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NSA Had Domestic Call Monitoring Before 9/11? 479

Posted by Zonk
from the they-have-the-high-end-magic-eight-ball dept.
MarkusQ writes "Bloomberg is reporting that, according to documents filed in the breach of privacy suit on behalf of Verizon and BellSouth, the NSA asked AT&T to set up its domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Could it be that they were intending to monitor domestic calls (and internet traffic) all along, and the 'Global War on Terror' was just a convenient excuse when they got caught?" From the article: "...an unnamed former employee of the AT&T unit provided them with evidence that the NSA approached the carrier with the proposed plan. Afran said he has seen the worker's log book and independently confirmed the source's participation in the project. He declined to identify the employee."
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NSA Had Domestic Call Monitoring Before 9/11?

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  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:06AM (#15645285) Homepage

    James Bamford in his book Body of Secrets [amazon.com] and in his numerous interviews with the press defended the NSA and said they really did change their ways after the scandals of the 1970s (telegram interception). Could it be that there never was a period of "gentlemanly spying" between then and September 11?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:06AM (#15645286)
    So you tell me that it wasn't about the terrorists? I can't believe it.
    • by nwbvt (768631) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:56AM (#15645463)
      Yeah, because before 9-11, terrorism was completely unknown in the United States. Its not like anyone had ever tried to detonate a bomb in the parking garage of the world trade center, or someone had tried to blow up the Federal Builing in Oklahoma City (ok, so since that was entirely domestic this program wouldn't have helped there, but you get the point).
      • uh, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @09:45AM (#15645564) Journal
        ok, so since that was entirely domestic this program wouldn't have helped there, but you get the point).

        Well, since this is /. I'm too lazy to RTFA, but the headline says "domestic call monitoring". Why would you then conclude that it would be ineffective against domestic terrorism but effective against international terrorism?

        Anyway, 'terrorism' (both domestic and Islamic) weren't a significant problem before 9-11 and they aren't a significant problem today, despite what the 6 o'clock news wants you to believe. Murder takes the lives of many more people (as in several orders of magnitude) per year. Suicide takes 4x more than murder, and car accidents take over 5x more. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and smoking-related respitory diseases together claim over 200x the lives that murder claims (which is itself claims several orders of magnitude more lives than terrorism.)

        In terms of human lives, terrorism in America isn't even a blip on the radar. It certainly doesn't justify the expenditure of trillions of dollars on wars and "Homeland Security", nor does it justify the wholesale slaughter of our freedoms and even if it did a domestic call tracking program would do jack shit. Despite what the pundits want you to believe, there is no vast centralized network of terrorists. They have no need to keep in constant contact with each other over long distances, and ruthlessly and indiscriminately monitoring law-abiding American citizens (incidentally, none of the 9-11 terrorists were American citizens) will give us nothing but another step towards a police state.
        • Re:uh, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mpe (36238) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @09:56AM (#15645587)
          In terms of human lives, terrorism in America isn't even a blip on the radar. It certainly doesn't justify the expenditure of trillions of dollars on wars and "Homeland Security", nor does it justify the wholesale slaughter of our freedoms and even if it did a domestic call tracking program would do jack shit. Despite what the pundits want you to believe, there is no vast centralized network of terrorists. They have no need to keep in constant contact with each other over long distances,

          Even if there was some vast terrorist conspiracy random spying wouldn't be much use anyway. Indeed it might even be counter productive, were such an entity to exist they could create floods of bogus communications.
          • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @10:55AM (#15645760)
            Even if there was some vast terrorist conspiracy random spying wouldn't be much use anyway. Indeed it might even be counter productive, were such an entity to exist they could create floods of bogus communications.

            The naturally occuring "false positives" would eat up the budget for the program (under any sane spending plan).

            With almost 300 million people ...
            1% false positives mean 3 million people investigated (and the people they know)
            0.1% means 300,000 people investigated (and the people they know).
            0.01% means 30,000 people investigated (and the people they know).

