Those instructions to Ashcroft are documented in Steven Brills book, After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era, about the days following 9/11 and the Showtime docudrama on the event. It is also well-known that Ashcroft, a zealot who doesnt allow the Constitution to get in the way of his crusades, took Bushs command to heart, creating the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act, the controversial law that allows the federal government to spy on Americans without cause, without court order and without restraint.
But Bush went even further, turning the giant communications monitoring apparatus of the National Security Agency into a personal machine to snoop into the lives of Americans and setting Adm. John Poindexter loose to create the Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) program.
Congress thought it shut down TIA but Bush ran an end around on the Hill by transferring TIA into the Pentagons black bag operations, a fact we first reported in June of last year. We also reported the program used technology developed by the National Security Agency to snoop on phone calls and emails and that some NSA employees were pissed about being involved in spying on Americans.
But Bush ordered the NSA to start tracking the activities of Americans, something we reported a year ago and reported today by The New York Times. We also reported, last year, the Pentagon was building a huge super secret database on Americans, something NBC News just got around to confirming this week.
According to the instant experts who expound ad infinitum behind anonymous handles on partisan computer bulletin boards, we sit in our den in our mountaintop retreat and make all this stuff up, that nothing we print ever ends up in the so-called mainstream media.
From the Capitol Hill Blue archives:
June 7, 2004: Where Big Brother Snoops on Americans 24/7.
June 8, 2004: How Big Brother is Watching, Listening and Misusing Information About You.
November 20, 2002: Welcome to the American Gestapo
We realized early on that the Bush Administration has discarded the Constitution and set the federal government on a course to snoop, pry and invade the private lives of Americans at will.
We knew it. We reported it and the naysayers claimed it couldnt possibly be true.
As usual, they were wrong. As usual, we were right. And, as usual, it took the rest of the mainstream media about a year to catch up.
© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue