The Pentagon has misled Congress and the US public by conniving with the FBI to obtain hundreds of financial, telephone and Internet records without court approval, civil-rights campaigners said Sunday.This information gotten by the ACLU shows that the Pentagon has moved well outside the scope of its powers by engaging in domestic spying. Such activity would likely fall afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act:
... generally prohibits Federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under Federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the Federal government to use the military for law enforcement.So that blows a huge hole in Dick Cheney's defense of the Department of Defense engaging in domestic surveillance and intelligence gathering:
Vice President Dick Cheney has defended the practice as a "perfectly legitimate activity" used to investigate possible acts of terrorism and espionage.Just more trivia to add to the ever-growing list of abuses and illegalities engaged in by the Bush administration. Abuses for which, apparently, they will never be held accountable. But for those of you who think those of us concerned about these issues are "partisan" or "paranoid," guess what? The next president (who may well be a Democrat) gets to inherit the "Unitary Executive" with all the extensions of power and surveillance and no oversight or accountability either. Personally, I find no comfort in that thought - nor in the ongoing dismantling of our Constitution. Note: Nacchio is serving a six year prison term for insider trading. The information was part of recently unsealed testimony in his case. He stated that Qwest refused to comply with the NSA requests, and was retaliated against with the loss of contracts from the NSA.