Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bush to America: "Our Little Secret"

More than any past president, Bush has been overusing a little-known executive power known as state-secrets privilege. This privilege is being used to squash court challenges to some of the government’s anti-terror tactics, and this same privilege might defeat a lawsuit by a former FBI employee who claims that botched translations of intelligence data contributed to the 9/11 attacks.

In the best known case, Bush is trying to invoke state-secrets privilege against a lawsuit to uncover information about rendition — the CIA’s practice of sending terror suspects to foreign countries to be tortured.

If you’re concerned about civil liberties and open government, Bush’s overuse of state-secrets privilege is a terrible trend. We’re going the wrong way. This is setting a precedent for more and more government secrecy in general. It’s become much more difficult to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act, and to get information about individuals who’ve been rounded up in the war on terror.

As with all presidents, there’s the nagging question of whether certain information is being guarded for national security reasons, or because releasing the information would reveal corruption or negligence. Declassified documents have revealed many cases where the state-secrets privilege was invoked by past presidents just to avoid embarrassment, and not to protect national security.

Openness in government, and an alert watchful press — unlike the corporate lapdog that passes for “media” today — are essential to a thriving democracy.


Blogger Chad said...

This administration's amazing amount of secrecy and dishonesty should really bother the average American...yet no one seems to notice.

March 7, 2005 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

I notice the growing evil in the administration my friends. The reason Americans can't recognize authoritarian government is because most of us haven't live through it.. until now. It's getting worse and the GOP are trying to make it even more so every chance they get. But don't give in or give up because if you don't have your principles you don't have anything. Good times will return if we stand up for them.

March 7, 2005 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

LOL bushblogger... Maybe you forgot that 51% of Americans VOTED FOR BUSH. That last time I checked, that makes us a democracy. YOU may not like Bush, but me and whole hell of alot of people do. You liberals have to realize, just because your candidate didn't win, doesn't mean that the government is suddenly no longer a democracy.

March 7, 2005 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Jet said...

The media is willing to trade access for truth. That leaves the internet and the bloggers. We are many little voices that won't shut up. Watch carefully, when it gets too hot, they'll begin to try to clamp down on the internet. That's when the real death throes of democracy begin.

March 7, 2005 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

Gee, your so right, I think we would be live in a much better country is the Bush administration exposed the names of it's foriegn agents so terrorists can execute them. We also need to tell potential terrorist suspects that they are being watched so they can evade police. And most importantly, Bush needs to tell the media about upcomming special forces operations, so the Iraqi and Al-Qaeda insurgants can watch CNN to find out where the next American strike will take place. Yea, I mean what's with all the damn secrecy around here anyways, it's not like were in the middle of a war with terrorists or anything.

Wow, jet, the "death throes of democracy"... HAHHAHAHHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAA... what fantasy land are you living in?

March 7, 2005 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

I just posted an essay regarding "intelligence" that makes the practices of this administration look like a schoolyard game between children. The less the public knows, the more likely they are to just go along. True freedom and democracy depend upon a reciprocal trust between government and the governed. Too bad both sides of that equation can't seem to grasp this concept.
nice post though.

March 7, 2005 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Thanks for the comments.

Yes, Chad, it really is scary that the average citizen isn't bothered by this.

Bushblogger, we'll stand up to the neocons and bring back better times.

Jet, there's already a move by the Federal Election Commission to start cracking down on political blogs. But I wouldn't worry; there're too many millions of us. What are they gonna do?

Ken, I haven't read your post yet, but I'll check it out. It's too bad there isn't more trust between the citizens and our government, but this administration somehow doesn't bring forth a feeling of trust.

fm_illuminatus, obviously nobody wants to release information that would jeopardize CIA operations. My post was referring to people who have been captured in the war on terror, and the government won't even release their names or whereabouts. These people might have families that want to know where they are or even if they're still alive. In other cases (like I mentioned in the post), all Bush wants to do is cover up government negligence, like the botched FBI translations. Maybe these intelligence messages were warnings that would've helped us prevent the 9/11 attacks. We'll never know now.

March 7, 2005 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger fm_illuminatus said...

Generally, thhofpa22, the people captured in the war on terror are captured with a gun in hand, in the act of, or previously seen, shooting or planning other harm to American soldiers. Now, I couldn't care less if the families of scum like that ever heard from them again.

I realize also that there have been several incidents domestically where completely innocent people have been detained, but eventually were released. I feel bad for those people, but the way things are today, if you look arabic or are muslim, you have to be wearing a sign that says I'M AN EVIL TERRORIST THAT WANTS TO KILL AMERICANS before the FBI will get over their fear of "racial profiling" and even lift a finger to watch, never mind arrest you. (Of course if you are a little 84 year old non-arabic grandma with a can of cookies, they will strip search you and call in the bomb squad on your cookies.) Those people must have been pretty suspicious to get arrested (although it still may have been no fault of their own). Still, if this administration has domestic terrorist suspects arrested, it's better to keep quiet about it, so to keep from possibly tipping off other people working with the suspected terrorist. It's just like with any other crime, you don't arrest someone for drug possession, then go on the evening news and say "we just arrested joe bloe for drug possesion and we suspect his neighbor jim was working with him. We will probably go and arrest him in oh, 7 days or so, if he doesn't hide his drugs from our secret cameras, which we put in the top corner of his living room and in the clock in his kitchen.

And lastly, the 9/11 situation was throughly investigated by the 9/11 commission, and Bush (your evil villain) even recommended that people READ THE REPORT. I'm sorry, but anyone that still thinks (or frankly, ever thought) that Bush has/had something to do with 9/11 is living in conspiracyland, along with those tinfoil hat wearing people who think the govenment is reading their brainwaves.

March 8, 2005 at 10:29 PM  

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