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September 02, 2006


This article probably wedges open this crack in the Repub wall of discipline - or at least the perception of the solidity of this wall. And once the perception is out there, it can stick. We need to make this a "tough to put Humpty together again" moment. Democratic leaders should be out there with a talking point to the effect of, "their party is in disarray"; they're squabbling; they can't figure out what they believe in anymore, etc.

Rove may have less influence, but the only reason is the current state of election polling. The second his fearmongering, divisive tactics will work for Republicans, they'll be back in action. It's up to the American voting public to enforce civility through votes. No way do I think it'll happen with the slate of current authoritarian Republicans or the steno-pad-carrying traditional media.

See a tongue-in-cheek visual of Karl Rove singing his familiar songs with his usual ensemble...here:


This is a significant shift.

Note how Rove expected to continue setting the conditions under which the press would operate. Note that the NYT finally (finally!!!) said, "Bullshit. We're no longer playing by your rules, Rover."

One small step for the NYT; one giant step for Accountability.
Kudos to the NYT.


[I tried emailing this, but the link to the right no longer works.]

You are a lawyer, IIRC, and a few other legal minds frequent this site. Decades ago, when I was in law school, I learned something about being "on point"... seeing to the heart of a problem. I was startled at something in the NYT article on Rove, yet nobody else seems to have caught the ramifications. Either I'm in Wayne Madsen territory, or something seriously wrong is being glossed over (or both).

Given that Rove has publicly acknowledged betraying the identity of a CIA agent, among other misuses of classified information, why does he still have his security clearance?

1) The government has long been collecting information on its citizens. No matter what name (TIA, Carnivore, etc.) or what departments the information retrieving, gathering, analyzing fall under, it is obvious even from the outside that massive amounts of information are being data-mined. Why else would the NSA require the electricity to power a small city, and have it not be enough?

2) Every bit of computerized data from both public and private records can be vacuumed up: medical records, SSNs, voting, driving, financial, educational, Census, police, immigration, emails and search terms. Slurp!

3)Whether deliberate or not, too many laptops full of critical information has been compromised, and not by bored 12-year-olds in Warezvania. However, even without hacking or stealing, nothing computerized is safe.

OK, most people think they have nothing to hide, so why worry if the government knows they smoke and shop at Wal-Mart, or they are buying baby stuff, or their cat eats better than they do? Why worry if the government knows who you voted for or what prescriptions you refilled (electronic scanners and barcodes)? Why worry if the government knows how long you worked at your last job and how many bathrooms are in your house (Census). If the information is aggregated, we are still safe, right? Anonymous little compound numbers... part of a greater whole, like single knots in a tapestry.

But what if it isn't?

From the NYT:


"The Republican National Committee expects to spend over $60 million, which would be a record, for the midterm elections. Officials say half of that would pay for get-out-the-vote operations in the targeted states.

In states where Mr. Bush’s presence could be problematic, like Pennsylvania and Connecticut, the turnout operations give Mr. Rove a way to provide below-the-radar help.

Mr. Mehlman, whom Mr. Rove assigned to master get-out-the-vote techniques years ago, has handed custom compact discs with lists of voters, along with information on their voting and consumer habits, to every state Republican chairman." [my emphasis]

If I'm reading this correctly, my state's Republican chairman got CDs matching voting lists (names and addresses and registration history) with consumer data (how much debt, how much insurance, type of car, degree field, name of dog, preferred stores and dress sizes). To be useful, those CDs will get duplicated and passed out to the county chairs, and duplicated again and divided up by precincts. So some total stranger walking up the street with a clipboard could stop in front of one house and note ('voted for McGovern and reads too many books, skip this one'), a couple houses down ('father in nursing home, try the prescription gambit'), the other side (minister's widow, push the religion button and pray together'), or a corner (young couple-first house-never voted, try social security privitization and long term fears').

Rove with his security clearance would have the latest and best collection of data from the government's secret files. Instead of sharing that data with those who have the "need to know" (such as a doctor accessing a hospital file), he is filtering it to those who will use it to further his political agenda. And it will fall into the hands of many, many total strangers, some of whom will sell it or misuse it.

So, why does Rove still have this sort of access?

And why hasn't any reporter questioned the merging of voter files with consumer data and government records? Or at least checked the dispersal arrangements? Are the CDs encrypted? With all of the flurry about internal spying, as well as the stories about the release of information, why no questions about how the government really uses personal information???



you recall incorrectly

ew is not a lawyer

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