            Now, even if you limit each investigation to just that person and the 5 closest people to him/her ... at the best you're talking about 150,000 investigations per inclusive period. If everyone in the US makes 1 call a month, that's 150,000 investigations a month. If it takes 3 months for them to make a call, that's 150,000 investigations a quarter (plus the percentage of people who make calls every month).

            Spying does not work randomly.
        • Re:uh, what? (Score:3, Informative)

          by nwbvt (768631)
          "Well, since this is /. I'm too lazy to RTFA, but the headline says "domestic call monitoring". Why would you then conclude that it would be ineffective against domestic terrorism but effective against international terrorism? "

          Because its not really 'domestic' spying, in the form of listening to conversations between two people in the United States. It is monitoring the phone conversations in which one person is in the US and other out. As such, a domestic terrorist attack (in which both parties are in

        • Re:uh, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

          "In terms of human lives, terrorism in America isn't even a blip on the radar."

          Small nitpick: 9/11 severely messed up the economy for a while, at least a lot more than murders and suicides. Whether that realistically justifies the money poured into Homeland Security is up for somebody else to debate, I'm not defending it. I'm just pointing out that terrorism has more consequences than just killing people. That's why the term terrorism is used in place of mass-murder.
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @10:45AM (#15645722)
        Yeah, because before 9-11, terrorism was completely unknown in the United States.
        Whether it was known or not is irrelevent. The question is: Will random spying prevent future attacks?

        And the answer is "no". Any system will have "false positives", "false negatives", "true positives" and "true negatives".

        The "false negatives" mean you miss a plot. As long as the false negative rate is above a certain percentage of the actual plots, it will work.

        More problematic is the "false positive" rate. This is when a non-plot is identified as a plot. Innocent people are investigated. This takes time / money / effort.

        Given that there is an upper limit on the time / money / effort available, the government will waste resources chasing false leads.

        People who do not understand that will look at the extreme rarity of "terrorist attacks" in the US (try to name 5 attacks in the US in the last 100 years without using Google) and conclude that the time / money / effort spent was successful.

        However, looking at the budget, you will see that our government is BORROWING the money.

        We are going bankrupt in an attempt to chase down a threat that kills fewer people every year than car accidents.

        And we are surrending the Rights that our forefathers were willing to give THEIR lives for.
  • Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Homology (639438) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:09AM (#15645290)
    "Could it be that they were intending to monitor domestic calls (and internet traffic) all along, and the 'Global War on Terror' was just a convenient excuse when they got caught?"

    Of course the so-called "War on Terror" is just an excuse! Before the illegal
    invasion of Iraq, no terrorist groups were based there, but look now! This
    was widely expected to happen. So the current Administration has increased, not
    reduced, the risk of Americans to be victims of terrorists.
    • Re:Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:25AM (#15645308)
      Much as it is tempting to espouse wild conspiracy theories, the fact of the matter is governments will always seek as much power as possible, and rarely cede it once gained. However innocent and well-intentioned these moves are, there is always the danger that future governments will abuse them to set up some kind of tyranny. It's not surprising the administration was seeking to do this before September 11th occurred - it's just another way to gain control over people's lives. And you are right, immediately after the twin towers were destroyed, I remember people in power stressing this had nothing to do with Saddam Hussein. Funny how that story changed over time.
      • there is always the danger that future governments will abuse them to set up some kind of tyranny

        future govenrments ?

      • Re:Of course! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hackstraw (262471) * on Sunday July 02, 2006 @03:03PM (#15646608)
        Much as it is tempting to espouse wild conspiracy theories, the fact of the matter is governments will always seek as much power as possible, and rarely cede it once gained.

        The thing that is nuts, is that I want a revolution in this country, but just to put back the original constitution and the ways that this country was originally set up. It kills me that the people that set up our government 200+ years ago did it mostly right, but since WWII the federal government here has gotten completely (and unconstitutionally) out of hand.

        Has there ever been a revolution that just reinstated what was already there? Or does it always start with a clean slate?

