Friday, December 16, 2005

NYT: "Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say" (James Risen & Eric Lichtblau)

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.
"This is really a sea change," said a former senior official who specializes in national security law. "It's almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches."

That's the spotlight story. James Risen and Eric Lichtblau's "Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say" in this morning's New York Times. And let's put that with what's waiting in the Senate, and could come up for a vote, the renewal of the Patriot Act.

Does Hatch-et face want to cop to knowing about the above? What about John Corny? I know members in his state aren't pleased with this. They're wondering where Corny was on this?

So maybe the things is Hatch-et and his other boy toys who echo every word and dance everytime he pulls the string didn't actually know about it?

So that might indicate that *they need to pause* before they attempt to force through a vote in the Senate to reauthorize an act that they have been woefully negligent in providing oversight on, an act whose impact they've been happy to take the White House's word on.

Hear's another thought, how many more "misdeeds" (that's being charitable) is Bully Boy going to be caught committing before Congress gets serious about their duties?

Moving from the destructive gang in the White House to the myth of Rebuild LA, Oscar e-mails to note Tom Hayden's "The Myth of the Super-Predator" (Common Dreams):

But there was no peace dividend, and the truce eventually dwindled, though it never completely died. The plan to privatize urban reconstruction after the 1992 riots -- the Rebuild LA initiative that promised $6 billion in private investment to create 74,000 new jobs in five years in the riot zone -- was a sham that closed down a few years later. The riot zone lost 50,000 jobs in that decade. In the vacuum, youthful rage exploded again in gang warfare.
Around that time, conservatives such as William Bennett and James Q. Wilson began attaching the label of "super-predator" to all the Tookie wannabes. Their notion seemed to be that a fixed percentage of kids were natural-born killers who just couldn't be helped by better schools or jobs -- a neo-Darwinian philosophy that fit neatly with the de-industrialization and budget cuts that swept across inner cities like chain saws through old-growth forests.
The super-predator thesis justified the most massive prison expansion in American history, with its epicenter in California, where there were about 150,000 inmates in any given year, two-thirds of them reputed gang members. Prosecutors and politicians pursued the vertical model of the 1920s, going after the alleged godfathers, but in fact the new gangs were replenishing themselves from the outcast underclass. Last year in Los Angeles, there were 93,000 youths between 18 and 24 who were out of school and out of work. Statewide, the number was 638,000.
How is the city of L.A. addressing the gang problem? The city budget reveals that the priority is to suppress and incarcerate, not to turn troubled lives around. Fifty-five million dollars go to LAPD gang suppression efforts, a token $12 million to prevention programs for little kids, and a bare $2 million for intervention programs meant to channel teenagers away from violent paths.

Billie recommends everyone check out NARAL's "Waiter, There's a Moderate In My Soup."

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[Note from Shirley: "*they need to pause*" added per C.I.]