PM on May 13, 2006


Does this extend to the UK yet? Or is it a merely parochial thing?
posted by Joeforking at 2:17 PM on May 13, 2006


Someone should impeach Nancy Pelosi for abrogating her own duties. Her performance on Russert last Sunday made similar appearances by Hillary look almost sincere by contrast.
posted by psmealey at 2:18 PM on May 13, 2006


I don't have any evidence, but I think Cheney might be the antichrist.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:18 PM on May 13, 2006


More Cheney news re Plame:
Cheney's scribbled notes in the margin of the Wilson column:

"Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. [sic] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

So Cheney knew from the start that Plame was in the CIA?

and:
Rove indicted for lying to the Plame investigators.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:26 PM on May 13, 2006


have as many people as you can to call their Net provider and ask if they are allowing the govt to have access to their emails and account...enough calls nationwide might cause something to happen

Here are the phone numbers you need.
posted by Mr_Zero at 2:27 PM on May 13, 2006


The neocons who are now the new Republican party, are international corporate looters. Just as Enron looted California, they are now looting the United States.

I'm quite surprised this isn't the dominant meme these days.

The tax cuts for the wealthy, the stock market manipulations, the use of government money to bail out companies, the shift toward the privatization of the military, etcetera endless etcetera all points at a looting of the masses by the fortunate 1% ultra-wealthy.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:27 PM on May 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't have any evidence, but I think Cheney might be the antichrist.

If you truly have faith, you won't let a little thing like lack of evidence, stop you from believing something.
posted by Mr_Zero at 2:35 PM on May 13, 2006


CL: I don't think we can really say rove has been indicted. People are saying it's very likely, but that site doesn't really seem too trustworthy. I guess we'll see.
posted by delmoi at 2:35 PM on May 13, 2006


Yeah, one internet report based on anonymous sources is hardly definitive, but it's interesting and bears watching.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:40 PM on May 13, 2006


Well, I'm pretty sure indictments are public records that need to be filed at the court house, so if it does happen we'll know for sure.
posted by delmoi at 2:46 PM on May 13, 2006


Well, I'm pretty sure indictments are public records that need to be filed at the court house, so if it does happen we'll know for sure.

They can be sealed with the judge's approval, which would keep them from becoming public until unsealed. As I understand it, that's usually done to avoid tipping off someone who's considered a flight risk until they can be arrested, but I imagine it's possible that Fitzgerald might give Rove a day or two to get his affairs in order before announcing it to the world. I dunno.
posted by EarBucket at 3:04 PM on May 13, 2006


Someone should impeach Nancy Pelosi for abrogating her own duties.

I second that. I generally vote Democrat, but I'm quick to admit that they shoot themselves in the foot with this ridiculous notion of political civility. The public may be uncomfortable with partisanship, but it despises cowardice and lack of resolve far more. The Democrats would be hosting tea parties at the apocalypse ...
posted by bcveen at 3:27 PM on May 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nancy Pelosi is a tool, but I'm not sure she actually has the ability to prevent the president from being impeached, she no Tom Delay as far as control over the congress.
posted by delmoi at 3:52 PM on May 13, 2006


Someone should impeach Nancy Pelosi for abrogating her own duties.

1) You don't impeach congressmen, you censure them.

2) The House Minority Leader has no constitutional duties other than being a representative of their district. The only congressional officers named in the constitution are the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

The best thing you can do is work to get her removed from office. To be the House Minority Leader, you must be a member of the house.
posted by eriko at 4:04 PM on May 13, 2006


What's funny or lamentable (dependency variable on your mileage) is that nothing will be done. If only MeFi existed in the 30s. Indignation would have made all the difference.
posted by movilla at 4:11 PM on May 13, 2006


"The Democrats would be hosting tea parties at the apocalypse ..."

The apocalypse is here now. If you want to take the world away from the beast that has taken neocon form, you have to vote Democrat.

Wouldn't Nancy Pelosi be speaker of the house if Democrats took back the house in November?

Bush has made some changes to sucession rules that cloud this, but doesn't tradition (and the 1947 succession act) put the speaker in as president should we impeach Bush and Cheney?

If I have those facts right, one could make a point for Ms. Nancy keeping hew powder dry until after November's election.
posted by BillyElmore at 4:15 PM on May 13, 2006


i'm rather pessimistic that we can take the world away from the beast, no matter what happens...the expansion of presidential power into the realm of "if the president decides to do it, it is legal" is not one i can imagine they would put into the hands of an opposing party, so my expectation is that this expansion of power has embedded within it the tools that will prevent their loss of it...
posted by troybob at 4:34 PM on May 13, 2006


Wouldn't Nancy Pelosi be speaker of the house if Democrats took back the house in November?

She's the heiress presumptive, but the House votes on the Speaker, and there's no automatic guarentee that she'd get the nod from her own party -- or she might choose to be the House Majority Leader, rather than Speaker of the House.

Note that which is more powerful depends on the people involved. There's no question that it was Gingrinch's house when he was Speaker, but it was Delay's house when he was Majority Leader, and I'm really wonder just what the hell Hastert does with his days.
posted by eriko at 5:05 PM on May 13, 2006


Greetings, carbon based Bipeds; be gentle, this is my first comment.

In all fairness, it's not over yet. They have far greater potential.


Oh yes, it's not over yet, it seems to me we are forgetting to look in the right way. Because it is imo a continuum. As one of my favorite writers, Billmon has written recently, "In his introduction to Leviathan, Hobbes describes the state as “an artificial man,” in which the sovereign is the mind, public officials the joints, the justice system the nerves, etc. But the modern bureaucracy (and I would include the modern megacorporation in that category) functions more like a machine, or perhaps a colony of one-celled organisms like a coral or a sponge. It’s essentially mindless, driven by a set of basic imperatives, of which the most relentless is the urge to grow, to expand both in size and power."