    • Re:Of course! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Millenniumman (924859)
      There were terrorists in Iraq before the War on Terror. There was also a vicious dictator who murdered many people and was in no way a stable leader. Was that the most likely source of an attack? Probably not. Is it the USA's duty to free those people? Probably not. Then again, there are terrorists and violent leaders in most countries there, and in many they are allowed to operate. Yes, the American liberation of Iraq may have given terrorist leaders a new recruiting speech, but it did not create terrori
      • Re:Of course! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DrSkwid (118965) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @09:24AM (#15645533) Homepage Journal
        Saddam put in power aided by the US and allies to fight a proxy war.
        The Taliban and Bin Laden aided into power by the US and allies to fight a proxy war.

        When someone considered a bad guy cops it, people usually say "what goes around comes around" or "you reap what you sow".

        Isreal - put into power by US and allies.

        Am I making my point ?

  • No surprise here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_doctor_23 (945852) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:15AM (#15645298)
    Don't tell me you are surprised by this... I am not.
    After all Echelon has been around much longer so this was only to be expected to happen.
    The scary thing however is that it took so long to get out. Makes you wonder what else they have in hiding...
    • by IdleTime (561841)
      I'm not surprised at all..

      Anyone who believe in "The land of the Free" have dipped to deep into the kool-aid.
      When you give you president dictatorial powers and have no oversight and no way of getting rid of a president during his term, you have put yourself at risk. Add to that the ever increasing polarization of the politics in this country and you'll understand that there are no difference between a one-party state and a two-party state.
      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:33AM (#15645422) Homepage
        When you give you president dictatorial powers and have no oversight and no way of getting rid of a president during his term, you have put yourself at risk. Add to that the ever increasing polarization of the politics in this country and you'll understand that there are no difference between a one-party state and a two-party state.

        I have to disagree with that argument: In recent memory, government worked fairly well (not great, but relatively sane) when 2 parties held control of a branch of government (Reagan vs Democratic Congress, Clinton vs Republican Congress), and sucked when a single party controlled all branches of government (George W Bush, Carter). The reason for this phenomenon seems pretty obvious to me: When one party controls all branches of government, the Constitutional checks and balances are ineffective because everyone with the power to stop a branch of government is part of the same organization. In other words, there's really one-party rule going on, even if it's officially a two-party system.

        That can lead to a lot of the polarization you're worried about. If one side can't be heard except by screaming as loudly as possible in public, that's exactly what they're going to do, and the other side will start screaming to drown out the screaming of the group not in power. Hence a shrill political debate, and increased polarization as politicians take more extreme positions in order to get noticed.
        • by Grym (725290) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @09:23AM (#15645532)

          When one party controls all branches of government, the Constitutional checks and balances are ineffective because everyone with the power to stop a branch of government is part of the same organization.

          The flaw is even worse than you think, because it can't be remedied through "proper" voting. No matter what your political affiliation, you have no choice but re-electing a caste of professional politicians, which differ only on superficial and relatively inconsequential issues like a constitutional amendment explicitly banning gay flag-burning.

          Vote for minor party? Only if you want to throw away your vote, for the complete lack of enforcement of gerrymandering laws means even the most incompetent of incumbents win over 90% of the time. Even the recent supreme court ruling tacitly condoned it by only complaining about instances of potential racial gerrymandering. Apparently, cheating is fine, as long as you aren't a bigot when you do it.

          Spread the word? Anything you say can be countered by a bombardment of disinformation and distractions that prevent effective dissent. One would think that the alternative media/internet get around this, and it can--but they're going to change that. Plans for complete regulation of the internet are already in the works under the guise of "tiered-service". As John Devorak says, we're in the golden age of the internet--enjoy it while it lasts, because it's soon to end.

          -Grym

  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by izerop143 (937296) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:21AM (#15645301)
    Alright so besides the point that call monitoring is unconstitutional, if they had it 7 months before 9/11, then why did 9/11 still happen?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:38AM (#15645334)
      The thing is, it sounds like in the article it didn't come on line till later, after September 11. According to the article they abandoned the original plan but it was unclear how it evolved.

      The sad thing is that Bush can win points with the average Joe by pointing and saying, "Look, even my enemies are saying it! I tried to bring security to this country 7 months before 9/11 even happened but the NSA just didn't get the system up and running by then. Imagine only that it was and that the tragedy on 9/11 would have been averted."

