Justice Department Continues the Assault on Justice

 Congress, Constitution, Featured, Politics, Presidency  Comments Off on Justice Department Continues the Assault on Justice
Aug 202008

Most likely it will come as no surprise that the Bush Administration’s Justice Department continues it’s assault on freedom and the Constitution. According to a report in the Washington Post, the Justice Department is about to issue guidelines for starting FBI investigations that a number of U.S. Senators believe could lead to innocent Americans being spied upon by government agents or informants, “all without any basis for suspicion.”

These are rules that apparently require no Congressional approval, but are Attorney General Guidelines implemented to safeguard Americans in the wake of abuses by the FBI in the 1960s. Leave it to the Cheney Administration to figure out a way to turn that on it’s head and use it against us.

While Senators Dick Durbin, Russ Feingold, Edward M. Kennedy and Sheldon Whitehouse have joined Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, also a Democrat, and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter in asking for a delay and period of public comment before issuing the guidelines. I’m sure AG Mukasey is quaking in his boots given the Congress’ lack of enthusiasm for protecting the Constitution and fulfilling their oversight responsibilities.

According to the Post report, following their briefings, the four Democrats said the guidelines would:

  • Let the FBI use “a variety of intrusive investigative techniques” with no evidence of possible wrongdoing. The techniques could include: long-term FBI surveillance, interviewing neighbors and workmates, recruiting informants and searching commercial databases for information on people, “all without any basis for suspicion.” “We are particularly concerned that the draft guidelines might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the senators wrote.
  • Allow the government to collect foreign intelligence information inside the United States without current legal protections for U.S. citizens or legal residents. The senators noted that the broad term “foreign intelligence” would cover any information relating to the activities of a foreign government, organization or person.
  • Allow the information gathered to be broadly shared among government agencies. “We have serious questions about the scope of information sharing as it relates to U.S. persons who are under no suspicion of wrongdoing,” the senators wrote.

We can only pray that the Congressional Health Insurance covers spinal transplants, so these people can each get them one. Talk about a toothless tiger.

Mukasey Says They Knew About 9-11 Call

 General  Comments Off on Mukasey Says They Knew About 9-11 Call
Apr 012008

Speaking at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last week, Attorney General Michael Mukasey said one of the dumbest things ever to come out of this scandal ridden Administration. He was making a speech trying to stir up support for the FISA bill with telecom immunity, where he basically claimed that U.S. Intelligence apparently knew a call came from Afghanistan safe-house to a phone in the U.S.

Before 9/11, Mr. Mukasey said, “We knew that there had been a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went. We’ve got” – here the Attorney General paused with emotion – “we’ve got 3,000 people who went to work that day, and didn’t come home, to show for that.”

Keith Olberman called him out on the statement:

The government knew about some phone call from a safe house in Afghanistan into the US about 9/11, before 9/11, and even though it had the same FISA courts and the same right to act against international targets in 2001 as it does now, you didn’t do anything about it? Well, this would seem to leave only two options. Either the Attorney General just admitted that the government for which he works is guilty of malfeasant complicity in the 9/11 attacks or he’s lying. I’m betting on lying. If not, somebody in Congress better put that man under oath right quick.

You could send him to Gitmo, I suppose.

How about a little Congressional oversight here.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.