Monday, March 05, 2007

Just wow...

Check out these accusations being leveled by whistle blowers from the FBI.
“It is the complainant’s reasonable belief that the request for ELSUR [electronic surveillance] coverage was a subterfuge to collect evidentiary information concerning public corruption matters.”
The complaint reports the repeated violation of the FISA laws in order to survey high profile U.S. political figures. The administration has repeatedly termed the program to monitor calls beyond the FISA statutes as the "terrorist surveillance program". Are they calling high level politicians terrorists? Before you answer that remember we are supposed to be conducting dialogue on a more dignified level after the blowup at the conservative confab...

Breaking the FISA law to monitor politicians is pretty bad, but from my perspective it gets even worse:
In its September 2005 issue, Vanity Fair ran a comprehensive piece on Edmonds’ case by reporter David Rose, in which several former and current congressional and Justice Department officials identified former House Speaker Dennis Hastert as being involved in illegal activities with the Turkish organizations and personnel targeted in FBI investigations. In addition, Rose reported: “…much of what Edmonds reportedly heard seemed to concern not state espionage but criminal activity. There was talk, she told investigators, of laundering the profits of large-scale drug deals and of selling classified military technologies to the highest bidder.” In January 2005, DOJ-OIG released an unclassified summary of its investigation into Edmonds' termination. The report concluded that Edmonds was fired for reporting serious security breaches and misconduct in the agency's translation program, and that many of her allegations were supported by convincing evidence.
Do you remember seeing this in the news in September 2005? I like to think I follow the news more than most, and I have heard brief mentions here and there of the FBI translator whistle blower. But this is the first time I've read that Vanity Fair article. It is a great read, exhaustively detailed and very informative on the entire matter. Maybe I'm proving myself to be a dunce when it comes to staying on top of the important stuff. But at least I'm noticing now... right? I'm just being honest here... I certainly never intend to convey an impression that I am enthralled with my own political infallibility, and the way this came across to me really reinforced that.

The Speaker of the House benefiting from laundered drug money? Having found out that the Speaker was taking drug money for political favors the Department of Justice sat on the scandal. The whistle blower being fired and shut up by the invocation of the state secrets doctrine. This story really gets to the crux of so many issues that need addressed due to the willful lawlessness of the current administration.

How this doesn't explode into Congressional hearings and round the clock shark feeding news coverage is beyond me. BUT... it probably won't.

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