      BTW, I know that the FBI already had the evidence of something wrong by August 2001 but couldn't connect the dots. I think this whole phone tracing thing is just going to add a mountainous workload on top of thing and ain't going to predict diddly shit while we all have our rights infringed.
  • Maybe it's just me here but in every paranoid guy's head this is going to come across as "They knew, they just let it happen". I hate to buy into conspiracy theories and I really don't believe any of the 9/11 ones. But two and two wasn't making four yesterday and now it seems closer to six at least in my head.

    I just hope I get to live untill I'm 80 with my mind still intact, then I can see all the evidence from this bullshit as stuff is released in Britian and maybe even see some things from the US if a gov
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2006 @07:36AM (#15645326)

        I have NO doubt that our government was just doing the prudent thing. 9/11 is proof that it was necessary. You guys are just too cynical.
  • YES... (Score:2, Informative)

    by distantbody (852269)
    ...Welcome to the world of ECHELON [wikipedia.org], the world-wide surveillance system.

    The EU recommends European citizens use cryptography in all communications to protect them from commercial theft and invasion of privacy, of which ECHELON is suspected of doing. But this advice really applies to everyone, as UK intercepts communications on behalf of the US, and visa versa, to avoid the constitutionally illegal act of spying on ones own citizens, although this in itself has recently emerged as a bit of a legal grey-are
  • FBI tried to install their carnivore boxes months before 9/11. After the attack the providers didn't question this anymore - but some agreed even before 9/11.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:09AM (#15645379)
    President Bush's major legal defense for the NSA call database was that the resolution passed by Congress on September 14, 2001 authorizing military force against those that caused 9/11 and organizations that aided those that caused 9/11 was a declaration of war. When the Democrats voted for that resolution, and then the resolution to go to war with Iraq, both times they enacted the President's war powers embedded by statute in FISA.

    Check FISA at Cornell University and you see statutes giving the President to use pen registers and trap and trace devices. If you didn't know, those things constitute the technology used to record numbers a phone has been dialing, and numbers that have called a phone. They also give the President the power to search and seize without a warrant and to use electronic surveillance without a warrant. Here is the exact statute. There are three identical sections with "electronic surveillance," "pen register or trap and trace device," and "search and seizure" being replaced by the other in each one.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize the use of a pen register or trap and trace device without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed 15 calendar days following a declaration of war by Congress.

    Even then, the statute may be interpreted many ways. "for a period not to exceed 15 calendar days" could mean that the authorization must be repeated every 15 days, that individual authorizations may last no longer than 15 days, that the power lasts 15 days once the President has used it, that the power may only be used for 15 days after Congress has declared war, or any number of interpretations, many more plausible than others.

    It depends on to what extent your judicial interpretation philosophy incorporates "originalism," thinking about what Congress intended, "starre decisis," looking at prior court decisions, and "strict constructionism," which limits judicial interpretation to the meanings of the actual words and phrases used in law, and not on other sources or inferences.

    There was a huge debate over whether the authorizations of military force constituted declarations of war for the reasons given above. The Democrats, they say, did not mean to give the President war powers and thought that the authorizations did not constitute declarations of war because they had been used as a means of allowing deployment of armed forces without giving the president war powers since at least the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed an "escalation of military forces" in the Vietnam War. The Republicans mock them for this, and the debate was even brought up in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld if you watch the oral arguements on C-SPAN like I did.

    For all this, how much has this of President Bush's arguements been brought up in the mainstream media? I have seen 2 paragraphs in an Associated Press article and nothing more. Regardless of the debate being all worthless now that he is discovered perhaps to have begun the program before 9/11, the debate is something I feel needs to be known. Just don't berate the Democrats for wanting to debate whether the Iraq War's a war. If the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution had been a declaration of war giving Richard Nixon wiretapping powers, the Supreme Court would not have ruled against him in East District of Michigan v. Nixon.

    A statute in FISA does not make a difference in constitutional law. President Bush wants the statutes to make legal what he does with no regard to the Constitution, but when statutes prohibit his actions, he can cite constitutional authority. If it's legally a war, he'd say it's the first case, and if it's not he'd say it's the other.

