Thursday, May 11, 2006

This Shit Just Pisses Me Off

I won't even pretend I think it's funny. After all, I am a recovering lawyer who can still reliably be expected to take a special interest in the legalities of things.

Late yesterday, or early today, depending your coast, came news that the Justice Department--which, if it could formerly have been said to pursue something like justice, we should now be calling it, under the capable leadership of Alberto Gonzales, the "Injustice Department"--had given up its purported, as in mythical, effort to investigate some attorneys who worked on the secret NSA spying program--for what, ethics violations?

According to the New York Times , the Justice Department, pretending it can be trusted to pursue these matters, simply folded & gave up when it reached a brick wall--erected by whom? The article fails to mention. Itself?

The Justice Department had sought security clearances to be able to investigate the matter (in January), and four months later, was denied access. So the Justice Department just gives up, folds its tents, & goes home.

Yeah, right.

.."The head of the department's Office of Professional Responsibility, H. Marshall Jarrett, wrote in the letter to Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, Democrat of New York, that 'we have been unable to make meaningful progress in our investigation because O.P.R. has been denied security clearances for access to information about the N.S.A. program.'

"Mr. Jarrett said his office had requested clearances since January, when it began an investigation, and was told on Tuesday that they had been denied. 'Without these clearances, we cannot investigate this matter and therefore have closed our investigation,' the letter said.

"Mr. Hinchey said the denial of clearances was 'hard to believe' and compounded what he called a violation of the law by the program itself, which eavesdrops without court warrants on people in the United States suspected of ties to Al Qaeda.

Correction: we now know beyond a doubt that the program spies on anyone & everyone, whether or not they have scary "ties to Al-Qaeda" or just don't agree with the way the Administration is running the country.

"Brian Roehrkasse, a Justice Department spokesman, said that the N.S.A. program was 'highly classified and exceptionally sensitive' and that 'only those involved in national security with a specific need to know are provided details about this classified program.' He said the legality of the eavesdropping program had been reviewed by other Justice Department offices and by the N.S.A. inspector general."

Well, Brian, that's a huge relief. We'll sleep more restfully in our cozy beds at night knowing that. Not really.

You see, all terms we previously thought we knew have magically become perversions, just cynical oxymorons under the New World Order ordained by our self-appointed Righteous Imperial Christian Leader--a loutish idiot for whom I certainly didn't cast my vote, so I often have to wonder, who did place this idiot & his gang of evil-doers in office?

But that's apparently "oldthink" now. Everything we thought we knew about ourselves & the world has been rendered topsy-turvy, upside down. Good is bad. Sun is moon. And so forth.

When I first read this article, I thought to myself that, if anybody in this country still thinks for themselves, there's gonna be a backlash.

And later, it turns out that there is. According to the Associated Press, "Congressional Republicans and Democrats demanded answers from the Bush administration Thursday about a government spy agency secretly collecting records of ordinary Americans' phone calls to build a database of every call made within the country.

"Facing intense criticism from Congress, President Bush did not confirm the work of the National Security Agency but sought to assure Americans that their privacy is being 'fiercely protected.'"

I'll translate the Bush Orellian doublespeak for you. That really means, "I'm fiercely protecting my Imperial Self from you peasants who can't be trusted to think at all."


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