April 9, 2008
Bush administration continues lying
By James Wilson
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Quote of the Day:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
-- H.L. Mencken

Fact of the Day:

U.S. policy is at war with itself in Afghanistan. The Afghan army is destroying poppy fields in the service of America's "war on drugs." Meanwhile, the American army is fighting the Taliban to protect the Afghan government, and Afghan farmers are paying the Taliban to protect their poppy fields from the Afghan army. Thus, the harder we fight the "war on drugs" in Afghanistan the harder it becomes to win the war against the Taliban. Source: Newsweek, April 7, 2008

Subject: Bush administration continues lying

Courtesty of Ed Brayton, more evidence of lies from the Bush administration . . .

Our new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, gave a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on March 27. In the speech Mukasey asserted that national security secrets would be exposed in court unless the telecom companies that participated in the Bush administration's warrantless spying program receive immunity for their actions. 

This is a lie.

The FISA law explicitly requires that evidence relating to national security secrets can only be presented in camera (meaning in private, and not in open court) and ex parte (with only the judge and either the plaintiffs or the defendants present).

There is no chance that national security secrets, such as sources and methods, would be exposed to the public. Mr. Brayton provides a link to the relevant text of the FISA Act (see section f).

Mukasey also claimed that the FISA rules prevented the government from monitoring a call between an Al Qaeda safehouse in Afghanistan and someone in the US just prior to 9/11. Mukasey claimed that we might have avoided 9-11 if this call had been monitored. The New York Sun reports that Mukasey got teary eyed when telling this story. But . . .

Mukasey was telling another lie.

The Bush administration could have had a standing warrant to intercept all calls from this Al Qaeda safehouse to anywhere in the United States, and could have extended this warrant indefinitely. Not only that, they could have begun the surveillance immediately, and gotten the FISA warrant after the fact. You can find the relevant portion of the FISA law, here (see section f).

The Bush administration lies, and lies, and lies. This is why government power must be severely limited, because you can never tell when this power will fall into the hands of people who will lie to achieve their political goals. Fortunately, Congress is still deadlocked in negotiations for a new law to replace FISA. Let's keep it that way.

Please send Congress another message telling them that FISA is good enough, and no new law is needed. Use your personal comments to tell your elected representatives that you're aware of the lies told by the Attorney General at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on March 27. Tell them this is all the evidence they should need that the Executive Branch cannot be trusted with expanded powers.

Send your message here.

Please also consider starting a monthly pledge, or making a one-time donation to make us grow larger faster. And remember, if 10 Downsizers make $100 contributions, DC Downsizer Jack Mullen will write us a check for $1,000. You can start a monthly pledge or make a one-time donation here.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.
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