Bush Dislikes Oversight
How much longer are we going to allow the government to do as it wishes without any accountability?
From Common Dreams:
Published on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 by Inter Press Service
Reforms Failed to Curb FBI Spyingby William Fisher
NEW YORK – One of the nation’s most respected counterterrorism experts is predicting that Congress will take action to rein in the ‘unchecked power’ of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to spy on U.S. citizens without court approval — and then forbid them from publicly protesting the violation of their civil liberties.
He is Mike German, a 16-year FBI veteran who resigned as a special agent in 2004 to make Congress and the public aware of the continuing deficiencies in FBI counterterrorism operations after the implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s reforms.
German told IPS that following passage of the USA Patriot Act in 2001, FBI operations have been conducted ‘with unchecked power, hampered by mismanagement in its counter-terrorism unit, and facilitated by lack of Congressional oversight.’ The FBI, he added, ‘is obtaining personal and business records they’re not entitled to’.
He also called attention to so-called ‘third party error’. This occurs when the government targets a particular telephone number or email address, and then not only continues to tap all who call into that target, but the calls and emails sent to and from the addresses of these ’secondary targets’, and calls to and from these secondary targets, creating groups of tertiary targets.
He also told IPS that there is little evidence that the FBI is systematically purging its databases of telephone or email records unlawfully or inadvertently obtained during these electronic surveillance operations.
Read the FULL STORY HERE.
Of course it would probably help IF the rest of the government were actually acting on behalf “of the people, by the people, for the people”. Unfortunately this administration does NOT like the Constitution.
According to the Boston Globe, last week, the president weakened the oversight committees put in place to reign in out of control politicians:
President weakens espionage oversight
Board created by Ford loses most of its powerPresident Ford with Vice President Dick Cheney (left), then Ford’s chief of staff, and Jim Baker. Cheney said in 2005 that postWatergate reforms went too far. (New york times/file 1976)By Charlie Savage Globe Staff / March 14, 2008
WASHINGTON – Almost 32 years to the day after President Ford created an independent Intelligence Oversight Board made up of private citizens with top-level clearances to ferret out illegal spying activities, President Bush issued an executive order that stripped the board of much of its authority.
The White House did not say why it was necessary to change the rules governing the board when it issued Bush’s order late last month. But critics say Bush’s order is consistent with a pattern of steps by the administration that have systematically scaled back Watergate-era intelligence reforms.
“It’s quite clear that the Bush administration officials who were around in the 1970s are settling old scores now,” said Tim Sparapani, senior legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. “Here they are even preventing oversight within the executive branch. They have closed the books on the post-Watergate era.”
Ford created the board following a 1975-76 investigation by Congress into domestic spying, assassination operations, and other abuses by intelligence agencies. The probe prompted fierce battles between Congress and the Ford administration, whose top officials included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the current president’s father, George H. W. Bush.
You can read more about this here.
~ by swfreedomlover on March 21, 2008.