My main intent is to expose the fear-mongering machine; and with any luck, disarm the machine by arming people with information. It's real news that the mainstream ignores, things I consider to be smokescreens, plus a few ideas on what to do about it all. Please see the bottom of the blog for older posts and a wide variety of resources that I consider need-to-know info.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Classified Cover-ups by Our Rogue Exec. Office

What do you do when you're a nation at war, several of your officials are about to be busted on a variety of felonies, and the secrecy-card is about to expire?
When is doubt...VACATION-IT-OUT!!!
va-ca-tion...all I ever, GOT to get away...
Yep, since everything is going soooo well in Iraq, it's time to put it on the back burner and let it simmer. Our entire Congress and the Rogue Executive branch are going to do exactly what the Iraqi Parliament is going to do about the war - go on vacation for the entire month of August! It's beyond me how our government has the nerve to scold the Iraqi Parliament for not meeting benchmarks and going on vacation, when our Congress intends to do the very same thing! Not that the move is shocking, or strays at all from the hypocritical M.O. of this administration or anything...

Packing everything up over the last week, to try to take it with them and possibly disappear-it all with public forgetfulness?...
Here are just some of the things they have in their classified suitcase:

---1) Despite Cheney's assertion that his office doesn't require oversight in the handling of classified documents, a second person has been convicted of passing classified info (originally pleaded guilty). He sent strategic information to the Philippines, to a group that was planning a political-coup to over-throw their president. The classified documents were sent by one of Dick's former aides, via Dick's office phone/fax. He worked as a military aide for both Gore and Cheney, then was an intelligence analyst for the FBI - he was just sentenced to prison for ten years.

---2) Not only has Cheney refused oversight from the Intelligence Security Office since 2002 and suggested having it abolished. but now the Justice Department admitted that the oversight board responsible for identifying intelligence abuses didn't report a single thing for the first five and a half years of this administration! They literally ignored hundreds of claims from the FBI, determining nothing about the validity of the alleged abuses. Their first report was filed last year and I haven't looked to see if they covered anything more than 2005, but I doubt it.

---3) Cheney's Energy Task Force: There was finally some coverage of the notorious meetings; however, it was severely played-down by the negligent press. The press has generally taken the position that there was nothing to be so secretive about. The press made the release trivial, reporting; Cheney met with the environmental agencies for consultation (that he said he had) after the policy-making meetings. Instead, he consulted in at least 40 meetings with energy producers' special interest groups. I don't think the public is as concerned with the environmental groups (that Cheney didn't even bother to show up for), at least not as concerned as we are with having information as to who his consulting team consisted of, and what was said in those 40 other meetings. The press pretended that the people involved were pretty non-sequential, burying the names way in the back of articles - when it should have been front-page, screaming headline, NEWS!

As it turns out, Cheney's Energy Task Force was made-up of some lobbyists, and oil baron-types, some who later cashed-out as environmental agency workers (Dept. of the Interior), and they all helped author the US energy policy. Three of them have already been convicted in the Abramoff case, and this is the detail that Cheney is REALLY hiding. Three convicted officials that Cheney consulted with to legislate national energy policies, now convicted felons serving time for taking bribes.
PRESS: "There you go, secret revealed, strange that they fought so hard to cover this up...Move along! Nothing to see here!"

---4) While the Democrats in the Senate were holding an all-night session to get some sort of benchmark for troops withdrawal into the Iraq plan, the Republicans and pundits were busy misconstruing it as "political theater" and a "stunt." The fact that people are actually believing this, just goes to show how invested Americans are in this war/occupation; not at all. An all-night Senate session is the very least of which can be sacrificed for our troops! To call an attempt to do the will of the growing-majority of the people, and to get the business of wartime dealt with in a timely manner (as should be) call this a "stunt" shows absolutely no understanding of how Congress works (or is at least, a show of the belief that viewers don't understand). The press was also reporting that "Democrats couldn't achieve a simple majority"; an out-right LIE. The Republicans' filibuster required MORE than a simple majority to have it passed, and had there not been the filibuster the closure vote would have passed. The vote that didn't pass was to blocked an "up or down" VOTE, it was just a vote to end the debate; not an actual vote on the measure itself. We obviously need more action in Congress in order to get anything done thee days, and I can't understand why anybody would be so reluctant to support Congress. that amendment was far from spectacular, but it would have been the first real legislation for an exit-strategy!

