Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In

Granted, that's the "duhh" headline of the week...because if there's any one thing we can count on is that yes, the Bush Administration's "spying on Americans program" is far more comprehensive and lawless than anything we could have imagined.

But don't take my word for it. Instead, just look what pioneering investigative reporters like Sy Hersch and James Bamford are saying. In fact, BOTH have recently disclosed that a whole slew of intelligence personnel have been telling them something like this: "Just wait until January 20th to call me!! You won't believe what's really been going on!"

Before I get to this weeks article in Wired Magazine that details the anticipated tidal wave of unconstitutional revelations that will come with a new administration, watch Keith Olbermann detail his own take on this matter in this clip of one of his re-occurring "Bushed" segments.

Now to Wired Magazine's report by Ryan Singel:

Now privacy advocates are hopeful that President Obama will be more forthcoming with information. But for the quickest and most honest account of Bush's illegal policies, they say don't look to the incoming president. Watch instead for the hidden army of would-be whistle-blowers who've been waiting for Inauguration Day to open the spigot on the truth.

"I'd bet there are a lot of career employees in the intelligence agencies who'll be glad to see Obama take the oath so they can finally speak out against all this illegal spying and get back to their real mission," says Caroline Fredrickson, the ACLU's Washington D.C. legislative director.


So far, virtually everything we know about the NSA's warrantless surveillance has come from whistle-blowers. Telecom executives told USA Today that they had turned over billions of phone records to the government. Former AT&T employee Mark Klein provided wiring diagrams detailing an internet-spying room in a San Francisco switching facility. And one Justice Department attorney had his house raided and his children's computers seized as part of the FBI's probe into who leaked the warrantless spying to The New York Times. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales even suggested the reporters could be prosecuted under antiquated treason statutes.

If new whistle-blowers do emerge, Fredrickson hopes the additional information will spur Congress to form a new Church Committee -- the 1970s bipartisan committee that investigated and condemned the government's secret spying on peace activists, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other political figures.

The bottom line of course is that whether this "whistle blower army" materializes or not, it will be beholden on privacy protection and civil liberties groups (and the public) to hold both the Obama Administration and the new Congress's feet to the first on this issue. The skeletons of this administration's closet must be evacuated, and the constitutional rights of our people restored.

While Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff does not instill any confidence in me personally such actions will be taken, the appointment of John Podesta as transition team leader does. As always, the key ingredient to action on the issue of privacy will be the people themselves and all those organizations that remain committed to the cause.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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