Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Big Brother and the Rule of Law

Hand salute to Suburban Guerilla for the steer to this story by Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue:
Spurred by paranoia and aided by the USA Patriot Act, the Bush Administration has compiled dossiers on more than 10,000 Americans it considers political enemies and uses those files to wage war on those who disagree with its policies…

…[Karl] Rove started the list while Bush served as governor of Texas, compiling information on various political enemies in the state and leaking damaging information on opponents to friends in the press. The list grew during Bush’s first run for President in 2000 but the names multiplied rapidly after the terrorist attacks of 2001 and passage of the USA Patriot Act. Using the powers under the act, Rove expanded the list to more than 10,000 names, utilizing the FBI’s “national security letters” to gather private and intimate details on American citizens.

Doug's full article has plenty more gory details. Here's the kicker:
“We’re talking about Big Brother at its most extreme,” says one White House staffer.

Like I always say: Rovewellian!


  1. How big is your dossier, Comrade?

    Scary times.

    "When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall." -- Gandhi

    Just hoping it's going to happen here in my lifetime, or at least in my childrens'.

  2. Don't give up hope, Jeff, and don't stop shouting about it.

  3. Only 10k? That's the only part of this that's remotely hard to swallow.

  4. Meribeth5:26 AM

    I guess Hoover is spinning in his grave that he couldn't be around for this.

    Keeping these files on "enemies" is sickening and scary. What I find truly terrifying is that the files are kept on a non-government computer, paid for and supported by the Bush Mafia. In other words it appears to be a private data base. Isn't this illegal, to say the least?

    A data base that uses info gathered by the FBI under the freedom of the Patriot Act...is kept in private hands and supported by private entities and is not part of any government budget or "contributor" list. My, my...this is bad indeed.

  5. Oh, yeah. FBI/Patriot info used for political purposes.

    Can you say "abuse of power?"

  6. I was one of the last people on Earth to see the movie "Se7en" (1995). But the part where they talk about getting the list of who's borrowed what from the library -- "How is THAT legal?" really caught my attention.

    1995 is when it came out. Patriot Act I, 2001?

    It's been going on for years, to some extent, I believe, just quietly. Now, the floodgates aren't just open, they're broken down, possibly beyond repair.

  7. I've heard but cannnot yet confirm that libraries are erasing their databases to counter the law.

    Let you know if I find something specific.


  8. "Rovewellian"? Brilliant!

    You have a great blog. Keep it up! :)

  9. Thanks, Sadiq. I've been trying to make "Rovewellian" a common buzz word. Pass it on!

  10. If Rove leaves will you have to change the term?

    And why doesn't he leave? I'm not sure what use he is to the admin. Given the political baggage, seems like it would be smart to cut him loose. I don't think his absence would hurt Bush and Co. any.

  11. I think it would hurt Bush and Co.

    The Bush administration is still playing to their base, and part of the image that they are projecting to their base is that they have been right all along. They rely heavily on Rove's advice, and over the past couple of years it has become very apparent exactly how much his advice is used. The Republican party's strength has always been its image of working and sticking together.

    Also, cutting Rove loose now would give the indication that the Bush administration is not going to support him any more. That's dangerous, both to Rove and to Bush. Rove is the consummate insider, and we would all love to know the dirt he has on the inner workings of the administration. Letting him go now would send a message to Fitzgerald that Rove is fair game, and Rove might be more likely to bite the hand if it no longer feeds him.

    If an indictment comes down, Bush will have to let him go, but that will be understandable to Rove. My bet is that, if that happens, Rove will end up pleading guilty just in time for Bush to pardon him on his way out of office. And we'll hear the words "executive priviledge" more times than we can count.