Using 9/11 as an excuse, the Bush Administration worked efficiently to dismantle the institutions that had kept government accountable to the people of the United States for 225 years. Central to this project was the management of information. In a democracy, information must flow downward more than upward. The government must operate in a transparent manner to afford citizens a rational basis for choosing leaders and other democratic activities. Equally important, the citizens are protected from "unreasonable search and seizure" -- from spying by the government, infiltration of the Press and of movements for protest and dissent.
Though many of us are too shell-shocked to see the pattern, the government of Barrack Obama, which you and I worked so hard to install in Washington, is now cementing in place, and even expanding, some institutional violations of the Constitution that were initiated under Bush. Those of us with eyes open are appalled.
Citizens for Legitimate Government has been collecting and documenting pieces of this story, continuing seamlessly from their work monitoring the Bush Administration. Here is one part of one day's reporting -- all stories from their site yesterday:
U.S. Pushes to Ease Technical Obstacles to Wiretapping (NYTimes 19 Oct 2010) Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say. The officials want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps. An Obama administration task force that includes officials from the Justice and Commerce Departments, the F.B.I. and other agencies recently began working on draft legislation to strengthen and expand a 1994 law requiring carriers to make sure their systems can be wiretapped.
Obama's Justice Dept is aggressive in blocking exposure and prosecution of crimes committed by GW Bush's first AG, John Ashcroft (LA Times 19 Oct 2010 ) --The Justice Department argues that John Ashcroft cannot be prosecuted for misusing the law in terrorism arrests. The Supreme Court intervened again Monday in a lawsuit against a former George W. Bush administration official, agreeing to decide whether former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft is entirely shielded from claims that he misused the law to arrest terrorism suspects under false pretenses. Obama administration lawyers appealed on Ashcroft's behalf and asserted that it would "severely damage law enforcement" if the nation's top law enforcement official could be held liable for abusing his authority.
CIA sues ex-agent for book's breach of 'secrecy' (Washington Times18 Oct 2010) The CIA has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against a former deep-cover agent who published a book critical of the agency without allowing CIA censors to remove large portions of the manuscript before publication. Ishmael Jones, pen name for the 20-year CIA veteran and Arabic speaker who said he sought to expose corruption in the agency, is facing a civil lawsuit over his 2008 book, "The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture." The book is a detailed account of his career inside the CIA's clandestine service and his work as a "nonofficial cover" operative in the Middle East and Europe. "The book contains no classified information and I do not profit from it," Mr. Jones told The Washington Times. "CIA censors attack this book because it exposes the CIA as a place to get rich, with billions of taxpayer dollars wasted or stolen in espionage programs that produce nothing."
Pentagon asks media not to publish war leaks (AP 18 Oct 2010) The Pentagon on Monday asked media organizations not to publish any classified war files released by the WikiLeaks Web site, as the U.S. braces for the potential disclosure of hundreds of thousands of secret Iraq war documents. In July, WikiLeaks obtained and released nearly 77,000 classified military reports from Afghanistan. Now, the Pentagon says the group has as many as 400,000 documents from a military database on operations in Iraq.
The Bush Jr Administration was the most secretive in the history of our country, and Obama campaigned on a promise of transparency in government. In office, he has tightened the curtain of secrecy over government by acting aggressively against the brave whistleblowers who publicize the crimes and corruption in our military and the CIA.
Why is Obama shielding the criminal Bush Administration from prosecution and even from investigation? What is he hiding? Why do they continue to promulgate disinformation, tilted to the Right? And why is he continuing to harass and infiltrate the progressives and anti-war activists who were, just a few months ago, his most loyal political base?