Democrats & Liberals Archives

BEFORE-9/11 Spying

This article is about events BEFORE-9/11. BEFORE-9/11, President George W. Bush spied on Americans. BEFORE-9/11, before the so-called “war on terror,” the Bush Administration contacted communication companies and asked them for information about their customers. BEFORE-9/11, Bush was pushing for warrantless surveillance of Americans!

According to the Washington Post:

A former Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal.

Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week.

Later in the article it becomes clear what the "unidentified" program was about:

Details about the alleged NSA program have been redacted from the documents, but Nacchio's lawyer said last year that the NSA had approached the company about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records.

SIX MONTHS BEFORE-9/11! Not only did the Bush Administration ask Qwest to spy on Americans, it punished the company because it refused to do an illegal act. The company lost "contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars." One wonders whether the inside trading conviction was part of the "punishment" as well.

Now Bush has the nerve to tell Congress to pass a bill that gives immunity to companies that were "patriotic" and complied with the illegal request. No way! Congress must not condone illegality. Congress must act in a way that encourages true patriotism, the kind that was shown by Qwest when it refused.

Congress does not even have the information it requested from the Whitehouse. It should do nothing until it gets this information. And then it must produce a law that protects American citizens from warrantless wire tapping.

It's hard to believe, but Bush favored spying on Americans BEFORE-9/11. All his talk about the "war on terror," making us safe at home and fighting for democracy abroad was just that: talk. Bush turns out to be a phony through and through.

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 15, 2007 5:02 PM
Comments
Comment #236166

Paul, Its not hard to believe—Bush has been a JERK all his political life

Posted by: Steve at October 15, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #236169

Paul, I’m glad you wrote about this.

Our Dear Leader, the Liar in Chief, 5/11/06:

After September the 11th, I vowed to the American people that our government would do everything within the law to protect them against another terrorist attack. As part of this effort, I authorized the National Security Agency to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. In other words, if al Qaeda or their associates are making calls into the United States or out of the United States, we want to know what they’re saying.

They were authorizing warrantless spying on Americans before 9/11. Before Congress ever voted to allow all those unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act to become the law.
And impeachment is “off the table” for some reason.

Why Do You Need Immunity, If You Haven’t Broken the Law?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 15, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #236173

Gosh Adrienne and Steve, the quote by President Bush sounded very clear to me, “I authorized the National Security Agency to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. In other words, if al Qaeda or their associates are making calls into the United States or out of the United States, we want to know what they’re saying.” What part of this don’t you like? Not evesdropping on known enemies would be irrational and extremely dangerous. What would HRC or BO do if President? What other revalations do you have from convicted felons?

Posted by: Jim at October 15, 2007 7:44 PM
Comment #236176

Jim

Bush states that after 9/11 he authorized intercepting calls. But it appears that he was doing these things before 9/11 illegally. It is called breaking the law. What part of this do you not understand? Being president does not exclude him from living by the law. We all know that he and Cheney are not necessarily in agreement with this. But never the less he should be held accountable as any of the rest of us would be.

Posted by: RickIL at October 15, 2007 8:11 PM
Comment #236177

This story came out probably a year and a half ago in USA Today.

The only new twist here is the timeline, but whether it started before or after 9-11, this program is one which deals with compiling information about phone traffic.

It does NOT involve intercepting or listening to specific phone calls and has NOTHING to do with the NSA wiretapping program. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at October 15, 2007 8:23 PM
Comment #236180

Jim:
“What part of this don’t you like?”

Duh. The illegal part. The part where there are no FISA warrants, and no oversight by the FISA court.

Loyal O,
You don’t know what you’re talking about, so don’t try to act as though you do. NO ONE BUT BUSH AND HIS CRONIES KNOW WHAT THEY’VE BEEN DOING. They’ve ignored subpoenas on this issue claiming “executive privilege” and refused to supply subpoenaed documents. Everything about all of this wiretapping has been a giant secret, a total mystery, and a redacted black line.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 15, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #236181

Adrienne, you’re not keeping up.

There are two separate issues in play here—two completely different NSA programs. We all know about the controversial NSA wiretapping program (the one that in August the Democrat-controlled Congress criticized with their mouths but supported with their votes).

Paul is trying to say that the NSA wiretapping program started earlier, before 9-11, but he is confused. Nacchio is talking about a completely different program, and yes, the details of it were out in May of 2006. Nacchio’s objections are in THAT article too, nearly a year and a half ago, and the only new info here is that this program may have been started before 9-11. The Washington Post article is quite badly researched. It depends entirely on these court documents for what it says is known about this program, but many details about it have been available from a number of sources (like US TODAY) for ages now.

But whatever the time-line is, it’s a big so-what because it’s NOT the same program at all, and as the article explains, it does NOT involve wiretapping. The NSA actually has more than one program, you know.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at October 15, 2007 9:48 PM
Comment #236182

Loyal O,
You’re trying to split hairs when there is really no difference when it comes to these programs being obviously illegal. Whether we’re talking about wiretapping or data collection of American citizens, there have been no warrants, and no oversight.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 15, 2007 9:58 PM
Comment #236184

Adrienne, the fact is that the government legally collects ALL KINDS of data about American citizens and this has gone on for ages now. Very little of it at all requires a warrant.

