Monday, December 19, 2005

Semi-hard Evidence

A quick snippet by way of DKos. You know where to find Kos, so I won't bother with a hand salute link.

It appears, as evidenced by this handwritten memo to Dick Cheney, that Jay Rockefeller was concerned about Bush's NSA shenanigans since back in summer of '03.


  1. The significant things about the memo are both language and tone. The mention of lack of technical and legal training, as well as inability to discuss with staff or counsel for advice, seems to indicate that the intelligence sources and methods stem from both a murky source and via a unique form of acquisition Sen. Rockefeller was heretofore not familiar with.

    Linking to ADM Poindexter's theoretically sidelined TIA project indicates both the ambitious sweep of this project as well as its open ended parameters. The TIA was to have been primarily national in scope, and was to have mined EVERYTHING.

    Sen Rockefeller voices concerns and expresses frustration because he can't allay the fears by consultation with an independent advisor. And so, since he's scared of what he's been told, and doesn't know whether he's been set up in a mouse trap, he makes a handwritten letter, to aid in verifying its authenticity (undoubtedly with quite a few prominent fingerprints,) and retains a copy in the safe. And I'll bet his lawyer has/had a copy too, because this is the kind of letter you write when you expect to be in front of a judge someday and want to make sure the other bastards have to stand there with you.

  2. You understand, don't you, Jeff, that, regardless of the original intention of this NSA project, it was subverted to produce internal politcal intelligence and (possibly) economic intelligence for personal gain?

  3. William Bollinger7:39 AM

    Hey Jeff,

    Got this over at Voice of a Vet.

    I'd recommend a big shot of something very calming before you open it.

  4. Yeah, Lurch. A memorandum for the record.

    And what really gets me is that you KNOW they used NSA info to build Bush's enemies database.

  5. William,

    Wow. Man. Oh no.

  6. Interesting, in case you haven't seen it:

  7. Does anyone remember 60 minutes reporting on NSA spying domestically in the 1990s?

    "Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."

    Mr. Frost detailed activities at one unidentified NSA installation, telling "60 Minutes" that agency operators "can listen in to just about anything" - while Echelon computers screen phone calls for key words that might indicate a terrorist threat.

    The "60 Minutes" report also spotlighted Echelon critic, then-Rep. Bob Barr, who complained that the project as it was being implemented under Clinton "engages in the interception of literally millions of communications involving United States citizens."

    Like I said, below, the NSA has BEEN doing this sort of thing. It isn't new to Bush. But this is the first I've heard of the President giving an explicit OK to do it (in violation of his Constitutional oath, if you ask me).

    That said, if you want to hang an impeachable offense on Bush, this is it.