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July 7, 2008

The Spying Started Before September 11 -- That's The Whole Point

By Dave Johnson

In response to LA Times article, "A Good-Enough Spy Law," and its claim that telecom aided surveillance was in response to the aftermath of Sept. 11, writer Dave Johnson reminds us that this spying started shortly after Bush took office. A fact that the MSM can't seem to grasp.

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In the LA Times today, A Good-Enough Spy Law says,

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the White House directed telecommunications carriers to cooperate with its efforts to bolster intelligence gathering and surveillance -- the administration's effort to do a better job of "connecting the dots" to prevent terrorist attacks.

No, it started a few weeks after Bush took office -- a time when the Bush administration was ignoring the terrorist threat. So it was about something else, and was a high enough priority to plan out during the transition. (Can you say "political spying?")

One telecom company, Qwest, refused because it was flat-out illegal. The Bush administration punished them, blocked federal contracts, and in an early indicator of what was to come from the politicized Bush Justice Department, they prosecuted Qwest's CEO on trumped-up charges.

The combination of the telecoms letting Bush illegally spy on us BEFORE September 11, and the politicized Bush Justice Department punishing the company that refused -- refused because it was illegal -- is the reason so many of us are so adamant that Democrats should not be passing a law giving these companies immunity. The president can't spy on people without warrants, and the telecoms knew that. They knew it was illegal to spy on us without warrants but they went along with it. Why? Why didn't they ask the Bush administration to just get warrants? And why would Democrats vote to let them off the hook?

Don't forget that Watergate was about Republicans illegally wiretapping Democrats. Don 't think they don't do it.

[article cross-posted from Huffington Post]



Submitters Bio:

Dave Johnson is Founder and principal author at Seeing the Forest. Dave is a frequent public speaker and talk-radio guest and a leading participant in the progressive blogging community. He does a regular weekly segment on the popular Fairness Radio radio show. Currently Dave is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, where he writes about issues involving American manufacturing, trade, and industrial policy. Recently Dave helped co-found Carbon Tracing, Inc., the company developing the desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US. Before starting Seeing the Forest, Dave had over over 20 years of technology industry experience and has previously held senior industry positions including CEO and VP of Sales and Marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic, and he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers.

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