Let the records show: Republican Senators have absolutely no intentions whatsoever to even allow a vote on a plan to bring the troops home.

---5) Harriet Miers (former council to Bush) is currently in contempt of Congress' subpoena in regards to the US Attorney purge scandal - on Bush's dime. Bush has not officially asserted his executive privilege - yet - nor have the documents been specified as to what may or may not be released (according to Bush). Regardless, her required testimony is being contested by Bush on this basis. Miers will be cited in contempt if things don't change soon. Chairman Conyers of the Judiciary Committee sent/released a letter today addressed to Bush's attorney to inform them that their claims of executive privilege have been deemed invalid and the committee insists upon Miers appearing - as well as the requested documents.

---6) The same judge that ruled Cheney could keep his Energy Task Force meetings secret, has now dismissed a civil suit against Cheney, filed by former covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. Plame's attorney is going to appeal the judgment of course, and I hope she looks to recuse the judge that dismissed the case on a prejudicial basis!

It seems to me that the ruling that has kept those energy meetings classified was the precedent that created the path to secrecy in which this administration has depended upon so heavily.

---7) The Executive branch found yet another opportunity to use its executive privilege, in the "friendly-fire" case of Corporal Pat Tillman; the story of how fratricide was first showcased by the government as a great American hero's sacrifice for his country, only to discover that the Pentagon knew what happened all along and had attempted to completely bury the story.

If you are unfamiliar with Tillman's story, there is a really great 7-part expose that is authored by a military man that has done several interviews with Tillman's mother. There has been some speculation that the Pentagon had decided to capitalize on Tillman's service and death, to encourage enlistments and bolster American support for the war. Some say it may have even been the purpose for his murder in the first place. That is the only thing that could possibly explain why the rest of his records are being held secret under executive privilege now. In response to a committee's request for all documents and records concerning Tillman, they received "10,000 pages" - of newspaper clippings. Upon reasserting the request for military records etc...they were refused on the basis of executive privilege, and told, "We already gave you ten thousands pages worth of documents!" Seriously, what other possible reason could Bush have for covering-up and obstructing the investigation into Corporal Tillman's tragic death?

---8) Cheney will most likely claim executive privilege AGAIN for his involvement in the illegal wiretapping program (despite his recent claims not to actually be part of the Executive Branch). Cheney's legal advisers asked for the same extension given to Bush for complying to subpoenas for documentation, and it was granted. The only real problem with the extension was that there was no rescheduled mandatory date for compliance.

WOOO HOOO! Only this administration gets ALL of the powers with NONE of the responsibilities! Well, and the next one will too, and the next...but only if we let them get away with it this time.

In the words of Lt. Col. Bob Bowman:

"If the government has nothing to hide, why is it hiding everything?"

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About Me

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I had been writing a News & Politics column for an online magazine for a little over three years, and just last fall opened this blog to continue publication. I also had the pleasure of being the associate producer for a progressive talk radio host for about a year. Alittle of everything... I've advised small businesses, and I paint all kinds of things (boxes, figurines, greeting cards, personalized children's and other dish-wares, decor...). I still paint when I can, but mainly I'm manage a wholesale company for a Fair Trade, eco-friendly Jewelry & Homewares designer/producer out of Bali called, Verlu. You can see a full catalog of our line on the website, and there is now a list of our retailers for you to visit too. "Wear in everybody's Good Health!"
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