Thursday, February 16, 2006

Justice Department to Investigate Itself.

This sounds all too familiar. From NYT's Scott Shane and Eric Lichtblau:
The ethics office of the Justice Department has begun a review of the department's role in the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, a move that could shed light on internal dissension over the legal status of the secret program.

Having an ethics office in the Bush Justice Department is like hiring a pimp to enforce chastity at a brothel.
Congress has not opened any investigation of the program, despite the urging of Democrats, some Republicans and privacy advocates, who believe that the eavesdropping violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because it is conducted without court warrants.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold a closed meeting on Thursday to decide whether to conduct its own examination, but the White House strongly opposes an investigation, and Democrats say they are pessimistic that a full inquiry will be opened.

I’m pessimistic on that score too. How many times have we seen this pattern? The GOP controlled Congress makes noises about investigating the shenanigans of the executive branch, then the executive branch announces it's investigating itself, and Congress calls off its investigation, saying it's no longer necessary.

Wouldn't you love it if the IRS promised not to audit you if you promised to audit yourself?

I hate to say this, but it looks to me like Bush is going to skate again. So long, checks and balances. Nice knowing you. It was fun while it lasted.


  1. My mantra: November '06, November '06 ...

    provided they don't steal the elections.

  2. Anonymous1:17 PM

    In other words, you've given up hope too...

  3. Doug and William,

    America has to put "that party" out of control of the Congress. That's the only hope I see. The Republican Congress won't stand up to the admin, and the admin sure isn't going to slow down its pursuit of absolute power.

  4. Unfortunately, unless something changes drastically between now and Nov. '06, Americans aren't going to be throwing anyone out of power. Just like they didn't throw them out of power in '02 or '04.

  5. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Scott, the elections were stolen in '00 and '04. The bums should have been out on their asses -- both times.

  6. I find that doubtful, Doug. I've seen little good evidence of it being stolen in '00 and even less of it happening in '04. Go down to the bottom of this Wiki article and you'll see the variances in the 2000 recount project, based on what standards were being used:,_2000

    I don't want to rehash the whole 2000 election, but the idea of it being "stolen" is bollocks, in my opinion (same for '04).

  7. Figure it this way. If it wasn't stolen, americans are getting the government they deserve. Those of us who knew better are just stuck with it.

    If it was stolen, then enough americans went along with it for it to happen, and unless they quit going along, they will be able to steal it again.

    Either way, americans will have to vote them out, and that means voting someone else in. I still don't see a viable opposition, just the usual democratic circular firing squad.

    Personally, I can see plenty of evidence that it could be stolen. I do computer security for a living, and the things I hear about both touch screen voting and the tabulators tells me that if they are not "own3d", then politicians have become honest.

  8. My 12-year old cousin, who's autistic, gets on wikipedia and edits entries. I would check on some more credible sources before discounting the elections as legit.

  9. Ariadne:

    I'm familiar with Wikipedia's problems. I'm not relying on them as the source. If you check the link, you'll see that the numbers they have came from a post-election project studying the results, the results of which were published, among other places, in the Miami Herald. They are readily available online.


    I'm not saying it is impossible to steal the elections. I can certainly see how it could happen. But I won't be one of those going out an saying they were stolen in either '00 or '04. I have no doubt if Gore had won in '00, the GOPers would be saying the election was stolen, and the people who are currently saying it was stolen would be saying "don't be silly." It sounds a lot like sour grapes to me. I think it is time to focus on '06 and '08 and hope the Dems get their act together prior to those two elections. If they can't get it together prior to '06, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Bush will get another Supreme Court appointment.

  10. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Either get their act together or hire better hackers ;)

    Like you, I don't see a specific smoking gun, but realize the system is seriously flawed, and with the quality of leadership we've seen on both sides, expect they will take advantage of it if they haven't already.

    Besides, the standard methods of voter disenfranchisement or creative voter registration still work too, so secure systems won't really solve things anyhow.

  11. Doug: Looks like they have all of the shows archived on the O'Reilly web page. This one was from Fri. Feb 17. Only problem is you have to be a paying subscriber to the web site to get it. I'm not one so I can't get it for you.