« And Now the Saudis | Main | Two More Details on the Rather Complaint »

September 20, 2007


There was a hearing this morning at HPSCI at which the same DoJ Assistant Atty for NatSec appeared; Reyes' remarks appear in El Paso news site, including mention of Wainstein there. During the 109th congress the nomination hearing for Wainstein to the newly created post transcript there.

"Oh, c'mon Charlie Brown! Forget about the past! I'm holding the football on the ground just like you like it..."

Thanks to JohnLopresti for this: Reyes' remarks appear in El Paso news site

"In late July, the Director of National Intelligence came to us and identified a specific gap – he described it publicly as a “backlog” – with respect to the FISA process that he claimed had placed the country in a heightened state of danger.

At first, he said he needed two things – (1) a way to conduct surveillance of foreign targets in a block, without individual determinations of probable cause; and (2) a way to compel communications carriers to cooperate. We gave him both."

(My Bold)

A couple things:

1. McConnell was not being truthful when he said the NSA wasn't doing "drift-netting" of communications as evidenced by his own request in 1 above. That is exactly what "drift-netting" is! For example, "Let's eavesdrop on all communications from Pakistan that run through our US switches. Even the stuff destined for US citizens."

2. Based on McConnell's request from 2 above, it seems evident that the telco lawyers probably got real nervous after the negative FISC rulings early this year. And the US Government was equally nervous that their amateurishly constructed house of legal sand had crumbled. For example, "Telcos, trust US. You don't need no FISA warrants to wiretap." It sure seems like the FISC came back and said "You folks are feckin' criminals!"

OT - but here's an interesting story from Reuters ---

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas (Reuters) - A Kansas military cemetery has run out of space after the burial of another casualty of the Iraq war, officials said on Thursday.

"We are full," said Alison Kohler, spokeswoman for the Fort Riley U.S. Army post, home of the 1st Infantry Division.

U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, both Kansas Republicans, on Thursday sent a letter to William Tuerk, the under secretary for memorial affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, urging for full funding for a new cemetery for Fort Riley.

"While a new cemetery would not be completed in time to alleviate this situation immediately, it is vitally important," Roberts and Brownback, a Republican presidential candidate, said in their letter.

"We truly owe our military members a debt of gratitude and the least we can do is provide them with an honorable burial ground," the senators wrote.


Yep - That's the least you can do -

"While a new cemetery would not be completed in time to alleviate this situation immediately"

Anyone notice that they clearly didn't even have a plan for "the least they can do."

I can't even look at my republican friends any more.

PS - my grandparents are buried in that cemetary.

They will lie through their teeth. Briefings have to be under sworn oath and transcribed or no deal.

And yet still, there is just no way anyone in OPR can get a security clearance to look into that little matter of Gonzales.

So, if the review says: our sources and methods are violating the Constitution and common sense, would that have to be redact to "protect" those sources and methods - from people saying bad things about them?

Thanks on the drift netting Mad Dogs. I remember Hayden also standing up (maybe in the same conf where he forgot that there's a warrant clause with a probably cause standard in the 4th Amendment, despite his self-certification of being really well trained in the 4th) and say bald faced that NSA was not doing massive intercepts/datamining.

From his testimony, under oath:

In certain cases, this process of obtaining a court order slowed, and in some cases may have prevented, the Government’s efforts to conduct surveillance of communications that were potentially vital to the national security.

Having to obtain a court order PREVENTED surveillance. Interesting that - oh - I guess he actually said it "may have" prevented surveillance - they don't know. But what we do KNOW is that, as a result of surveillance that may have been prevented (but we aren't sure was) we had a devastating incident, or heck, even a series of cascading incidents, of information VITAL to our national security not being picked up. Or, at least, if we don't know that we do know that in the universe of potentialities, where they intersect with the universe of may haves, then there might be a possibility of such a thing having an inchoate existence and ...

Maybe we should stick to the easy ones first: If angels were dancing on pinheads, how many would there be?

Mary - I left this on yesterday's thread, but kind of forgot about it. Seems applicable here too. Go to the TPM story, If true, puts a big dent McConnell's BS.

The former Senior DOJ attorney in charge of FISA application and dealing with the FISA Court, James Baker, has testified that there was no problem with the FISA process it was a good and useful tool, it was never a hindrance to foreign-foreign collection and there was never any time problems in obtaining the warrants the time was in doing the investigative job properly. Pretty much point blanetedly said Bush and McConnell are liars and that EW, cboldt and bmaz were right.


Here is another beut, jeebus, McConnell has a veracity problem!
"McConnell told the committee today that restrictions derived by the FISA Court this year on wiretapping foreign-to-foreign communications that pass through the U.S. prevented the NSA from surveilling Iraqi insurgents who had kidnapped U.S. soldiers for 12 hours. But the source, who is privvy to the timeline of the incident, says "internal bureaucratic wrangling," and not court-based restrictions, were responsible for the lag time. "To get an emergency warrant, you just have to believe the facts support the application that someone is an agent of a foreign power," the source says. "That takes approximately five seconds to establish if you're going after an Iraqi insurgent."
Why did so much time elapse before the surveillance? Top Justice Department officials needed to approve the emergency order. But according to the source, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was out of town; Deputy AG Paul McNulty had resigned already; Solicitor General Paul Clement "had left the building"; and the other responsible official, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein was not yet authorized to approve the emergency order. Wainstein testified today, but demurred from a..."


OT, but can you negotiate with Ideologues like Bush?

Ideology means grasping at, and dwelling on, a narrowly defined set of Objects in the Stream of Thoughts. The collection of the Objects, and 'the story' they tell, represent 'the meaning' of the World we live in, for those who subscribe to the Ideology.

It's the "Worldview" of the Ideology that represents 'right Thinking' to the Ideologue. It's not a question of rigorous logical derivation and evaluation, but rather almost without exception a question of Adoption. Adherents to an Ideology - True Believers - have very little need for facts, they just want to hear stories of their Ideology 'winning' so they can feel safe and blessed.

Ideologies are 'Us vs. Them' views of the World - they frequently incorporate Race, Religion and Class elements tied to a common 'history' that tells a tale of survival in the wicked World - aka: The Tried and True.

Ideologies are not flexible. The 'story' must always be 'the story' - changing the story breaks the Magic of the "We're the best and most blessed" of All. So, what Must Ideologies do to Keep the Magic Going?

Stay the Course, Stay the Course, Stay the Course...the old Tried and True.

Of Course, no fairytale can last forever, but History tells us that Ideologues continue to live in the Fantasy Bubble of Their Own Intensely Held Beliefs long after Reality on the Ground completely erodes and disspells the Magic for Everyone Else.

Bush has the Votes in DC to Drive the Bus off the Cliff, and, if he does, it will be jam-packed with True Believers.

For the rest of US, though, there's Snarking to be had, but little else. These folks are intensely committed to their "Worldview" being True - and it's looking more and more like a Crusade all the time.

bmaz - thank you. I had seen that TPM report on the Baker testimony. He's the only guy who isn't in the neo-circle cult with the loyal Bushie decoder ring that seems in the que. It surprised me, though, that the article said he isn't in his old slot anymore. Is he gone-gone or just different position gone, and who took his old slot. Because the fact that he's not the go-to guy anymore for dealing with the FISA court and FISA applications doesn't sound like a good thing to me.

Sure, you can negotiate with ideologues, but it usually takes guns, bullets and possibly explosives.

It's better to avoid them.

Why did the Republican party and the Rich inflict this on us? What should their punishment be?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad