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July 14, 2007


If my understanding of the purview of the IOB, and the nature of these "violations" is correct, scienter (specific intent) is not a prerequisite element and Gonzales' duplicitous little explanatory letter to Spectre is complete bullshit.

... did not consider the conduct in those reports to be abuses because the violations involved mistakes ...

Let's see... If I go through a stop sign because I didn't see it, and get caught, it's okay and I don't get a ticket, but if I go through a stop sign because I don't feel like stopping, and get caught, then I'm nailed. That sounds like what Gonzo is arguing here, yes?

I think they need to call bullshit here, very very loudly, and send out the Sergeant at Arms to bust people.

What I've learned so far in July:

1) The executive branch is not a part of the executive branch.
2) Many questions will be asked. Many, many questions.
3) Many, many letters will be sent.
4) The White House pissed on the memory of Pat Tillman.
5) Nothing will be done.

Ah, mistakes, not violations.

Crossed the line, but didn't mean to.

Or at least, I don't recall meaning to.

send out the Sergeant at Arms to bust people.<, there isn't one to do that, as witnessed by the present democratic leadership.

I can't say I follow your usually impecable logic. I guess you are saying if the IOB had been doing its job they would not have considered these violations as accidents?

From what I read they were accidents (as far as we know) and while violations of civil liberties, the Patriot Act was not involved? They were reported as accidental violations? So perhaps Gonzales should have reported these as accidental violations, but seems to be somewhat overblown?

More troubling is the oversight board perhaps should have been reporting other violations? That Gonzales said there were no violations if he knew the board was fudging the books or not reporting at all, I can see that as a separate argument , but I am not sure what it has to do with him knowing of FBI reports of accidental violations.

Gonzales didn't say there were no civil liberties abuses, he said "there were no verified civil...".
One wonders if it is the task of the Oversight Board is to do the verifying.

Larry - I would sure like to see any evidence you have, other than the disingenuous word of the agents committing the infractions or the Administration apologists, that these are all "accidental". There is about zero chance that is really true. FBI Director Mueller himself has admitted there was systematic abuse of national security letters and exigent circumstance letters. If I recall correctly, there may be as many as 10,000 such instances. I guarantee you that this is not unintentional or accidental. They did it because they could, and no one would stop them. Accepting their disingenuous bleating that there was no bad faith is insane.

I see my comment was posted at oo.o8. Does this mean that it's midnight where you are and 9pm here?

Well, it's HIS board right? The President's Intelligence Oversight Board?
So a two-year holiday is kinda' nice, if you can get it.
And when silly ideas like integrity are in the way of the True Path of Republican Power Righteousness,

It's my Board, and I'll lie if I want to
Lie if I want to, lie if I want to
You would lie too if it happened to you.

(Sorry I can't help it, I think in songs...)
(With apologies to Lesley Gore, Wally Gold, John Gluck, and Herb Weiner)

And let me guess, when the Senate asks to see the actual reports that were provided to Gonzo, they will be covered under executive priviledge.

These fucking criminals, enough is enough. They keep sticking their tongues out chanting "you can't make me" and no one does.

Who knew our sysem of checks had such huge holes in it, and the repulicans in congress are still enabling this shit, every damn one of them should be impeached by their state. A state can impeach its reps, can't it. How can immediate pressure be applied to the republican senators other than the threat of fallout in '08. Can states recal reps?

Oversight? Yeah right. Federal Oversight authorities have been emasculated by corrupt managers and executive branch and their appointed minions' interference. It is hard to really have oversight when the Justice Department is so screwed up that no prosecutions can go forward, and in fact, no one dares to try to take them forward due to the harassment and retribution they will face.

Please visit http://whistleblowersupporter.typepad.com to see more stories and information about what I am talking about!

Dismayed - I think the system of checks and balances is, considering everything that must be covered, shockingly intelligent and complete; the problem is that the checks and balances demand that people actually have the gumption to exercise and enforce them. We could place all of this in a completely different posture overnight if the Democratic congresscritters could simply find it in themselves to do their elected duty. Under the circumstances that currently exist it is their fucking DUTY to initiate and impeachment investigation against the Administration; irrespective of whether they are sure they already have in hand enough votes to convict in the Senate. They took an oath to defend the Constitution; and they are derelict every day they refuse to do so. It doesn't matter if the impeachment process is difficult, or that it may be portrayed in a negative light by those at who it seeks to correct, or that it may be used against you in the next election, IT IS THEIR FUCKING DUTY! It is really that simple.