Power is never returned once relinquished. Freedom is not free and all that...

But an awfully large number of our fellow citizens have already decided, or have been conditioned to believe, that it’s better to be subjects and let others make the hard decisions for them. After all, the organization (read: Leviathan) must have its reasons.
posted by Unregistered User at 5:19 PM on May 13, 2006


If you want to take the world away from the beast that has taken neocon form, you have to vote Democrat.

Bullshit. You have to vote for someone who is honest, has high integrity, and has clearly stated what s/he will do to clean up this damn mess. Both parties need a good scouring.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:38 PM on May 13, 2006


Balisong writes above:

"I wonder what crimes the next president will do with all these brand spanking new powers? Personally, I can't believe that this administration will just step down in '08. All they would have to do is make up a security issue, suspend elections, and never give up power.

And there would be plenty of people who would rationalise that and support them, the same ones who support them now."

FYI, George Bush is already starting to push for his brother Jeb Bush to become the next President.

These people are shameless, like a cancer...and just as hard to get rid of.
posted by Nicholas West at 6:02 PM on May 13, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think that there should be a focused effort to vote out anyone that is a member of the PNAC.
posted by Mr_Zero


Most PANC members in government weren't elected. They were appointed by non-PANCers who were elected.
posted by taosbat at 6:20 PM on May 13, 2006


In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks

I'm totally expecting to find out that this program was in place before 9/11. Cheney and Rumsfeld have been pushing for it for 30 years.
posted by Aknaton at 6:20 PM on May 13, 2006


Ditto-head sponge cells may not join the fight, but we can still battle the Neo-leviathan. If not, we are doomed to prolong elite lives as they harvest our organs and eat our children.

On cue, five fresh fish points out: "Bullshit. You have to vote for someone who is honest, has high integrity, and has clearly stated what s/he will do to clean up this damn mess. Both parties need a good scouring." That’s true, and almost no one who calls themselves a Republican who could fit that description.

There are only two parties at the federal level. The Republicans have had total and unprecedented power, and have used this strength to make the current mess. We now know what they do with supremacy. By comparison, almost any Democrat will be more honest and in better position to clean up George's neocon mess.

You want clearly stated ideas from Democrats? Imagine if Ronald Regan had left Jimmy Carter’s solar panels on the White House, and his alternative energy plan in place. If Carter’s automobile mileage standards alone had been followed, we would now be long free of Arab oil and global warming. Does anyone miss Bill Clinton’s booming economy? Clinton’s economic high tide lifted all boats, while current Republican policies lift only yachts? Bullshit indeed.

The only answer is to put a majority of Democrats in the House and Senate in November.
posted by BillyElmore at 7:00 PM on May 13, 2006


DOJ Moves to Dismiss AT&T Class Action under Cover of Night
posted by homunculus at 7:01 PM on May 13, 2006


What an a-hole
posted by Windopaene at 11:06 PM on May 13, 2006


DOJ Moves to Dismiss AT&T Class Action under Cover of Night

I had no doubt that was going to happen.

More interesting is the class action suits against the carriers for selling the data. Since the argument was that the selling was improper, not who it was sold to, the "national security" bullshit doesn't fly.
posted by eriko at 8:25 AM on May 14, 2006


George Bush is already starting to push for his brother Jeb Bush to become the next President.

Odd, our differences in interpretation; what I read was George saying "Dunno. He hasn't indicated. Dunno."

And then being further pressed to commit one way or the other on the issue, and responding "Well I think he'd be a great President."

Which, y'know, is a far cry from actually pushing for his brother.

YMMV, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 AM on May 14, 2006


That’s true, and almost no one who calls themselves a Republican who could fit that description.

Nonetheless, I have witnessed several Republicans being interviewed on TDS and CR, and they appeared to be true-blue honest men and women who are fighting to take back the Republican party from its hijackers.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 AM on May 14, 2006


An intelligence expert predicts we'll soon learn that cellphone and Internet companies also cooperated with the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on us.
posted by homunculus at 9:21 PM on May 14, 2006


just... wow...

How did we go from having the FBI doing domestic surveillance to having the NSA serve that function? How was the decision made?

The FBI is in a state of shell shock after 9/11. They've become so risk-averse. They've been criticized so many times, for the right reasons, that they're terrified of doing their job anymore. So the White House felt they'd become rather leaky and creaky.

Also, the FBI had to get approval from the attorney general for every tap it used. I've been told on fairly good authority that the reason the FBI's Carnivore telecommunications surveillance program was not used in the fashion that the NSA system has been after 9/11 was because it would require the written consent of the attorney general and the Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions of the Justice Department, any one of which could have scuttled the program. That's a prospect worse than the FISA court, as far as the White House is concerned. So the White House decided to abandon the FBI in favor of an agency that had not done any domestic work since 1975. As a result, the NSA had to spend billions of dollars constructing a system that it didn't have the capability to construct prior to 2001, which may explain why some NSA veterans I talked to say that some parts of the NSA are now short of money.

posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 9:48 PM on May 14, 2006


Don't know if anything will come of this, but Rawstory is reporting that the government is tapping the Times, the Post, and ABC News.
posted by EarBucket at 7:56 AM on May 15, 2006


Bush stomps on Fourth Amendment
posted by homunculus at 11:29 AM on May 16, 2006


« Older Searchable database of >120,000, reasonably high-r...  |  Lazy Ramadi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments