Bush defends spying on Americans; Impeachment in the winds


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this interview from Democracy Now (thanks Marisacat!):

MARTIN GARBUS: The Pentagon Papers were documents that ultimately Daniel Ellsberg released. They were secret documents which indicated and gave information about our involvement in Korea and North Vietnam, in both those wars. And those documents released, the government then tried to stop the publication of those papers. The New York Times and the Washington Post both went ahead and published those stories. The government, at that time, made the claim that our foreign policy would be affected, and that particular individuals or many individuals would be killed because of the release of secret information. And the Times and the Washington Post ignored that.

What we’ve recently seen is both the New York Times and the Washington Post have taken a totally different tack. The Washington Post, when it wrote about the secret prisons, was asked by the government not to give the locations of those secret prisons, and the Washington Post acceded to that. The New York Times, for one -- at least one year, held up the publication of this story, and had this story come out in 2002, 2003, 2004, probably the politics in the country would be very, very different. And the New York Times had meetings with the government, and according to the New York Times, they made an investigation, and they concluded what there were legal safeguards in effect that permitted the government's policy.

Now, the New York Times has a lot of very sophisticated lawyers, and those lawyers know better than that. There is a case, and I'd like to refer to something James Bamford said, with respect to how long this has gone on before. There had been a case in 1972, when Nixon tried to do the same thing. Lenny Wineglass, a very fine lawyer, argued the case in District Court. Nixon claimed that you could, for domestic surveillance, that you had a right to use executive warrants, as he claimed, the permission of the President and the Attorney General. And he said that that was sufficient. This was at a time of civil unrest, according to him, 1971, 1972. There were some bombings within the United States. And he went out, and he tried to survey, surveillance people, eavesdropping, wiretapping without judicial warrants, without probable cause.

And the United States Supreme Court said no. The United States Supreme Court said you can’t do this. The United States Supreme Court said that the President does not have that kind of power within the Constitution. He has the power to protect the nation, but this goes beyond that. He can’t violate the Constitution. That's exactly what's happening now. And what’s going to happen is: You now have a different Supreme Court. You’re going to have Roberts, probably Alito, and my judgment is they're going to uphold what Bush is doing, and in effect, they're going to reverse, though not directly, the Nixon case. It's a strategy to get past that Nixon case and to give the President the broadest powers that any President has ever had.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 20 December 2005 - 1:28pm
Remember when...

Has everyone forgotten that these are the same people who use fighter planes to "wrestle up" missing elected officials from Texas to have a quorum for the redistricting vote.(Billed to Homeland Security of course)

Just saying the GOP has done "surprisingly" well in recent elections... .. and just what is so important that it could not go through channels made specifically for this purpose...??? It is simple... this spying had nothing at all to do with the "WOT"... period... I doubt it ever even directed at Peace activists (a bit to quick with this info to distract attention)...

Parker's picture
Posted by Parker (not verified) on 20 December 2005 - 3:47pm