They know where we work, how much money we make, what property we own, what interest we make on our investments, how much we pay in taxes, etc. They know where we live, go to school, how many children we have, etc. If it’s “splitting hairs” to say that this isn’t all illegal, then so be it. But the difference between premeditated murder and self-defense is also “splitting hairs” then. As is the difference between consensual sex and rape.

The difference between the NSA compiling data about the patterns of phone calls across America and the NSA wiretapping your phone is the difference between a cop watching you drive by on the freeway and a cop pulling you over and searching your trunk. These are VERY different things.

Also, when it comes to the NSA wiretapping programming, I just love how Democrats just keep repeating that it’s “illegal” while the very Congress they control is voting for it. We have a whole new definition of “illegal” under American law I guess.

The President can implement something passed by the Congress, and it’s constitutionality can be upheld by the courts, but somehow it’s still “illegal” in some alternate reality.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at October 15, 2007 10:22 PM
Comment #236192
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Loyal O,
I don’t give a rats ass what you or any member of Congress says left, right or center. What these bastards are doing is a complete violation of the Fourth Amendment. Whether we talk before or after 9/11, they were never given leave to treat We the People like we’re all enemies of the state, and that is what they have done.

Every single time the righties discuss this issue of warrantless wiretapping or warrantless data mining in this blog, the whole argument basically boils down to:

“When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

But it is illegal, and Article II of the impeachment charges against Nixon was warrantless wiretapping that Nixon said was ‘necessary’ for national security. There is absolutely no difference between this situation and that one. It was illegal then, and it is illegal now.

[Sigh] I know you won’t agree.

The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake… We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.
The ideal set up by the Party was something very huge, terrible and glittering—a world of steel and concrete of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts, wearing the same clothes and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting—three hundred million people all with the same face.
WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU

Above quotes, from ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Orwell.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 15, 2007 11:46 PM
Comment #236205

Adrienne- I find very interesting the fact that these folks on the Right, would have us believe,

only the bad guy is being listened to. Not so, these
taps come from in a form, of millions an not just

the bad guy. I will not disclose it’s location, but
there is an under ground facility consisting of

twenty five acres, which snags hundreds of pre-

selected words. These super Computers can pull

information from any an all devices capable of

sending or receiving voice or video communication.

A person or persons can be heard talking in a

boat, 10 or more miles out in a lake from shore or

from your house from lines of sight, blocks away.

Best of all, if they can read a news paper from a

Satellite, I think, for the right or left the fact

remains, If the Government an his Big Brother

want to watch you or listen in, they will, an have

for many years. Just Smile, because one never

knows when they might be on candid camera.

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 16, 2007 1:25 AM
Comment #236220

Just curious…how many millions of Federal Employees do we have to listen into all these innocent conversations, watch your every move from satelite, and point huge dishes at your boat when you’re fishing? Know I know why we have a defecit. Boo, there’s a Fed hiding in your closet.

Posted by: Jim at October 16, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #236225

Bush planned to invade Iraq the minute he stepped into the whitehouse. Right after campaigning on a platform of “no nation building.” Way before 9/11.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/10/oneill.bush/


Posted by: Max at October 16, 2007 1:44 PM
Comment #236236

“Bush planned to invade Iraq the minute he stepped into the whitehouse. Right after campaigning on a platform of “no nation building.” Way before 9/11. Posted by: Max at October 16, 2007 01:44 PM

Max, could you use your mind-reading ability to pick the next big stock winner or crystal ball to pick the next lottery winning numbers? How silly for anyone to pretend to know the mind of anyone else.

Posted by: Jim at October 16, 2007 3:31 PM
Comment #236257

Jim- Apparently you are unaware of what a Super

Computer is, along with a string of them combined,

an by your words “BOO an in your closet,” says a lot

about your intent, an intellect.

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 16, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #236259

David, actually I do know very little about super computers. But, I am smart enough to know that it takes a human being to read and interpret all they collect. And, the same is true with satelite photos and sound collecting dishes. Perhaps you know of some robots the Feds are secretly using for this job. Sorry, I didn’t understand your last comment.
I know it must be very disappointing to donate all that money to candidates who just won’t say what you want them to. I still think the Dems best chance is to draft AlGore. He’s a shoo-in with his academy award and peace prize. And, he’s almost as smart as BC and HC. All he needs to do is lose a little weight, stop using bear grease on his hair, and learn the two-step; as his macarana (spelling) leaves much to be desired. And, if Al would take up chewing cigars it would help his manly image.

Posted by: Jim at October 16, 2007 7:11 PM
Comment #236275
“— the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.”
“If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the proles.”

Above, more quotes from ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Orwell.

Dear Adrienne,

Last week I wrote and asked for your help to fix the so-called Protect America Act, which Congress hastily passed last August after caving to overreaching demands by this administration. As I said then, this legislation weakened the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and gave the president the authority to eavesdrop on law-abiding Americans, all without meaningful judicial oversight.