    This apparent legal paradox has arisen in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld---if he's a POW he's under the Geneva Convention, and if not he's a criminal entitled to a trial. The Bush administration argues he's not a POW because he was not fighting for an organized g
  • I like how people keep saying "in the months before 9/11". As if these programs were instituted by der furher the day he was inaugurated. The truth is that these programs have been going on for years but none of you cared.

    1. Carnivore first hit slashdot during the Clinton Administration. The oldest reference I found on slashdot is about Earthlink refusing to install it in 2000 [slashdot.org] - which means it had been in development for several years before that.

    2. The legendary "Echelon" - the NSA program for monitoring all telecom traffic has been bandied about for many years - Slashdot posted several articles about it in May of 1999 [slashdot.org] but the news about it first broke in 1998. The program itself is probably 50 years old [heise.de].

    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @09:22AM (#15645529)
      "The truth is that these programs have been going on for years but none of you cared."

      So it's OK if he just adds to the pile?

      When I saw the headline I myself thought that meant the program was enacted during the Clinton administration, but with the date of February 2001 it seems Bush had been in office for less than a month and already his administration is trying to expand executive power, with no other excuse beyond the one that has become so clear in the years sense: his belief that the executive always had this power.

      "Clinton did it too" is not a valid excuse.
    • A government is by definition always afraid of the people becuazse the people can cause the government many problem. Even a government by the people and for the people has some significant level of fear from the populous because number of officials are always going to abuse the position to their own benifit. This is to expected and human nature.

      So, it is arguable that our freedoms have always been under attack both from within and without, that is by domestic terrorist, non-domestic terrorist, and corru

    • by Cerebus (10185) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @01:06PM (#15646181) Homepage
      The difference being that during the Clinton and Carter years, both the Echelon and Carnivore programs were subject to strict oversight, unlike the NSA call database and internet traffic monitoring programs today. In contrast, the SWIFT data mining program--while it may still violate US law--seems to have much better oversight in place, but this is arguably because the database in question is foreign-owned and they insisted.
  • Could it be? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PepeGSay (847429) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:23AM (#15645406)
    The operation was legal? The operation was planned because its not to much of a stretch from other operations from the last 30 years?

    Instead of gasping about how they *planned to do this horrible thing* even *before* 9/11 like a little school girl you should go out and work on the political side that made this even possible. Instead of railing against Bush for using the tools at his disposal you should work on modifying those tools.
  • by Square Snow Man (985909) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:37AM (#15645429)
    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
    -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
  • by rs232 (849320) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @08:48AM (#15645443)
    I hope you do feel safe while the last of your freedoms is taken from you. Freedom of speach this is. The real reason for such monitoring is to supress political dissent. You see a monitored populace is a complient one.
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @09:32AM (#15645548) Homepage Journal
    Do you remember Admiral Poindexter's Total Information Awareness proposal that came out shortly after 9/11? A gigantic database that aggregated all available electronic information on US citizens -- financial and credit card records, grocery store shopper cards, movie rentals, library books, maybe even medical records? And how people raised such a stink that congress cut off funding for it?

    Well, guess what. It's still up and running.. It simply moved over to the pentagon, that's all. [nationaljournal.com]
  • by lowell (66406) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:47AM (#15645926)
    us, they want to control us. They are trying very hard to speed up this totaltarianism. They want all the power and control over the people. George Bush's fair voting act is putting in place electronic voting machines in every state, its now illegal to whistleblow that a Diebold voting machine is hackable and could be used to fix an election. Haliburton got a $400 million contract to build Federal "Detention Centers" right after the 2000 election. Hundreds of thousands new federal beds that are currently setting empty while the prison system is overflowing. Couple that with things like spying on the polulace, it is starting to paint a very scary picture. WAKE UP. ITS NOT A BAD DREAM
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:51AM (#15645940)
    With Slashdot's new tagging system, you can finally add moderation to stories you have always dreamed of!

    Regardless of your feelings on NSA wiretaps, both domestic and international - you already know what all of the commennnts on this story will look like. Why even bother? An article like this one simply meant to stir up feelings and add nothing new to the discussion would ina comment be marked "flamebait", so why not tag it as such?