Seems like I remember that everyone was so happy that Democratic Oversight was coming in 2007.

Did it not come?

Well Jodi, they have been a little slow and feeble on the uptake haven't they? Being the high minded intellectual do-gooders is a fine concept if you are not getting the crap kicked out of you by a bunch of thug criminals. You can't be an enforcer if you don't whack someone every now and then; the Democrats used to understand this concept, but are clearly unfamiliar with it in their current iteration.

EW: since the article makes clear (as I suggested) that Bush's IOB a part of his PFIAB

That was true before Bush -- in 1997 the Intelligence Oversight Board was made part (a standing committee of) the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

As I suggested in comments to a previous post, the acronym soup and lack of links to background information doesn't encourage commenters to follow the argument made in the post.

R.H. Green

I assume a certain amount of accidents occur, and the WaPost did nothing to show this was not the case. For instance if a wrong number was purposely monitored, one could probably find a motive for that (political opponent etc). I think there was a point in watergate where they got the story wrong and deep throat said you don’t know how much damage you have done? Even though I don’t trust Gonzales, since the report of the violations seems to call them accidents, it seems up to someone to prove they were not and that Gonzales knew that, not that I am insane enough to take his word for it.


How exactly do you propose anybody to prove a negative? Where I come from, you prove what something is not by explaining what it is, which is not possible if the investigations are not being reported as required by Reagan's Executive Order.

So, making any sort of mistake in any part of the proceedings is enough for Gonzales to accept that there was no violation?

If a team robs the wrong bank and gets caught can they say they didn't intend to rob the BoA, and that is why their getaway driver was over at WaMu... and so they did nothing worth getting all excited over? How is this different from waving an NSA letter for the wrong person and trampling through their office, computer, addressbook and reputation? If a criminal gets caught, we can be certain there was at least one mistake made somewhere! Ask a victim of identity theft what their "persona" is worth to retrieve and repair.

Privacy, integrity, reputation may be intangibles, but that does not mean that they are without value. Courts and Congress have long recognized that "good will" and "trade secrets" can be destroyed, stolen, damaged and there must be recompense.

So what happens when our privacy is violated?

By the very government entrusted to protect and secure our rights as citizens?

Are we all Pat Tillman, where the frontline is our backside, and the attempted cover-up continues long after exposure?

hauksdottir - In answer to your last question, yes. Pat was much more valuable to the Bushies than you and I will ever be, and for a number of different reasons on a number of different levels. Yet look at how remarkably little value they placed on his life, honor, sanctity of his still warm lifeless body and grieving family. The pitiful little excuses for men that lead our country have little, if any at all, redeeming moral value.

Seems like I remember that everyone was so happy that Democratic Oversight was coming in 2007. Did it not come?
Posted by: Jodi | July 15, 2007 at 01:02

Seems like it? but you're not sure. You must have the same condition as so many of the bush officials being called to account before Congress. They're not too confident in their limited recollections either.

How is it nobody knows who was involved in the decision to fire US Attorney's? It's a sad day in America when the rationale for a government decision like this one is so embarrassing (or perhaps criminal) that it cannot be spoken aloud.

Citizens who take pleasure in their stonewalling and obstruction enable it. Whether our government survives the assault by bush and his enablers, I'm confident it's legacy will be a dark one in the pages of history.

Jodi, you're a fucking retard.

In other news, I said more than a year ago Bush would permit no oversight. And did it not come true?

Only a dipshit as thick as you could point to the Bush "administration's" dismantling of the Constitution and conclude it's the Democrats' fault. Can't you work Clinton in there, too?

It pains me that you might be consuming oxygen or foodstuffs that could be fed to others, or possibly livestock. Please stop talking now.

Karo X,

do you know how I knew I done well after a BB game. It wasn't the Box Score or even the other teams players. The players actually were usually good sportspeople.
It was the look of pain, dismay and sometimes real hatred on the faces of the fans of the other team.

Thanks for the feedback.

: )

Little secret, Jodi: Know how I know I did well? When the other team comes back with self-help bullshit.

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