Thousands of you responded to our call to action and wrote your representative - putting much needed pressure on Congress to produce a bill that provides the tools necessary to seek out suspected terrorists while still protecting the rights and freedoms of Americans at home and abroad.

We must continue to pressure Congress to act immediately and reform how the government conducts surveillance. Please ask your friends to join you and the thousands of other Progressive Patriots in telling their representative to protect our rights.

Tell Your Friends: Write Your Representative - Protect Our Rights!

Time and time again this administration has used fear-mongering to completely disregard the rights and privacy of ordinary Americans - all while Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, stood idly by. The time for inaction is over. Congress must stand up to this administration!

Thank you for standing with me in our fight to protect the rights and freedoms we share.

Sincerely,

Russ Feingold


“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of NOW. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. THIS IS A TIME FOR VIGOROUS AND POSITIVE ACTION.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Won’t you join me, my fellow Watchblog friends and acquaintances (liberal or conservative)? It only takes a scant minute to be a doubleplus ungood prole! A moment out of your debating/grousing time to take a vigorous and positive action like Dr. King did!
:^)

If our Constitutional rights are to survive the current era, it just might lie with each and every one of Us, and what we do right NOW.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 16, 2007 11:00 PM
Comment #236276

David:
“Adrienne- I find very interesting the fact that these folks on the Right, would have us believe,

only the bad guy is being listened to. Not so, these
taps come from in a form, of millions an not just

the bad guy.”

We are all of us the Bad Guy to the Big Brother Bushies. If we’re not with ‘em, we’re against ‘em.
I’m against ‘em.

“I will not disclose it’s location”

Just outside of the Heritage Foundation, I’m guessing?

“snags hundreds of pre-selected words.”

Hmm… I’d be willing to bet that “Democrat”, “Democratic”, and “Liberal” are among those pre-selecteds! ;^)

“These super Computers can pull

information from any an all devices capable of

sending or receiving voice or video communication.”

So, it’s safe to say they’re listening to us now. Yoo hoo, Big Brother! Up yours!

“A person or persons can be heard talking in a

boat, 10 or more miles out in a lake from shore”

Yeah, probably because “I think I’ll have another beer.. How about you?” and “Hey honey, I think I’ve got something…!” are now considered terrorist code words by our government.

“or

from your house from lines of sight, blocks away.”

Yes, “How was your day, Sweetheart?”, “What do you feel like for dinner?”, “Did you feed the dogs?”, and “Gimme a kiss, you handsome devil…” are also terrorist code these days.

“Best of all, if they can read a news paper from a

Satellite,”

Right. Which is exactly how we know that that Colin Powell was lying through his teeth for Bushco at the UN — because they wanted their optional war in Iraq.

“I think, for the right or left the fact

remains, If the Government an his Big Brother

want to watch you or listen in, they will, an have

for many years.”

And that is a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause.

“Just Smile, because one never

knows when they might be on candid camera.”

Indeed, but why should we smile when we can wave our middle fingers at Big Brother?

Posted by: Adrienne at October 16, 2007 11:46 PM
Comment #236277

Adrenne- I really believe you are a true Sentinel


over our Constitutional rights, this true patriotism

is greatly appreciated.

With Much Respect!
-DAVID-

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 16, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #236299

Again I will ask, is there anything that this administration has not touched that they have not screwed up? Being appointed to the White House by the Supreme Court must have been seen as an act of God. “Go forth and govern. You are above the law, you are above the Constitution and above all—-you are above all other branches and mainly go forth and lie-lie-lie. Remember my little Bushies, only you can govern and protect your country from Evil Doers.”

As a student of history,I believe this administration makes the Nixon White House look mentally balanced.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at October 17, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #236301

Thanks, DAVID.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 17, 2007 10:48 AM
Comment #236312

C’mon, Y’all! The WHOLE story rests on the word of one man who is trying to minimize the effect of having been convicted on federal charges. From that point on it is all innuendo and reaching on the part of the Post. You might also take note of the correction on page 2. Funny how the omission of a single word in a print edition can make things seem so much more damning!

But, hey, let’s make the assumption that this is all true and that the would-be program was illegal on the face of it. That would seem to me to be a good reason to avoid having a future administration led by someone with a history of abusing secret or confidentioal records, like say, the Clinton’s taking of FBI record on citizens, or the Democrat’s prior interception of private phone conversations and distribution of same to the media. Using private citizens with scanners and tape recorders to do their dirty work was, of course, a stroke of legalistic genius. We can all congratulate them when they are doing the same thing to us.

I guess the devil we have now is inevitably worse than the devil we WISH we had.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 17, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #236325

Lee Jamison- I find no one here making excuses for

the Democrats an your attempt at making light of

your friends on the right? With out Honesty, Character, an Self respect, Why would any

one Try Defending those with out these Prerequisites.

Posted by: -DAVID- at October 17, 2007 3:48 PM
Comment #236540

They are probably all jerks and in on gangstalking.

Posted by: Guess Who at October 21, 2007 12:37 AM
Post a comment