    To tag, simply click on that small triangle next to exiting tags. Below is a text entry box for your tag (flamebait), after entering simply press the "Tag" button next to it and your tag is added. If enough people use the same tag it makes the front page and helps people understand just what they are going to see in the comments inside.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @11:56AM (#15645959) Homepage Journal
    We will now see Bush's media flacks spinning his bottomless hunger for spying on Americans by saying that "if we had gotten this program before 9/11/2001, we would have had what we needed to stop those terrorists".

    Even though we of course had more than enough info and spying programs to catch and stop them. The FBI tried to stop the hijackers [google.com] in flight school, but the FBI refused to act. One FBI whistleblower has been gagged [google.com] for years because she's tried to tell too much about how badly broken is our counterterrorism system. Amidst mountains of intelligence, Bush has been unable to even find Bin Laden for longer than it took FDR and Truman to beat Germany and Japan in WWII.

    We don't need more mountains of intelligence, especially spying on every American's every transaction. We need regime change to one that will actually protect us, the way we elected them and pay them to do. Every threat we've faced - terrorists, recession, hurricane, and smaller - has been bungled or worse by the Bush regime. Giving them more power is like giving the school bully a gun. They'll just pistol whip everyone to make stealing our lunch money that much more efficient.
  • Of course (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:19PM (#15646034) Homepage
    Could it be that they were intending to monitor domestic calls (and internet traffic) all along

    Of course. This was created to satisfy the extension of traditional telephone wiretapping requirements. You remember Carnivore and the related laws, right? No large Internet provider can cost-effectively satisfy a wiretapping subpoena for -only- the data requested. That filtering requires equipment vastly more powerful than the routers they use. I looks to me like AT&T cut a deal: We'll give you access to the total data stream but in return you agree that filtering for the lawfully authorized data is solely and permanantly the Federal government's problem and expense.

    From the perspective of fiscal responsibility to the shareholders, its the right choice.
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @12:44PM (#15646107) Homepage
    So with this information and the Downing Street Memo that clearly showed the war was already planned when the president was publicly claiming it was the last option, what they heck is this guy going for? Why? And who stands to benefit from all this stuff?

    Perhaps it's :
    The Masons
    Illuminati
    Skulls & Bones
    Trilateral Commission
    Bilderberg Group
    Neocons
    Opus Dei (Heheh)
    NSA

    But seriously... who or what do people think Bush is working for and what evidence do they actually have?
  • by Faux_Pseudo (141152) <Faux.Pseudo@g m a il.com> on Sunday July 02, 2006 @02:48PM (#15646570) Homepage
    On the morning of 9/11 on CNN one of the reports/anchor people said "NSA is reviewing the cellphone calls" of the people from flight 93.

    My head spun at that moment. Apparently CNN didn't think it that odd that the NSA would have those records.
  • Secrecy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mpaque (655244) on Sunday July 02, 2006 @03:37PM (#15646743)
    "Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy ... [sic] censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything --you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."

    -- Robert A. Heinlein
  • by MrCopilot (871878) on Monday July 03, 2006 @11:27AM (#15650240) Homepage Journal
    Thank you PBS

    The Darkside http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darkside/v iew/ [pbs.org]

    Rumsfields War http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/pent agon/view/ [pbs.org]

    War Behind Closed Doors http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq /view/ [pbs.org]

    Pretty much sums it up. These People saw Nixons spanking as a terrible stripping of presidential manhood, and set themselves about to "RESTORE" it. Complete with wiretaps and torture on demand. Dick and Don are in it for the long haul. I don't think they realize what lies at the end of the road they are building. (We would be lucky if it is another good ole fashioned presidential spanking. Can you impeach an entire cabinet?.)

    They haven't changed much in the last 20 years. I expect them to act with the same lack of integrity and political chickanery they always have. This is your fathers Nixon administration.

    The only good thing to come from any of this is Jon Stewart's Dead-On single syllable impressions. Waaaaunnnggh! Waaaaunnnggh! Heh,Heh,Heh!

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